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gallery name:   Annandale Golf Club | Madison, Mississippi




Annandale Golf Club in Madison, Mississippi (a northern suburb of Jackson) has been the home to the PGA Tour's Viking Classic (originally the Magnolia Classic) since the event moved north from Hattiesburg CC in 1993.  The course is a Jack Nicklaus signature design spread out over 250 acres of rolling land and centered around a stately antebellum-style clubhouse.  In 2010, the club decided improvements needed to be made to the practice facilities at the club and called on Watermark's principal and golf course architect Nathan Crace to develop a plan to utilize an area where the old bentgrass nursery used to be located between the maintenance area and the 10th tee. 

Working closely with Annandale superintendent, Al Osteen, and a select committee, Nathan developed a plan that not only created a new short game area and made much-needed improvements to the existing driving range tee, but also managed to screen off the maintenance facility and isolate the #10 tees in the process.  The new tees on the 10th holes were shifted toward the 18th green and mounding created around the entire short game area so that members practicing their short game skills feel like they are in their own world.

Additionally, the existing practice chipping green was relocated to make room for a new indoor teaching facility adjacent to the practice tee.  Now the new short game area consists of two large practice greens on opposite ends of the facility, enabling golfers to hit a multitude of shots ranging from short chips and flop shots, to greenside bunker shots and full wedges from more than 100 yards.  And by simply changing direction, members can now practice long fairway bunker shots onto the adjacent driving range.

"Working with Al on this project has been a lot of fun," Crace said in a recent interview.  "He's literally one of the smartest guys I know and having him proactively involved on this from the planning stage has been a key to the project's success.  With Al's experience and [shaper] Floyd's [Lemm] expertise, we make a pretty good team.  I think the members will be thrilled when we're done and I look forward to getting feedback from the Tour guys when they come back next year."

Work on the short game facility began in the summer of 2011 immediately following completion of the Viking Classic and the driving range renovations will begin at a later date.  The short game area was complete and open for play when the Tour returned the week of the British Open in 2012. 

|  News: Here's one of the early reviews regarding the improvements at Annandale | Click Here

Photo Slideshow

  Click on the photos below to enlarge and view photos from the construction of the short game facility.

We added this new gallery from Nathan's Summer 2014 site visit. Please check back for updates.


Site Plan

 Below is a color-rendered site plan showing the project scope.


  The following photos were taken before and during the renovation project (earliest to latest).
The location for the new short game area is the old bentgrass nursery near the 10th tee.
A view from behind the new short game green looking back toward the clubhouse seen in the distance.
The first green roughed-in. It has three large lobes with different elevations and slopes to give members different shots of varying length and difficulty to practice from one location.
The first green after shaping (note the bunker roughed-in front right).
The existing chipping green as see from the location of the new back tee on the 10th hole.
The second green replaces the existing chipping green which was moved to build an indoor teaching facility.  This green features what Me. Crace calls a "putting lobe" for private putting lessons.  The first green can be seen in the background to the right of the photo.
The existing member tee (center) and forward tee (left) on the 10th tee as seen from the location of the new Tour tee.  The Tour tee and the forward tee will be moved to the right to make room for the short game area and mounding and the member tee will be nearly doubled in size.
The 10th tee after sod has been stripped and mounding starting to be installed (the new forward tee has already been shaped as seen in the background of this photo).
The new 10th tee complex after mix has been installed.
The new 10th tee complex prepped for sod.  The mounding to the left will be shaped and planted with ornamental grasses and trees to screen the short game area some 10 feet below the elevation of the tees.
Drainage excavation on the first green on the new short game area.
Greens mix being installed on the first green on the new short game area as seen from the second green.
The back right lobe of the first green with greens mix installed (the driving range is in the background).
Sod being installed around the first green as seen from the "putting lobe" of the second green.
New grass is visible on the first green in the background with mix installed on the second green (the "putting lobe" of the second green is in the foreground and #10 tees are to the right).
Grow-in of the first green as seen from the fairway area where members can play shot of nearly 100 yards into the the three lobes of the new green.  The second green is to the right of the photographer.
Grow-ion of the first green as fall starts to settle into central Mississippi.
A closer view of the green with bunkers flanking left, right, and behind from varying elevations and depths.  Sand will be installed in the spring before opening the facility to members.
Annandale superintendent Al Osteen and his staff are a critical component of the success of the project.
BONUS: During the PGA Tour's Viking Classic, WYAB Radio's Josh West (left) co-hosted the only live local radio coverage of the event with Watermark Golf's Nathan Crace (the golf course architect for the short game project).  During a break in the action, Nathan's oldest son, Cam, sat in Dad's seat while Josh prepared for an interview with former PGA Tour Rules Official and current Annandale member Ben Nelson.


Be sure to check back with us.  We will be adding more as the project progresses.

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