As the title suggests, this post is going to be image-heavy with before-and-afters of the holes on the front nine at the Sallandsche Golf Club in The Netherlands. There are a lot of images, but the benefit of the scrolling format of this site is that a lot of images can be seen quickly with no clicking or navigating. So, scroll away and pause at whatever piques your interest.
I've previously covered the development and story of the project in Part I posted below, and back nine imagery will follow in the next post, Part III. Many of the images are taken very late in the Fall or very early in the Spring, so what you see is not as good as it can and will be. Whenever I next return during the warm months, I will take more images with a better camera and post a couple of favorites. Without further adieu, let's get to it with some plan views and then the first hole, a medium length par 4 that doglegs slightly left and has a small drainage pond at the outside bend of the dogleg.
*Before images courtesy of Frank Pont and Infinite Variety Golf Design*
The second hole originally called for filling the right and left flanking bunkers and building a new bunker at the left front of the green. There was one problem we observed though: nearly all of the water from the last 100 meters of fairway ran right through a swale in that spot. We decided that the best place for the bunker would be further short and left on the other side of the swale. After all, the hole was a long par 4, and this new placement would really test long approach shots coming in, especially for those that fade the ball (like myself!), while still leaving plenty of room to the right for short hitters to play around. There was one more problem with this spot though: existing irrigation ran right through where we wanted to place this bunker. Rather than tear up the fairway to rework the pipe, we decided it would be easier and add a little more visual interest to split the bunker in two. With the location of these bunkers coming on a downslope, this split would also help with visibility without having to dig a deep massive pit.
The 3rd hole was put on hold indefinitely, so on to the 4th we go. This is the first par 5 of the round, doglegging to the right and playing over a ridge about 120 meters short of the green. Frank's plan called for eliminating the bunkers at the sides of the green, building two angled bunkers on the right of the green that cut off the approach from over there, and adding a new bunker into the left part of the ridge to guard the ideal angle of approach.
The 5th hole is the first par 3 of the course, and this was one of the green surrounds that received the most work. The green itself rises, narrows, and crowns as it moves toward the rear. It makes for a great pin placement, but the previous version was cluttered with "saving" slopes that didn't drain anywhere and bunkers that had low visibility. The solution was to shift the bunkers forward to the wider part of the green, enhance their visibility, and get rid of the excess "saving" slopes, which makes for great short game options around the back and leaves a clean and intimidating horizon line.
The 6th hole was another one with extensive work done around the green. As with the 5th, there was some unnecessary mounding crowding the back of the green. Half of it was used to fill in part of the old bunker on the right, which was shifted forward and across the right part of the green. The other half was used to fill in the left side bunker, which with the extra material we decided to turn into a hillock instead of a hollow as many of the fill-ins thus far were becoming undulating hollows. The result is somewhat of an inverse of the previous version.
The 7th is a short straightaway par 5 with one of the more interesting greens on the course with its right to left fall. Here we simply enhanced one of the more strategically sound holes by shifting left and enlarging the right greenside bunkers, eliminating the mostly blind left greenside bunker, and rebuilding the left side approach bunker that perfectly guards the ideal position for a pitch to the right hole location.
The 8th hole is a short dogleg right around trees that also underwent some thinning during the project. The idea will be to be able to play low shots through these trees, though right is not the best place to be due to the long greenside bunker. A new bunker was added on the outside of the dogleg to break up maybe the straightest horizon line off a tee shot as well as guard the ideal line into the green.
The front nine closes with a medium length par 3 that is on its way to becoming one of the more visually stunning holes on the course. The addition of heather off the tee, some tree removal and pruning, and the new bunkers on the right all give this hole a very strong heathland feel that should only increase going forward. The plan originally called for one very large bunker, but like the second hole, an irrigation line ran through the early part of it. Again, instead of using time and energy to move the line or compromise the size of the bunker, we split it in two. The result was a set of bunkers better than expected.
Coming up next, Part III and the back nine. Thanks always for reading and viewing.