Raleigh Country Club in Raleigh, NC
Home of 2006 & 2007 North Carolina Open
Home of 2008 North Carolina Amateur
Raleigh Country Club was routed by Donald Ross in March of 1948. He died of a myocardial infarction the following month. Construction of Raleigh Country Club was begun in May of 1948 under the direction of Ross's assistant, Ellis Maples. The master plan was followed and the course was opened in 1949 by Sam Snead and Lloyd Mangrum.
My Renovation Business Plan was created with the detailed study and reference of Donald Ross’s master plan as well as aerial photography from 1954 and 1965. Steps were taken to restore as many of Donald Ross’s bunker shapes and locations as possible with the understanding that the details of his plan were conceptual in nature. Information from the 1954 aerial also played a large part in determining new locations and shapes for sand bunkers and other features. Every determination took modern technology, maintenance, and playability into consideration as well. In summary, where elements of the Ross plan made sense, we introduced them into the layout and made adjustments as Ross did in the field.
The first phase of renovations was construction of a new practice facility on fifteen acres. A new full-length driving range was built. Almost two acres of practice tee, including an Area of Undulation were built. Golfers played to six target greens framed by sand bunkers. I then built a short-game area on two acres which included a 18,000 sf practice green called the Himalayas, part of which was a dead-flat area called a “Stroke green”, where golfers can practice their putting stroke. Two smaller greens were built in this area as well. Surrounding all the greens is rolling fairway and rough that provides any type of short game shot the imagination could conjure up. A new putting green was built adjacent to the first tee.
The next phase of the project was a complete restoration of 58 sand bunkers. The process eliminated many bunkers which were not original and restored others. It also included the creation of grass hollows and swales per Ross’ plan including a large swale and hollow complex in front of the seventh green.
A faithful restoration of all of Ross’ bunkers shown in his routing was not feasible for many reasons. The primary reason was that the existing greens, although very much the flavor of Donald Ross, were not what he originally designed, nor what Ellis Maples constructed in 1948. As a result, restoring exact bunker locations and shapes was impossible as many would have ended up in the existing green surfaces and we made some minor location adjustments.
In addition to the bunker work, many tees were rebuilt with plans to do more at a later date. Cart path was re-routed on six holes in an effort to minimize fairway crossings, golfer congestion, visual effect, and impact on play. An aggressive tree thinning plan was undertaken to improve air circulation and increase sunlight. Trees were cleared to widen fairways and specific trees were removed which could create maintenance problems in the future. The last phase of the project was a creek restoration project across the fifth fairway.