Sunday, February 12, 2012

Paramount Country Club-- A Restoration, Before and After

Its always a thrill to return to a project and see your finished work.  With new construction this can mean waiting an entire year for the grow-in process to be complete.  In the case of our restoration work at Paramount CC we have gone from 2011 to 1921 in a matter of days.
Paramount CC 7th, before restoration
 Two bunkers were deleted, one from the right and left.  The grassing lines were also adjusted to match the squared off edges of the green with the fairway.  A great look, straight from golf's golden age.
7th hole--in-progress
The transformation happened so quickly in part due to the decision to re-sod all of the disturbed areas instead of re-seeding.  By transplanting sod locally from the nursery and other rough areas out of play, we were able to achieve a finished look very quickly.  

After restoration

Some might ask why not have new sod delivered to the areas of disturbance and the answer lies in the photo illustration below.  Bringing in "new" sod  from off site often leads to a mismatch in color and a look that might take years to blend in.
This was found at a top 100 golf course located in Westchester County.   Clearly the sod surrounding this new sand trap was transplanted from another  location, not a good look.

West Palm Beach Golf Course

West Palm Beach Golf Course
A challenging 200+yard uphill tee shot, 9th hole

If Florida has the most golf courses of any state in the union (1200+) then Palm Beach has got to have the record by county.  Despite the endless amount of golf that can be played, many of the options are disappointingly similar.  Much of the dissapointment, especially in South Florida, comes from a somewhat standard “look” to the bunkers and maintained areas of the golf course.  

Sharp, clean bunker edges and manicured collars around the fairways and greens is a common style for golf courses of this region.  There has to be some extra cost associated with maintenance of the is caliber (Doral Blue).
The West Palm Beach Golf Course shows its true colors by highlighting a sandy wide open expanse for golf.  With an assist from Mark McCumber in 2009, the original Dick Wilson design was renovated by scraping away dozens of acres of maintained turf and overgrowth in the roughs.  Uncovered is a public golfing oasis tucked in-between the ocean, just 2 miles east and I-95, which runs adjacent to the front nine.  There is still a great natural setting despite the brief distraction of the highway (not every golf course is blessed with perfect location).  With constant ocean breezes that sweep across the entire layout there is always a challenge to negotiate.

Rough edges seemlessly blend with the surrounding landscape while sandy ground and scrubby plants dot the areas bewteen fairways.

For a $40 green fee one should certainly enjoy an afternoon here.  The experience was such a nice change of pace to what I have come to expect from Florida golf.  There is no water, no O.B., and hardly any bermuda rough!  West Palm Beach has got an inland links of its own, who knew?!