17 Jun Bobby Weed Golf Design Renovates Championship Course at Grandfather Golf and Country Club
For Immediate Release
Sally J. Sportsman
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida (June 17, 2016) – Bobby Weed Golf Design (www.bobbyweed.com), an award-winning golf-course design firm, is renovating the Championship Course at Grandfather Golf and Country Club, a private member-owned club in Linville, N.C. The work is part of a 10-year master plan the design company assembled and remains engaged in for its duration.
“This storied course continues to offer improved aesthetics and playability,” said Bobby Weed, president &CEO of Bobby Weed Golf Design. “Golfers can make shot decisions based on enhanced visibility on the first hole, while appreciating many of the layout’s unique features which have re-emerged with the ongoing improvements.”
Bobby Weed Golf Design helped the club restructure a short-term and long-range plan to preserve and enhance the classic Ellis Maples layout. Following some substantial improvements several years ago, Weed and his team have worked in a creative and incremental fashion, each autumn and early spring, so as not to disrupt play. Extensive tree removal, installation of subsurface fairway drainage and construction of open rock-lined streams are some components of the renovation. The club’s objective is to continue with Bobby Weed Golf Design for additional improvements in the future.
Over 40 years’ tree growth in the corridors necessitated removal efforts to bring many of the holes back to their original lines. The green and tee complexes, and then the fairways, were the beneficiaries of the widespread tree removal, which nonetheless is nearly undetectable to players accustomed to the lush beauty of the course.
The renovation work has encompassed, in part, the following:
The first hole, a par 5, was widened and its approach refined. A pond to the right of and below the green had caused players either to go for the green or lay up; neither shot was compelling. So a decision was made to reconstruct and lower the green complex, thus widening the approach. The fill material generated from this initiative went to the practice tee, more than doubling its size. A series of plateaus, rock walls and terraces was to soften the grade change between the practice facility and the first tee.
On the par-4 16th hole, a fairway bunker was relocated and trees were removed adjacent to the headwaters of the Linville River to lessen the angle of the hole. This resulted in the exposure of the water feature, which had been overgrown with trees on both sides, negating its visual impact. Now golfers must hit over the water on this L-shaped hole, where the corner was beveled off to create an angle. With the newly-opened sight lines, players must make a strategic decision off the tee how they want to play this hole, with the option to carry the corner if they choose.
About Bobby Weed Golf Design
Acclaimed golf course designer Bobby Weed specializes in design, renovation and repurposing. His work features a balance of visual appeal, sustainability and playability, all informed by an environmentally-sensitive aesthetic and an exceptional hands-on, holistic approach. Bobby Weed Golf Design is a leader in golf course repurposing – a means to update layouts through redesign and reallocation of partial acreage for higher value land uses. Repurposing helps clubs and communities preserve golf while surmounting economic and other challenges. Weed’s skill, vision and business acumen coalesce to result in successful, refined and durable golf course design.
Weed began his professional career with an extended apprenticeship with Pete Dye, launching a collaboration of over 35 years’ duration and a lifelong friendship. Hired in 1983 by the PGA Tour, Weed was the Tour’s in-house designer from 1987-1996. He was responsible for the design of many of today’s best-known TPC venues, which continue as host sites for prominent Tour events.
Weed also was able to collaborate with many of golf’s most familiar names, including Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd, Jerry Pate and Chi Chi Rodriguez – a rare cross section of experience.
In 1994, Weed’s career reached an apex with the formation of his own design firm, where he continues to “handcraft” golf courses. Today, Bobby Weed Golf Design has amassed an impressive list of new and renovated courses that consistently are ranked at the top of their respective categories, including The Olde Farm Golf Club, Spanish Oaks Golf Club, The Golf Course at Glen Mills, Medalist Golf Club and Timuquana Country Club.
Bobby Weed is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the Historical Committee of the Donald Ross Society, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the Florida Turfgrass Association.
For more information on Bobby Weed Golf Design, see www.bobbyweed.com.