Historic Belvedere Golf Club Undergoes Major Restoration Project

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Following the discovery of golf architect William Watson’s original drawings of the course during demolition of an aging building in Charlevoix, the nearby historic Belvedere Golf Club in northern Michigan, has announced a restoration plan intended to return the course to be more like Watson’s original vision.

Prior to uncovering 100-year-old photos, there was no actual documentation of the original parkland design, which was farmland before construction in 1923. Watson was renowned for his classic and major championship designs across the country, including Olympia Fields in Chicago, Interlachen in Minneapolis, The Olympic Club in San Francisco, and others.

Executives at Belvedere say the resurfacing of the photos “quickly inspired” the decision to restore “much of what had been lost over the decades,” to the course. Golf architect Bruce Hepner and course superintendent Rick Grunch will oversee the restoration project, which is expected to be completed in time for the 2017 season. Having restored courses designed by Donald James Ross, Albert Warren Tillinghast, Allister MacKenzie, Hepner is considered a specialist at classic course restoration.

After Hepner and Grunch both spent a great deal of time studying the drawings and walking the course, both have decided to expand putting surface areas on many of the holes that were lost over time, and strategic tree removal, which has opened up the winding creek that meanders through the front nine holes. Other changes include restoring and expanding a lost fairway and approach areas and bringing back lost bunkers. The updates have brought back some of the strategies for best playing the course that Watson originally intended.

Both believe the new design strategies are most evident at the historic 16th hole, a classic short par 4, known for its well-positioned green set in the hillside. The hole lost some of its green complex over the years, as well as a strategic bunker and fairway approach on the left side, which Hepner brought back in play.

Following the discovery of golf architect William Watson’s original drawings of the course during demolition of an aging building in Charlevoix, the nearby historic Belvedere Golf Club in northern Michigan, has announced a restoration plan intended to return the course to be more like Watson’s original vision.

Prior to uncovering 100-year-old photos, there was no actual documentation of the original parkland design, which was farmland before construction in 1923. Watson was renowned for his classic and major championship designs across the country, including Olympia Fields in Chicago, Interlachen in Minneapolis, The Olympic Club in San Francisco, and others.

Executives at Belvedere say the resurfacing of the photos “quickly inspired” the decision to restore “much of what had been lost over the decades,” to the course. Golf architect Bruce Hepner and course superintendent Rick Grunch will oversee the restoration project, which is expected to be completed in time for the 2017 season. Having restored courses designed by Donald James Ross, Albert Warren Tillinghast, Allister MacKenzie, Hepner is considered a specialist at classic course restoration.

After Hepner and Grunch both spent a great deal of time studying the drawings and walking the course, both have decided to expand putting surface areas on many of the holes that were lost over time, and strategic tree removal, which has opened up the winding creek that meanders through the front nine holes. Other changes include restoring and expanding a lost fairway and approach areas and bringing back lost bunkers. The updates have brought back some of the strategies for best playing the course that Watson originally intended.

Both believe the new design strategies are most evident at the historic 16th hole, a classic short par 4, known for its well-positioned green set in the hillside. The hole lost some of its green complex over the years, as well as a strategic bunker and fairway approach on the left side, which Hepner brought back in play.

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