Hey guys. The third time was the charm!
Every architect that has ever come to Lookout has praised the work done by Brian Silva. We knew at the time that we weren't going to be able to restore the whole course- it had not ever really been done as far as we knew, other than some work to the hurricane-damaged Charleston CC. Raynor courses were either intact, or not. At that time Yeamans Hall was the course that came closest to being in the shape Lookout was in: the greens occupying only a fraction of the original green pads, and trees having grown up or been planted, and bunkers abandoned.
So when Brian Silva came to Lookout and we said we only have $750k to spend- where will be the most bang for the buck? He advised us that the fairway bunkers were the most important part of the strategy, and they needed to go in. Solid rock! Silva knew- and always said- that "Son of Long Range Plan" would be needed.
We tried a couple of times, but then there was "dot.com" followed by 9/11 followed by a financial meltdown. Some benefactors were unhappy with Silva and pressed for new eyes- but no one ever expressed unhappiness with his work on Lookout, which was really remarkable given the budget.
4 greens at Lookout had been hit with a bulldozer in the 1950's: #11 (Alps), 12, 14, and 17 (double plateau). Silva restored 11 and 17 along with the first restoration work, and those greens are really, really good in my opinion. #12 is likely under the practice green or clubhouse- we're not really sure what happened to it. #14 they tried to fix in the 1950's, but a shelf of rock underneath hurt it- but in 1953, when we think the work was done, the green speeds didn't make the result unplayable. We don't have a clear idea of what the green was like- it's not a clear template like 11 and 17 were, from the original plans (which I have). The hole was described by Charles Banks as modeled after the 6th at Lido, so the hole carries that name. But I don't know what about our 14th resembles the 6th at The Lido. Maybe the cross bunkers?
We got Gil Hanse to draw up "Son of Long Range Plan" in 2009. When the younger members came to me to get Gil to come execute the plan, I told them- he's going to be too busy (he was). So we went with the original strategy: hire a rising star. That turned out to be Kyle Franz, and Tyler Rae- who have also added Jim Ryan to the team. We are ecstatic and looking forward to finally, after 27 years, restoring Lookout Mountain all the way!