Meadowbrook just recently went under the knife last year for a complete overhaul under the eyes of Andy Staples. Meadowbrook had 6 original Willie Park Jr (WPJ) holes and 2 Donald Ross Greens. Andy's job was to maximize the land features as best as possible and retaining as many WPJ design philosophies as possible. Metro Detroit in general has been late to the party compared to other cities with restoring Golden Age courses or in Meadowbrook's case maximizing it's full potential. However the wait has been worth it considering what has been accomplished in the last 4-5 years. Hole 1 (232, 271, 322, 340, 348, 372)
(Before) Now the current tee is where the putting green used to be.
(Now) The new tee was moved over to the left and basically swapped the old putting green area for new tee. This shifted the line of play to the right, playing more with the contours that run away from the player towards a new ditch feature on the right. A bunker on the left was added on the left to challenge the long hitter that will mindlessly pull the driver. This will give the player a choice of club off the tee, making driver not always the preferred club. It also relieves some pressure on hooked balls towards 8 mile road.
(new putting green)
The green was kept in place as well as 75% of the existing contours. The front of the green was raised up to gain a front pin position. Short grass was added around the entire front which will help the lower spinning approaches. The fronting bunkers were kept generally in the same location. A wall was added in behind the green generally for aesthetic purposes but does not come into play for long shots. It's designed to be an integral part of the course.
(During) Look how mint that killed bent turf is. How i wished I'd brought my 2 iron
(Now)Hole 2 (341, 381, 414, 515, 548, 573)
This is the first Willie Park Jr hole on the course as this hole was in the original routing, and has the most interesting original green.
The Tees on Hole 2 intersect with #9 tees and 8 green. This area presented a difficult challenge in congestion and safety. 8 green was moved away from 2/9 tees to give more room for entire teeing complex as 2 and 9 tees are shared.
(Now) The intent from the tee was to set up a visual string of bunkers from the left side of the landing area up to the right side of the fairway in the distance. The fairway was shifted right to reinforce the strategy of challenging the corner, while a bunker, rough and a few chocolate drop protect this line.
The green contours were largely saved with the exception of a significant fill in the front. This adjustment flattened out the front of the green to 3% (from 7%), which now should keep balls from being putted off the surface and down the hill. Bunkers flank both sides of the squared off putting surface, in keeping with what we could see as original Park shaping
Hole 3 (222, 250, 321, 339, 351, 369)
Previous thread on this WPJ Template http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,63877.0.htmlHole 4 (286, 368, 402, 460, 518, 536)
Hole 4 was probably the most polarizing hole on the existing course. Some loved it, some absolutely hated it.
Originally a par 4, we pushed the tees back and to the left (on the location of the old 3rd green), and extended the green back to an unused portion of the property. It now plays as a strong, fair caped-styled par 5.
The old green location now serves as a focal point of the hole, utilizing it as the preferred landing area for a second shot. The fairway was shifted left to bring the existing pond into play, and setting up a heroic ''go or no-go'' type second shot. Large existing walnut trees left from the original homestead line guard both the left and right tee shot, while all of the existing willow trees (and existing pump house) were removed. The green is now one of the smallest on the course, protected by a fronting slope, and left greenside bunker and a large bunker behind. A large area of shortgrass was added along the right side which blends all the way toward #13 green (in the distance)
(Now)Hole 5 (249, 254, 320, 368, 417, 460)
The existing 5th hole was a short par 4, routed on some of the best property on the entire site. Much of the interesting topography was hidden in the trees along the right side of the hole.
The new hole expands the fairway to the right, taking advantage of this land, incorporating some incredible roll and contour in the expanding landing area. The green was moved back about 50 yards, making this now one of the more difficult par 4's on the front (depending which tee you are playing from).
The new Punchbowl
green occupies space from old #6 (an average par 3), and is protected by grass slopes and a new stream channel. This hole is the only one on the course void of bunkers.
Hole 6 (98, 106, 134, 148, 158, 176)
This is the only new hole on the course. To make room for the extended #5, as well as the shift to the right of #3 green, the old par 3 6th was eliminated. The new hole occupies unused land between 2 green, #3 and #7. It also serves as a link from the low part of the property, up to the highest point on the course (#7 tees). The hole is set against a strong cross slope that is used as the key feature of the hole. Playing to around a 5-6 iron, the right slope will come into play, depending on where the pin is set.
The tee complex for the new #6 is set on top of the old #11 green. This move also allowed for room to shift the #11 green, and #12 tees to remove a safety issue. Overall, this adjustment integrated an used part of the property, reduced a safety issue, and create better flow in the routing.
(After)Hole 7 (219, 268, 348, 367, 387, 418)
Due to the addition of the new par 3 6th, the tees for 7 were shifted up the hill (just right of #2 green), to the highest point on the property. The shift to the right now brings an existing pond feature into play off the tee. The new height of the tee now shows the player the location of the green, and gives a vast panorama of the entire property.
(below a look to the left of the 6th green)
The landing area is defended by a bunker complex on the left, pond short right and the severe upslope. The approach to the green is blind, being shown the way by an existing American Elm in the distance. The green was shifted right to grab 10 extra yards to the hole, while making space for an expanded #8 tee complex. The green approach is open, featuring a strategic step slope to allow hot balls short to run into the green.
8 Hole (93, 116, 141, 169, 186, 206)
(present day tee location)
The largest adjustment on #8 was a shift of the green away from the property line to give #2 and #9 tee more room. We also added a pond feature in front of the green to give the hole balance while addressing a major drainage issue.
The green is loosely modeled after a Langford & Moreau green at Lawsonia in WI. A large short grass chipping area is hidden behind the green for shots that are hit too aggressive, defined by 2 bunkers set into the tee complex for 2 and 9.
(After)Hole 9 (213, 245, 298, 312, 324, 338)
Hole 9 was always a short par 4, but was defended by a heavily bunkered, small green and a thick grove of small trees long the entire right side. One of the problems with the old hole was trees didn't keep the longer hitters from going for the green and the longer hitter couldn't see if people were on the green putting. The new hole opened up the line of sight to the green, allowing for safer conditions. Also visually showing the strategy of the hole.
Three fairway bunkers and a new ditch feature was added along the right side of the hole to add further strategy for those that challenge the green from the tee. A generous fairway allows a safe shot to be hit to the left, with a small wedge approach. Interesting ground features were added to affect drives as they run towards the green. A roll in the fairway just short of the green will kick a ball towards the green or into bunkers, depending on the rub of the green.
The green is the smallest on the course, making it a tricky approach and recovery if missed. Short grass was added around the entire green, combined with 3 bunkers, making a missed green a tricky recovery. There is a small back stop in the rear of the green to allow for longer shot to be a bit contained, while adding an interesting element for wedges that are hit with too much spin.