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May 30, 2016.
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101 Country Club Drive
Fort Mill, SC 29715
Course Architect: Donald Ross/George Cobb
Golf Professional: David Gies
The renovation project, which gracefully rolls through venerable stands of live oaks and pines, has brought the course to impeccable standards for playability, agronomics and aesthetics under the direction of golf course architect Clyde Johnston. In 2001, Johnston designed Springfield Golf Club, a sister course to Fort Mill located just a few miles away. A former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects and member of The Donald Ross Society, he relied on a 1947 course master-plan drawing from Ross to plan renovations to the front nine.
Although Ross's drawing did not provide a legend for design elements of mounds, slopes, hollows and rough, all of which he indicated by a varying series of hash marks, Johnston used his previous experience and design plans from other Ross courses of that era to assist in interpretation of the Fort Mill master plan. Less specific design drawings were available for the George Cobb back nine, so only modest design changes were made there, with just two bunkers being added and four removed.
The renovation of the Fort Mill course included the rebuilding of all tee and green complexes, and the conversion of the greens from bent grass to the heartier and more heat tolerant MiniVerde™ grass, a Bermuda hybrid that retains the smoother and quicker putting characteristics of bent grass. Additionally, all the bunkers on the course were rebuilt, with several on the front nine being repositioned or eliminated to match Ross's design drawings for the original nine holes. The bunkers on the back nine were redesigned to reflect the look of the Ross-style bunkers on the front.
The $3 million renovation program at Fort Mill Golf Club also involved the clubhouse, with a major remodel of all public areas and the exterior deck area to take advantage of commanding views of the course.