New for 2021, The Match features 18 holes inspired by some of the most innovative concepts in modern golf design. Brought to life by cutting-edge golf course architect, Andy Staples, the design philosophy of the new course revolves around creating golf holes that foster the match-play style of golf design that harnesses a player’s emotion of attempting heroic shots on each hole. Take a risk, and hopefully you’ll reap the rewards of a bold and courageous shot.
Originally designed as The Squire in 1983 by the design duo of Tom and George Fazio, the reimagination plan by Andy Staples of Staples Golf Design was to completely renovate the course, while looking for ways to expand its appeal to both the avid golfer and casual player, as well as beginners and even non-golfers.
“I intend to take The Squire to another level in terms of strategy, playability, and most importantly, the fun factor,” says Staples. “I’m focusing on the three most innovative trends in the industry: 1) reducing the time it takes to play; 2) increasing player enjoyment, and 3) instilling classic design principles that spur interest in the game of golf.”
The project was broken into two scopes of work. First, the existing parallel holes #1 and #18 were converted to a 9-hole par 3 practice course, and second, the remaining 16 holes were renovated to create 18 heroic holes inspired by some of the greatest strategic concepts in golf from across the globe.
The penalty areas were kept to a minimum, focusing on the expansion of short grass fairways, chipping swales, and grassy hollows. All teeing grounds were modified to accommodate all skill levels of players, and located based on appropriate swing speeds, allowing for a more friendly entry to the game.
The plan focused on expanding the current user group of the course, while providing long-term sustainability for the future. All greens are now generous in size, rebuilt to increase drainage, and planted with TifEagle Bermudagrass. The fairways and tees were modified to improve drainage, and planted with Celebration Bermudagrass. The approaches to the greens were planted with TifGrande Bermudagrass.
Various areas of existing turf converted to a coquina-styled material to provide a contrast of textures and definition, while reducing overall maintenance. Additionally, all cart paths converted to a coquina-style surface to blend into the new course surroundings. A pallet of native plants and grasses increase the aesthetics surrounding the course, while providing the necessary buffers to the nearby home sites.
The reimagination of the Squire Course was overseen by Nick Mazzella of Mazzella Partnership, a Charlotte based golf course renovation management firm. Other partners included irrigation designer Sean Hyduk of Aqua Turf International, local landscape architects Insite Studio, Pennsylvania-based Total Turf Golf Services as general contractor, and Nutt Irrigation for irrigation installation. Jeremiah Lockhart, the Resort’s Director of Agronomy, oversaw the maintenance planning and grow-in.
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