Design Notes

Mackenzie & Ebert conjures up The Inspiration Club in England

Tripp Davis to bring The Rose to bloom in Georgia; Kipp Schulties renovates Vineyards’ South course in Florida

The Inspiration Club
The Inspiration Club, a Mackenzie & Ebert original design ouside of London, is scheduled to open in June.

Mackenzie & Ebert, one of the top architectural renovation firms, is scheduled to debut an original design in June.

Having tweaked and altered eight of the 10 existing British Open venues including Royal Liverpool, Turnberry (Ailsa) and Royal Portrush, the U.K.-based firm is finishing up work at The Inspiration Club in Northolt, West London, England. The unusual design will feature links-like revetted bunkers and greens on an inland layout.

"We wanted to ensure that we had the right designer to create our vision and the result is a golf course unlike anything London has ever seen — a modern-style links," Tony Menai-Davis told Menai-Davis is director of the developer Bridgedown Golf Group, which owns The Shire London and West London Golf Centre as well. “To experience the shapes of the greens and run-offs we have here you would normally have to travel to the coast. The Inspiration offers the drama of the absolute best courses in the UK in sight of the capital. We are incredibly proud of The Inspiration and cannot wait to open in June.”

The “modern links in the city,” as the club is calling it will feature Pure Distinction bentgrass greens and will employ thoughtful water management. The front Purple tees will measure 5,440 yards, middle Orange tees 6,100 yards and back Black tees 6,610 yards.

“This has been an exciting, enjoyable and unique project and, if we have done our job well, then the same should apply to playing the course,” said Tom Mackenzie. “We hope that following a first trip around the course, golfers of all standards will want to return with their friends.”

The Rose, a new invitation-only private club, has engaged with Tripp Davis for the design of its golf course. Located 10 minutes from downtown Athens and the University of Georgia, The Rose is set on a 588-acre property with rolling topography and handsome long views.

In a unique collaborative effort, insights from two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and multiple-time PGA Tour winners Brendon Todd and Chris Kirk — all former Bulldogs — also will shape the course. "Having these three professional players who are among the club’s founding members will bring an unparalleled wealth of experience to the design table," said Nick Cassini, the club's co-founder and developer.

Cassini, a two-time All-American golfer, member of the 2001 Walker Cup team and an inductee into the University of Georgia’s Circle of Honor, envisioned The Rose with his brother Dimitri Cassini. The Cassinis, together with Watson, Todd, Kirk and a group of other notable and influential figures, will make up the club's founding members. Dimitri Cassini said: "With this group of founding members, The Rose is set to elevate Georgia’s golf legacy and establish itself as one of the prominent clubs in the Southeast."

Davis looks to design a distinctive layout in a state renowned for them.

"The vision is to create a strategically interesting and varied golf course over firm and fast conditions, while taking advantage of the amazing long views," he said. "Beautiful native grasses and great bunkering will frame shots over the rolling landscape, creating a visually stunning golf course. We wanted a site to give us unique landforms to work with and be able to support having those elements. The first time Nick and Dimitri brought me on this site, I was in awe of the beauty of the long views and rolling hillsides. And the soils and topography will promote the firm and fast playing conditions. It’s perfect."

Watson said: "I’m excited that Tripp Davis has been picked to design The Rose. I met Tripp on a recent visit to the property and he shared a vision for blending tradition and modern design using the natural landscape that sounded incredible. I believe Tripp is the right person to help us build a course that is special and unique."

Course construction is set to begin this summer.

Tequesta, Florida-based architect Kipp Schulties has completed a renovation of the South course at Vineyards Country Club in Naples, Florida. Schulties stretched the par-72 course from 6,827 yards to more than 7,200 yards, enlarged greens and reoriented bunkers to provide more strategic decisions for all levels of players. Originally designed by Bill Amick in 1988, Vineyards South reopened in December 2023.

“The new South course is very playable, with wide-open fairways and firmer, faster playing conditions throughout,” Schulties told “The greens are faster and far bigger, with more character and contour. The ball will roll much further, offering a far better-quality course and keeping playability challenging, yet not difficult. The driving range tee has been expanded, and the design of the driving range has changed, lowering the floor of the range, making it appear bigger and contoured to see every shot.”

The club installed a state-of-the-art irrigation system that allows them to manage water with greater efficiency. To assist with water savings and to reduce chemical use, Schulties removed several acres of irrigated turf. Now in place are native grasses, which lends a more natural appearance to the course.

“The South course has evolved into a better-playing golf haven, offering an unparalleled golfing adventure for our members,” said Michael Procacci Jr., chairman and co-owner of the club. “This is the latest of our ongoing efforts to honor our place in the Greater Naples community and the continued legacy of leadership that our members have always insisted upon.”