Design Notes

Richardson and Danner craft a new Par-3 layout for Utah’s Promontory

Nicklaus Design tweaks Jack’s St. Mellion in England; Aerial views of Augusta National's changes; Cape Verde’s Viveiro gets a second nine

Already home to two of Utah’s greatest courses, Dye Canyon and the Nicklaus Painted Valley, Park City’s private Promontory Club will soon welcome a little brother, The Hills at Promontory.

Work began on the 18-hole, par-3 course in April and is being designed by Forrest Richardson and Jeff Danner. With holes inspired by some of the world’s great one-shotters, the course is intended to appeal to a wide variety of golfers, with distances ranging from 75 to 240 yards, according to Richardson. It will also boast a wide variety of holes, which will unfold in out-and-back fashion, a la the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Promontory Hills Short Course

The Hills was designed with the ultimate in water conservation and environmental sustainability in mind. Crafted into the natural topography with surrounding sagebrush and boulder outcrops, The Hills course consists of just 30 acres of total turf, with 15 acres on the tees and greens, plus another 15 acres for the range, golf academy and practice areas.

Each hole has its own personality and spectacular view, including an opening hole that faces Bald Mountain, the highest peak in an area renowned for its ski mountains. Familiar holes will include the fourth, a Redan; the fifth, a Biarritz; and the 16th, a Dell. Yet the architects’ interpretations are unique, especially at the petite ninth, “New Moon,” named for a crescent moon-shaped stacked sod feature that has been sculpted into the green.

The Hills at Promontory is scheduled to open in summer 2023.

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St. Mellion Estate in Cornwall, England has completed a renovation of its Jack Nicklaus Signature Course. Nicklaus Design reshaped the bunkers on this 34-year-old course, which was the first European layout personally designed by Nicklaus himself.

Extensive drainage work and the installation of a new Toro irrigation system will permit firmer conditions and enhance playability.

In addition, superintendent Mike Bush oversaw the addition of new back tees at the par-5 12th and the par-3 14th, which extend the course over 7,000 yards. The challenging parkland layout that skirts steep ravines was formerly home to the European Tour’s B&H International Open, where winners included Jose Maria Olazabal, Bernhard Langer and Seve Ballesteros.

"The new tees and refurbished bunkers will be the most obvious additions," Bush said, "but committing to an annual program of topdressing for the fairways, as well as the greens, tees and landing areas, has made a significant difference in terms of playability."

No outwardly change to Augusta National Golf Club is considered under wraps anymore thanks to Eureka Earth, which has documented the recent changes to the par-5 13th hole and Par-3 Course.

The volcanic island of Sal in the African nation of Cape Verde is better known for kiteboarding as opposed to golf, but the royal and ancient sport is making inroads.

Italian architect Pierfrancesco De Simone, a member of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, has designed the second nine holes, currently under construction, at Viveiro Golf & Country Club in the south of Sal, near the village of Santa Maria. The first nine holes, which opened in March, was built under the auspices of Italian agronomist Fulvio Bani.

The archipelago nation’s development, located 350 miles off the west coast of Africa, is intended to have 27 holes, plus recreational facilities and a residential community. De Simone’s new nine will stretch 3,500 yards and feature spectacular vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, notably from the third and fourth holes.

Due to the strong influence of the wind and the lack of rainfall in this part of the world, wide fairways, averaging 50 yards across are turfed with Paspalum Vaginatum from the Pure Dynasty variety.