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Ryan Taylor

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Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« on: September 06, 2019, 10:14:15 AM »
This is an exciting project to follow and deserves more discussion. BHCC has a ton of potential. The addition of a long 4 and a long 3 (downhill) will better harmonize the front. I'm interested in seeing a sketch of the planned "early vintage Colt style bunkers". More questions for Mike or others involved in the project: - Is there a specific Colt designed golf course that will serve as a model or inspiration for this renovation? (e.g. Swinley Forest, St. George's Hill, etc.) - Will hole #8 and/or #9 be altered?

DeVries Design Press Release

Bloomfield Hills Country Club (“BHCC”) of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan has formally committed to the restoration of its golf course. Originally laid out by Harry Colt in 1913, it is the last remaining one in the United States to have been designed by him alone.

A long-term plan has been developed by Mike DeVries of DeVries Designs, Inc. and Frank Pont of Infinite Variety Golf Design (“IVGD”) which will provide the key framework for the delivery of a structured and faithful restoration. This is the first project to be undertaken by this Trans-Atlantic partnership of two of the world’s most renowned golf architects, both of whom are proven experts in the restoration of classic golf courses.

LaBar Golf Renovations will be the on-site contractor working closely with Mike DeVries throughout the project with Frank Pont providing regular insight. Work will commence in 2020.

Bunkering will be restored to an early vintage Colt style and edge margins of the putting surfaces will be reclaimed in order to enhance the topography’s beauty and provide the golfer with more options when undertaking recovery shots around the green. Dan Billette, BHCC’s Golf Course Manager, re-grassed the greens several years ago with Pure Distinction. This process will continue throughout the reclaimed areas. Additionally, the course’s irrigation system will be wholly updated, ensuring that its infrastructure is well positioned to satisfy the club’s needs well into the future.

A redesign of the 3rd and 4th holes will allow a lost and challenging par three to be reinstated. Colt originally designed the 3rd as a long par four and the 4th as a long par three. However, during the Depression, these holes were changed to become a mid-length par four and a short par four respectively. The new 3rd will be a 255-yard downhill par three. The 4th will become a long par four of 440 yards. This combination will restore the balance of holes throughout the routing and provide golfers with more varied shot-making opportunities.

The driving range will be also redeveloped. It will be widened in order to enhance visibility and provide more teeing space. A new practice putting green will integrate with the 1st hole’s teeing ground, providing more room for events and enhancing movement around the recently renovated clubhouse. The porch balcony will provide a dramatic vista across a new joint fairway which will be shared by the par five 1st and 18th holes, rolling away from the clubhouse as a continuous swath of closely mown ground interspersed with bunkers.

BHCC’s Colt course has a very special place in the annals of golf architecture in North America. 2021 will herald it shining anew, its classic features restored, its agronomy improved in preparation for its next century of golf.


“Bandon is like Chamonix for skiers or the North Shore of Oahu for surfers,” Rogers said. “It is where those who really care end up.”

Ryan Taylor

  • Karma: +0/-0
“Bandon is like Chamonix for skiers or the North Shore of Oahu for surfers,” Rogers said. “It is where those who really care end up.”

Anthony_Nysse

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2019, 02:28:53 PM »
This is an exciting project to follow and deserves more discussion. BHCC has a ton of potential. The addition of a long 4 and a long 3 (downhill) will better harmonize the front. I'm interested in seeing a sketch of the planned "early vintage Colt style bunkers". More questions for Mike or others involved in the project: - Is there a specific Colt designed golf course that will serve as a model or inspiration for this renovation? (e.g. Swinley Forest, St. George's Hill, etc.) - Will hole #8 and/or #9 be altered?

DeVries Design Press Release

Bloomfield Hills Country Club (“BHCC”) of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan has formally committed to the restoration of its golf course. Originally laid out by Harry Colt in 1913, it is the last remaining one in the United States to have been designed by him alone.

A long-term plan has been developed by Mike DeVries of DeVries Designs, Inc. and Frank Pont of Infinite Variety Golf Design (“IVGD”) which will provide the key framework for the delivery of a structured and faithful restoration. This is the first project to be undertaken by this Trans-Atlantic partnership of two of the world’s most renowned golf architects, both of whom are proven experts in the restoration of classic golf courses.

LaBar Golf Renovations will be the on-site contractor working closely with Mike DeVries throughout the project with Frank Pont providing regular insight. Work will commence in 2020.

