Good timing for this post, guys. That's what a rainy day in Pinehurst will do on a Memorial Day weekend. Haven't been on GCA lately and missed this post six years ago. Bobby Jones was the biggest name in golf at the time and was selling real estate in Sarasota at the time somehow is what the story is and why his name is attached to the golf course. $9 million plus for the clubhouse was a decision that I had nothing to do with.
Regarding the golf course itself, we are indeed restoring the Ross 18 per his 1925 routing. Ben, almost all of the bunkering will be restored, with the exception of modifications to the 4th hole, which in Ross's plan was a 371-yard par four but is now a par-five, which we will keep. All of the golf holes are in the exact place Ross had them in his plan with the exception of the 3rd hole par-three, which at the time was planned as a three going west-east to accommodate a baseball field to the south. It was never built so the hole ended up playing north-south. We kept that as well, but adapted Ross's design to that orientation.
The only exception to the original plan was the addition of water bodies for drainage's sake as well as preserving many of the Live Oaks that are now part and parcel of the site. We did remove many other trees so they really stand out. The front nine was built in flood plain and always flooded so we have raised the fairways above the 100-year water mark for the most part.
The bunkering is as authentic to the Ross plan as possible. They don't have the more recent Ross restoration flair that we have seen elsewhere, such as last week at Oak Hill. The City doesn't have the ability to take on such a maintenance commitment as that added flair creates a great amount of handwork. Nonetheless, it is as accurate to his plan as can be.
What I love most about our work at Bobby Jones is the immense scale of the property and the features to match the property. Although there are a good number of Live Oaks that still remain, the site is quite open now and has views from end to end.
In addition to the Ross 18 being restored, we built a huge driving range and short-game facility which includes a 30,000 sf (or so) green. Circus Boulevard splits the site so on the western portion of the property will be a 25-acre, nine-hole adjustable short course and that is the course that has no bunkers. It will have all sandy native areas and one cut of fairway (in addition to the greens) with no rough. The course can be played multiple ways so the greens have been designed to play from 2, 3, and even 4 directions in some cases.
We're hoping that grassing will be done in the next 30 days.