Cervone Golf Design is under way with a bunker renovation at the 36-hole Raintree Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This article was originally published by Richard Humphreys in Golf Course Architecture

The project is focused on reducing the maintenance requirement and improving playability of bunkers and will involve refinements to size and style, and new drainage.

“The overall size of the bunkers had become very large due to re-edging over so many years, and the sand faces were in desperate need of restoration as many had become too steep,” said Jim Cervone.

He developed hole-by-hole plans to outline the recommended improvements or alterations. They include the elimination of nine bunkers and construction of five new bunkers, leading to an overall decrease in sand area of 3,000 square feet on the North course and over 9,000 square feet on the South course.

“In reviewing the locations, playability, style, and maintenance requirements for each bunker, the project will undoubtedly provide a dramatic difference upon completion,” said Cervone. “The overall maintenance requirements on the renovated bunkers will be significantly improved with a 10 per cent deduction in size, more manageable slopes and surrounds, new drainage, and Capillary Concrete lining supplied by Ewing Irrigation.

“From a design and playability standpoint, the aesthetic qualities such as visibility, angle and style will be much improved. The proximity and locations to the greens and fairways will be addressed by reshaping the features, eliminating some existing bunkers or building a few new ones.

“One example is the par-three fifth on the South course. The existing hole had a large bunker on the right that lacked visibility and was somewhat removed or out of place with the shape of the green. Another bunker to the left of the green was also a bit removed at the bottom of a slope and lacked visibility from the tee.”

Construction firm Golf Course Services began work in December 2019 and will complete nine holes at a time.

Nick Mazzella of Mazzella Partnership is the owner’s representative and project manager, and Cervone will also work alongside general manager Jim Troutman and golf course superintendent Brad Fellrath.

The project is expected to be largely complete by mid-April 2020.