When you build a golf course feature, the idea is to make it appear as if it was never built at all.  A lifelong interest in geology and soil is a helpful first step in understanding natural looking landforms and then being able to implement them through tools big and small.  Get the forms close with the machine, but get the final look and texture right with the sand pro and hand tools.

Dismal River (Red) - Tom Doak 2013

When the opportunity arises, golf construction can be rather simple.  In great sandy ground like that at Dismal River, all that was needed on 95% of the grounds was some tilling and trap-raking.  With clever routing and restraint, Tom Doak and the team maximized the potential of the land.  This was the first project I was involved with as part of Renaissance Golf Design, getting my first taste of running a bulldozer while mostly handling finish work and being on site at both the very beginning and the very end.

  Fine contouring shown during grow-in on the 10th at Dismal River (Red)

Fine contouring shown during grow-in on the 10th at Dismal River (Red)

  Using the late day light to create some shadow-catchers with the sand pro right of the 15th green

Using the late day light to create some shadow-catchers with the sand pro right of the 15th green

  Looking back  on hole 15 at Dismal River.  The surrounds of this green complex is where I first worked on a sand pro (trap rake), working toward making the ground as rumply and textured as appropriate.

Looking back  on hole 15 at Dismal River.  The surrounds of this green complex is where I first worked on a sand pro (trap rake), working toward making the ground as rumply and textured as appropriate.

  Looking across the untouched ground of the 10th hole to the newly seeded 14th green.  We spent some extra time after seeding to trim and erase mow lines of the bunch grasses to make the future transition of maintained turf to the native appear more natural.

Looking across the untouched ground of the 10th hole to the newly seeded 14th green.  We spent some extra time after seeding to trim and erase mow lines of the bunch grasses to make the future transition of maintained turf to the native appear more natural.