The First Donald Ross Course in NA, Oakley CC
Our crews are well underway at this first Donald Ross course in North America, Oakley CC near Boston,MA. Local club historians will say that he built this club and then was the golf professional here until his design business took off in popularity. The course length is barely 6000 yards, as this 1898 layout hark ens back to hickory golf and dirt greens(?). It is hard to see in my snapshot of these flagsticks, but they are made of hickory, and the whole culture of the club takes you back in time.
Superintendent Bill Bodemer and his staff do an exceptional job balancing 2010 golfer expectations with a course designed several golf eras ago. Which is why XGD was brought in to help preserve the courses historic greens. Our unique greens restoration process is a way to guarantee the long term agronomic success of these putting greens sites for at least another generation. XGD Systems initially completed a few of their worst draining greens in fall 09, and the club quickly committed to us for the rest of the greens drainage occurring there now, and complete by the end of October. This type of cutting edge thinking by http://www.oakleycountryclub.org/ is quickly becoming a hot topic of turf conversation in the local golfing community, as we have completed the same greens drainage restoration at another local DRoss club, Charles River CC.
In my opinion the greens at Oakley that are original are generally smallish, with some sweeping contours that are milder than some of Ross’s later work. Not knowing which greens are original(I will find out in my return next week), some are really mildly contoured, and I believe those may have been altered over time, but will confirm next week with another blog update on this exciting greens drainage installation.
XGD Projects Manager Mark Rowan is on site for this install project with his two crews knocking out over a green/day in their usual timely, yet meticulous manner. The install crews of all XGD projects have recently enjoyed really favourable working conditions over the past 2 months, and while we expect some upcoming weather implications(in November), we will continue to plug along in to December, if Mother Nature will allow.
Please stay tuned as I update you with some new information on our Oakley CC restoration project, including an interview with some club officials who will shed some more light on this old classics hickory history.
Sooner than later, Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer