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Steve_ Shaffer

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Asheville Municipal ( Ross, 1927) in North Carolina
« on: July 29, 2023, 11:27:24 AM »
Kris Spence is restoring Asheville Muni

The Asheville Municipal Golf Course, a 1927 Donald Ross design listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is in the midst of a $3.5 million capital improvement project, funded by the City of Asheville (North Carolina) user fees and grants.
The first phase of the project started in October 2022 and will run through the winter of 2023-24. A major component of the project concerns stormwater and irrigation management and repairing infrastructure that has deteriorated over a century.
Tees, greens and bunkers are also being improved, and the pro shop has been renovated. Architect Kris Spence, a specialist in restoring and uplifting Ross courses, was retained through the Donald Ross Society to provide a master plan for the course.
"It’s been glorious to watch," said Phil Blake, who grew up in a house on the tenth fairway and has played the course for more than fifty years. "I never in my lifetime have seen this much money thrown at this golf course. There’s a new spirit around here, for sure."
Among the highlights of the work completed:— Thinning out underbrush and cutting trees to provide air flow, sunlight and turf health— Cart path repairs— Sodding tees and fairways where needed— Extensive tree-clearing and new green and bunkers on the 16th hole— New signage and pin flags— Golf shop overhaul with new carpet, paint, fixtures and significant upgrade to the retail product offering— A new weather station to measure green surface moisture— Restoration of 10 bunkers— Mounding and broomsedge grass installation on holes one and six to mirror Ross’s original design
We have a good set of Ross’s individual hole drawings and a good general plan of the 18 holes," Spence said. "The routing is intact. The evidence on the ground is that the golf course was built according to the plan. In pulling a master plan together, my first step was to walk the golf course and try to decide the highest priorities.
"It’s not often you get to restore an original Donald Ross that has not been altered over the years. When I first walked the site with Commonwealth, we found Ross bunkers that had been abandoned decades ago. Tees that had trees growing over them. Green edges that you could clearly see and are still defined but have been abandoned. In some ways the lack of attention over the last century to this historic golf course has made the changes that much more rewarding for the players.
"The main thing was cleaning the weeds off, encouraging the Bermuda growth, clearing out trees. In time, we’ll restore the edges to the greens, and all of the bunkers around the greens, the ones in the fairways that bring back the essence of the Ross strategy. The Muni is headed in the right direction."
« Last Edit: July 29, 2023, 11:45:09 AM by Steve_ Shaffer »
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Jay Mickle

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Re: Asheville Municipal ( Ross, 1927) in North Carolina
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2023, 07:37:51 PM »
Pleased to hear of the selection of Chris Spence to rehab the course. I played it almost 2 years ago and was appalled that then course was in such shabby shape. Not sure where the money went as the tee sheet was full.
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Re: Asheville Municipal ( Ross, 1927) in North Carolina
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2023, 09:26:34 AM »
Exciting stuff. Badly needed. Hopefully the budget/maintenance can sustain the work that Kris does there

Carl Johnson

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Re: Asheville Municipal ( Ross, 1927) in North Carolina New
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2023, 02:30:00 PM »
I played a couple of times about 15 years ago.  It was in sorry shape then, but you could see the potential.  One aesthetic issue was a row of soldier sentry trees, or maybe a couple, that had been planted between fairways on the front nine.  I'd like to go back and check it out when the work is done.  As rjsimper points out, the key is going to be how well they are able to maintain it going forward.  Regarding listing on the national register of historic places, my recollection is that that applied to clubhouse, not the course, but I could be wrong.  I also recall that only part of the original clubhouse remains. More:
« Last Edit: July 31, 2023, 02:34:56 PM by Carl Johnson »


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