Bunkering will be restored to an early vintage Colt style and edge margins of the putting surfaces will be reclaimed in order to enhance the topography’s beauty and provide the golfer with more options when undertaking recovery shots around the green. Dan Billette, BHCC’s Golf Course Manager, re-grassed the greens several years ago with Pure Distinction. This process will continue throughout the reclaimed areas. Additionally, the course’s irrigation system will be wholly updated, ensuring that its infrastructure is well positioned to satisfy the club’s needs well into the future.

A redesign of the 3rd and 4th holes will allow a lost and challenging par three to be reinstated. Colt originally designed the 3rd as a long par four and the 4th as a long par three. However, during the Depression, these holes were changed to become a mid-length par four and a short par four respectively. The new 3rd will be a 255-yard downhill par three. The 4th will become a long par four of 440 yards. This combination will restore the balance of holes throughout the routing and provide golfers with more varied shot-making opportunities.

The driving range will be also redeveloped. It will be widened in order to enhance visibility and provide more teeing space. A new practice putting green will integrate with the 1st hole’s teeing ground, providing more room for events and enhancing movement around the recently renovated clubhouse. The porch balcony will provide a dramatic vista across a new joint fairway which will be shared by the par five 1st and 18th holes, rolling away from the clubhouse as a continuous swath of closely mown ground interspersed with bunkers.

BHCC’s Colt course has a very special place in the annals of golf architecture in North America. 2021 will herald it shining anew, its classic features restored, its agronomy improved in preparation for its next century of golf.



FINALLY!!! A home game for Mike & getting an opportunity on a course with some great bones-Congrats, Mike!
Anthony J. Nysse
Director of Golf Courses & Grounds
Apogee Club
Hobe Sound, FL

Brent Carlson

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2019, 06:20:45 PM »
Thanks for sharing Ryan.  There's a lot of good things happening around Detroit with the BH and OHS restorations.


Would someone kindly clarify the statement below?  The original 4th was a long par 3, which is to be reinstated.  The article says that the 4th will be a long par 4.  How is this reinstating the holes?




A redesign of the 3rd and 4th holes will allow a lost and challenging par three to be reinstated. Colt originally designed the 3rd as a long par four and the 4th as a long par three. However, during the Depression, these holes were changed to become a mid-length par four and a short par four respectively. The new 3rd will be a 255-yard downhill par three. The 4th will become a long par four of 440 yards. This combination will restore the balance of holes throughout the routing and provide golfers with more varied shot-making opportunities.

Terry Poley

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2019, 10:07:50 AM »
Did we all just forget that Old Elm is in the US?

Craig Moore

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2019, 10:14:33 AM »

Bloomfield Hills Country Club (“BHCC”) of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan has formally committed to the restoration of its golf course. Originally laid out by Harry Colt in 1913, it is the last remaining one in the United States to have been designed by him alone.



Ross did the construction of OE

Anthony Gholz

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2019, 11:14:11 AM »
Brent:


It's not.  The original long par 3 4th was slightly uphill, the new par 3 3rd will be severely downhill.  Though very dramatic it will not be a restored hole, or even a relocated hole, ala Inverness.  Now instead of one non-original green and tee there will be (at least) two.


In regard to the bunkering style, I have no doubt that Frank and Mike will provide a new "face" to Bloomfield's course, through its bunkers, that will be vastly superior to what is there now.  I can't wait to see it.


Anthony

Terry Poley

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2019, 11:18:47 AM »

Bloomfield Hills Country Club (“BHCC”) of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan has formally committed to the restoration of its golf course. Originally laid out by Harry Colt in 1913, it is the last remaining one in the United States to have been designed by him alone.



Ross did the construction of OE


Agreed, Constructed according to Colt's detailed plans... gonna have to change a lot of clubs histories if we give full credit to the builders / shapers.  Should we then assume H.S. Colt was on property, laid out, and constructed the entire BHCC project?

Craig Moore

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2019, 11:33:16 AM »

Bloomfield Hills Country Club (“BHCC”) of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan has formally committed to the restoration of its golf course. Originally laid out by Harry Colt in 1913, it is the last remaining one in the United States to have been designed by him alone.



Ross did the construction of OE


Agreed, Constructed according to Colt's detailed plans... gonna have to change a lot of clubs histories if we give full credit to the builders / shapers.  Should we then assume H.S. Colt was on property, laid out, and constructed the entire BHCC project?


Agree, it's a special relationship Colt/Ross given how many courses Ross went on to design.  The irony when Ross was later asked to sketch holes for BHCC that never got built.  OE has special history with Ross probably doing the most from a construction aspect on the course then possibly any other of his solo designs.  Colt seems to deserve the lions share of design credit for OE.

