A BLOG BY SHANNON FISHER
Vestavia Country Club (VCC) – a private golf club in Birmingham, Alabama, in the foothills of the Appalachian Chain – is planning renovations to its 18-hole Championship Course. Golf Course Architect, Lester George, designed the Master Plan of Renovations for the course, which is known for dramatically undulating greens, wide fairways and spectacular views. George is now in the process of preparing the preliminary design of the Master Plan he completed last year. Vestavia Country Club will then assess the feasibility of construction for all of the renovations recommended on the Master Plan.
Originally designed by George Cobb in 1951, the Championship Course is a 6,811 yard, par-72 course. Renovations are planned for the tees, greens, fairways, mowing patterns and bunkers on all 18 holes. “They have allowed us the freedom to conceptualize a golf course that will maximize the physical characteristics of the site and the spectacular views,” said Lester George. “The course will also be environmentally sustainable.”
Vestavia Country Club established a Long Range Architectural Golf Course Committee in 2006 to steer the club through the complex process of the renovation of their Championship Course. The creation of the Master Plan was the first part of a multi-step long-term plan. “Through our process, we interviewed almost a dozen architects of high national regard,” said Alan Coshatt, chairman of Vestavia Country Club’s Long Range Golf Course Planning Committee. “After careful examination, our decision to hire Lester George was probably the easiest and best move we made. His work on several high-profile historic layouts has drawn praise from the entire golf community. Lester presented not only the most creative design features for our course, but more importantly, how to implement a process where the plan is a success before it was even unveiled.”
Addressing the members’ individual and collective needs and desires for the course, George took care to create a Master Plan that would be playable for all members, promote club membership, attract future events, maximize the views, offer more strategic playing options, correct infrastructure deficiencies and increase the environmental sensitivity of the course.
“Lester has an innate ability to listen and a strong imagination for creating exceptional golf experiences,” said Robert Carr, General Manager of VCC. “After we presented the Master Plan to the membership, and they saw that the plan addressed the aspirations they had voiced to Lester during town hall meetings, they were excited by the possibilities for the new golf course. This logically motivates us to move the project forward into the next phase of design and planning.”
Lester George is well known for his renovation and restoration of classic golf courses, some of which include The James River and Westhampton Courses at The Country Club of Virginia, The Country Club of Florida in Boynton Beach, FL, The Old White Course at The Greenbrier, Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club in Virginia Beach, VA, and Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro, NC.