Quebec’s Hillsdale to be transformed by Whitman, Axland and Cutten; Oklahoma’s KickingBird gets the Dusenberry Design treatment
Pinehurst Resort will break ground on its first new golf course in nearly three decades this month, and it will be designed by Tom Doak. Located 4 miles south of the main resort clubhouse, Doak will drape his new 18-hole layout atop ground that had once housed a Dan Maples-designed course called The Pit Golf Links, that existed from 1985 until 2010.
Pinehurst Resort’s 10th course is expected to open in late spring of 2024, to coincide with the return of the U.S. Open to Pinehurst No. 2.
What can be expected of the new design, which will be unlike any of Pinehurst's previous courses? The Pit was a quirky course built on ground that was mined until around the 1900s. It had character, as noted in one of the few remaining online reviews of the course.
With natural ridgelines, intriguing landforms, towering longleaf pines, streams and ponds, Doak envisions a course that compliments the resort’s other courses through its contrasts.
“The site is topographically distinct and drastically different from anywhere in Pinehurst,” said Doak. “It’s bigger, bolder and more dramatic. There’s about 75 feet of elevation change, and we’ll work our way up to it around the mid-point of the layout. You’ll have expansive views from this apex over the rest of the course. It will be an unforgettable experience for golfers.”
The new course will incorporate rugged dunes and feature the native sand and wiregrass that are characteristic to the area.
Tom Doak on his new course at Pinehurst:
“The site is topographically distinct and drastically different from anywhere in Pinehurst,” Doak says. “It’s bigger, bolder and more dramatic. It will be an unforgettable experience for golfers.” pic.twitter.com/cWbS9K25bM
— Pinehurst Resort (@PinehurstResort) January 4, 2023
“Tom Doak builds incredible golf courses on sand and we’re excited to see what he’ll create in the North Carolina Sandhills,” said Tom Pashley, Pinehurst Resort president. “We’ve worked with some amazing golf architects who’ve embraced our natural aesthetic and believe Tom will do something fantastic on this site.”
Doak has selected Angela Moser as his lead design associate for this project. Moser’s impressive international credentials include work at Los Angeles Country Club (North), Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Links, New Zealand’s Te Arai Links and Georgia’s Ohoopee Match Club.
“The number one thing that excited us about the project is working with the beautiful sand that’s native to this region,” Doak said. “The sand, the wiregrass, the bluestem grass, and other native grasses that grow around the Sandhills create a fabulous texture for golf. It’s something most places just don’t have.”
In addition to Doak’s routing, Pinehurst envisions the potential for more growth in the area, which encompasses 900 total acres in Aberdeen. A variety of development opportunities will be evaluated with town officials, including additional golf, short course, clubhouse, guest cottages and other lodging.
“This exceptional property is a place where many of our dreams of the future can be contemplated,” said Pinehurst Resort CEO Bob Dedman Jr. “How those dreams play out will be determined over time, the same way the path forward revealed itself through recent additions like The Cradle, Thistle Dhu and the redesign of Pinehurst No. 4. Adding a Tom Doak design to our collection is another historic chapter in the story of Pinehurst. We can’t wait to read it.”
It's a Green Christmas at Bobby Jones Golf Club! Finally grass is on the ground at this original Donald Ross course. Back nine holes shown are #11, #12, #16, #18. Front nine shaping is going great thanks to Danny Peacock and Lawrence White. @QGSDevelopment is doing a great job! pic.twitter.com/jL4eL0iwop
— Richard Mandell Golf Architecture (@RichardMandell) December 23, 2022
A TRANSFORMATION TO TAKE PLACE
The firm of Rod Whitman, Dave Axland and Keith Cutten has been retained to transform Quebec’s Hillsdale Golf & Country Club, according to beyondthecontour.com.
Located in Mirabel, approximately 40 minutes north of downtown Montreal, Hillsdale is currently home to a pair of 18-hole Howard Watson designs, the Laurentian and Woodside courses, and the club played host to the 2011 CP Women’s Open.
The club’s objective is to convert the 36-hole complex into one superior 18-hole layout. With the newly available extra space, future options include a short course and/or an enhanced practice facility. Club president Herbert Black stated in a letter to members that the Laurentian course will close in 2023, with both courses shuttered in 2024 and 2025. Reopening for the new design is expected to occur in 2026.
KICKINGBIRD ABOUT READY FOR UNVEILING
Late in 2021, the City of Edmond, Oklahoma’s KickingBird Golf Course celebrated its 50th birthday in style, kicking off an $18 million renovation of its golf facilities and 18-hole layout.
Originally designed by Floyd Farley, Edmond’s prized muni got a makeover from Matt Dusenberry and Dusenberry Design in 2022. Assisted by director of golf Brian Soerensen and superintendent Brad Joliff, Dusenberry made numerous improvements to tee boxes and bunkers, redesigned holes 4 and 9 to accommodate a new 6,670-square-foot tournament/banquet hall and rebuilt all 18 greens.
Also new is a short-game practice facility, a state-of-the-art irrigation system and an expansion of the driving range tee area. The course and its new 13,384-square-foot clubhouse are expected to open in March.