Design Notes

Bill Bergin brings the shine back to Arnold Palmer’s Cullasaja

Louis Oosthuizen wins on his own new design in Mauritius; Clayton, DeVries & Pont plot changes to Spain’s Real Club Pineda de Sevilla

Landscapes Unlimited -- Cullasaja Photo No. 2.jpg
Phase II of renovations at the original Arnold Palmer-designed Cullasaja Club in Highlands, North Carolina, are underway and being done in collaboration with golf course architect Bill Bergin.

Architect Bill Bergin and Landscapes Unlimited, a golf course developer and construction company, are nearing completion of Phase II of golf course renovations at the Cullasaja Club in Highlands, North Carolina. Together, they are reconstructing 19 bunkers, three greens and 10 tee boxes for the private club located halfway between Asheville, North Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina.

The original Arnold Palmer-designed, mountainous championship course anchors the Cullasaja community. It boasts golf corridors carved into the stunning natural landscape, dotted with 100-year-old specimen trees and streams. At 6,900 yards, the 35-year-old layout features undulating greens, white sand bunkers and hardwood-lined fairways.

"The renovation process went remarkably smoothly because we were all on the same page working toward a common goal," said Tom Nelson, Cullasaja Club's golf course superintendent. "Every person on the Landscapes Unlimited crew took ownership producing new elements to a stout golf course."

Bergin reports that as of mid-March, 99% of the work has been completed. He’s especially pleased with the greenside bunker and green complex renovation at the par-4 10th, which will boost recovery shot options for all classes of players.


Louis Oosthuizen’s latest course consulting project, La Reserve Golf Links at Heritage Golf Club in Mauritius, opened in late November 2023, just in time to host the DP World Tour- and Sunshine Tour-sanctioned AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Designed with leading South African architect Peter Matkovich, La Reserve wows with ocean vistas from every hole.

"It’s a challenging course and not for the faint-hearted," said Oosthuizen earlier in 2023. "We worked with the land to create a strategic, undulating course that plays in the traditional links style, with running fairways, pot bunkers and long grasses. The location is breathtakingly beautiful with incredible views of the Indian Ocean."

Heritage’s La Reserve is situated in southern Mauritius, adjacent to the Black River Gorges-Bel Ombre Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO-designated parcel, which necessitated environmental sensitivity throughout the project. Former sugar cane fields were carefully cultivated with native island grasses, creating new, species-rich grasslands, promoting ecological diversity and important carbon sequestration. The developers took every necessary precaution, earning it GEO Foundation certification status.

Oh, and the winner of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in mid-December? None other than co-designer Oosthuizen, the former British Open winner, who birdied the final hole to win by two shots.

Busy on every continent, the firm of Clayton, DeVries & Pont has been selected by Spain’s Real Club Pineda de Sevilla to evaluate its golf course for potential renovation. Located two miles from Seville, the club is one of Spain’s most distinguished, ever since its founding as an equestrian club in the 1940s. Sevillian architects Rodrigo and Felipe Medina Benjumea crafted the first nine holes at that time. In 1993, architect Jose Luis Bastarreche added another nine holes.

The 6,800-yard course is flattish and dotted with palm and stone pine trees, water features and uniquely, for Spain, is bisected by a horse racing track. After a partial renovation in 2017, the club has enlisted CDP, led by Frank Pont, who will work with Hendrik Hilgert and Spanish golfer Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, seven-time winner on the European Tour to restore the design of the course’s original nine holes. The CDP team will collaborate with acttua Golf Services, the club’s agronomic advisors on the restoration which will focus extensively on the green complexes, particularly the putting surfaces, which have shrunk considerably over the years.