Terry Poley

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2019, 10:07:58 AM »
From the Sunday May 29, 1938 Detroit Free Press article by E.L. Warner Jr. ( I have no idea how to attach)


Bloomfield CC was organized May 11, 1909, Col. Edwin S. George (founding member of Pine Lake CC, AKA Automobile CC) was the Moving Spirit in the organization and president for 5 years. 


1910 Original course built by Tom Bendelow
1919 Donald Ross Renovation, and adding fairway irrigation (first course in the state to have fairway irrigation)
1935-36 Donald Ross renovation, moved several tees and greens


I understand this information has been proven wrong by club archives... But, how in the heck does E.L. Warner Jr. get so much wrong?  His article was written only 29 years after the club was founded, and only 2 years after the claim of renovation by Donald Ross. 


Jeff Shelman

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2019, 06:57:39 PM »
I haven't seen Bloomfield Hills, so I can't speak of the project, but I do have a couple of thoughts here:


- This is a great example of how sometimes the decision of one club can have great influence on the rest of the clubs in a city. Doak/Renaissance Crew did work at CCD, the work Foster did at Orchard Lake is great, the work Staples did at Meadowbrook is cool, now Hanse is going to do work at Oakland Hills. Now this work. When clubs try to keep up with the Joneses on clubhouses, it's a waste, but when they try to have the best course, that's pretty great.
- Second, my hot take remains that Detroit is one of the most underrated golf cities in the US. It's probably not surprising based on the size, number of jobs and wealth in the D during the golden age of GCA, but there are a lot of cool places in SE Michigan.
 

Ryan Taylor

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2019, 08:22:40 PM »
I haven't seen Bloomfield Hills, so I can't speak of the project, but I do have a couple of thoughts here:

- This is a great example of how sometimes the decision of one club can have great influence on the rest of the clubs in a city. Doak/Renaissance Crew did work at CCD, the work Foster did at Orchard Lake is great, the work Staples did at Meadowbrook is cool, now Hanse is going to do work at Oakland Hills. Now this work. When clubs try to keep up with the Joneses on clubhouses, it's a waste, but when they try to have the best course, that's pretty great.
- Second, my hot take remains that Detroit is one of the most underrated golf cities in the US. It's probably not surprising based on the size, number of jobs and wealth in the D during the golden age of GCA, but there are a lot of cool places in SE Michigan.

Agree with your take re Detroit being an underrated golf city. During the peak of golden age design, Detroit was the 4th - 5th largest city in the US and certainly one of the wealthiest.

We should also include the work done by Bruce Hepner at Franklin Hills, Detroit Golf, Birmingham and Red Run. (Note: Ron Prichard should also get credit for Franklin Hills) In fact, Red Run in Royal Oak just approved a course wide bunker renovation project that will begin in 2020 and conclude in 2021. I'll be posting a Red Run before, during and after course tour that documents the bunker renovation. More to follow in the future...
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 10:24:47 PM by Ryan Taylor »
“Bandon is like Chamonix for skiers or the North Shore of Oahu for surfers,” Rogers said. “It is where those who really care end up.”

Brent Carlson

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2019, 02:53:56 PM »
Brent:


It's not.  The original long par 3 4th was slightly uphill, the new par 3 3rd will be severely downhill.  Though very dramatic it will not be a restored hole, or even a relocated hole, ala Inverness.  Now instead of one non-original green and tee there will be (at least) two.

Anthony


Got it.  Thanks Anthony.  Looking forward to the results. 

Anthony Gholz

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2019, 09:09:41 PM »
I should clarify my comment regarding two tees and greens will now not be original.  In addition the 7th green is on an entirely new site than Colt's green and so is the 8th tee.  I must say I like them both better than Colt's originals. 


Royal Portrush seemed to survive nicely with the two new Ebert holes, so maybe the world won't stop spinning.


I'm just not sure where that process stops and Bloomfield is the only place in the U.S. where Colt's original could have been literally restored as to routing .... bunkers are another matter.


Anthony

Jud_T

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Re: Bloomfield Hills Country Club - DeVries Design Restoration
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2019, 09:56:04 AM »
This is really great news.  Not only is Mike getting an important job close to home (Mike Keiser, White Courtesy Phone), but my old business school running buddy Frank is FINALLY getting a much-deserved chance to display his encyclopedic Colt knowledge and experience on this side of the pond.  Kudos all around.
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Ryan Taylor

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“Bandon is like Chamonix for skiers or the North Shore of Oahu for surfers,” Rogers said. “It is where those who really care end up.”

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