By Design - Winter 2013 - page 10

By Design
he Salt Creek stream in
northeastern Illinois runs
through the heart of Butterfield
Country Club. It is prone to flooding
and, historically, bank erosion has had
an adverse impact on the course, with
playing surfaces affected and poor
drainage in places.
In appointing Steve Smyers Golf Course
Architects to address these issues,
the club also needed to adopt a water
management plan developed by DuPage
County that involved lowering elevations
to store water and help prevent flooding
in downstream neighbourhoods.
By significantly redirecting the
course of the creek, Smyers was able
to conceive a new design that could
meet the county’s water storage
requirements, prevent future erosion
and restore riparian environments. As
well as solving technical problems, the
repositioned watercourse facilitated
the creation of numerous aesthetic and
architectural improvements.
The creek bed was dropped by as
much as 15 feet, generating large
amounts of fill that was used to sculpt
holes that mimic the glacial moraine
deposits cut out by rivers. Holes were
designed with a variety of characteristics
that complement the native ecological
pattern, encourage diverse shot-making
and reward strategic thinking.
“Several holes now play from low in
the floodplain up to dramatic green
settings benched into the higher oak-
lined ridges. Others play from high on
the ridges with sweeping views down to
fairways and greens set alongside creeks
and ponds,” says Smyers. “The vagaries
of the wind is a constant theme here and
we’ve sought to encourage the ‘ground
game’ by adding a lot of subtle fairway
and putting surface contouring. Above
all, we’ve endeavoured to create a layout
that golfers will find to be stimulating,
rewarding and an enjoyable experience”.
Oak Brook, Illinois
Steve Smyers, ASGCA
Steve Smyers Golf Course Architects
Project summary:
Butterfield Country Club worked
with Steve Smyers, ASGCA to find
a solution for technical challenges
related to problematic drainage on
its course, which also generated
considerable strategic and design
Leibold Irrigation, Inc.
The repositioned creeks now have a much greater impact on playing strategy
“In addressing
technical issues,
we’ve also sought
to encourage the
‘ground game’
by adding a lot
of subtle fairway
and putting surface
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,...24
Powered by FlippingBook