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gallery name:   Cypress Tree (West) GC -- Greens Renovation | Maxwell AFB (Montgomery, Alabama)

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Even before the completion of the project at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, the Air Force hired Watermark Golf/Nathan Crace Design and Shaw Environmental to tackle the renovation/repair of the green complexes and bunkers on the West Course of Cypress Tree GC at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama.  On the heels of the Keesler project, the Maxwell AFB project was eagerly awaited with high expectations.  The project centered on the complete renovation of 18 greens and the practice putting green to bring them to current industry standards.  The new greens are designed to California green specifications and will increase the size of the greens to offer multiple pin placements and more strategic playing angles.  Mr. Crace has noted that he had to "quiet down" his well-known green design style a bit to maximize pin placements on greens that--while significantly larger than before--are sized more like greens on classic American courses.  More subtle rolls and breaks still make for interesting putting while creating greens that are much more receptive than the existing greens were prior to the work.  In addition, the new greens will be grassed with Tifdwarf for a more consistent putting surface and drainage issues have been addressed.  New irrigation is being installed at each green and all bunkers have been completely re-shaped, relocated, and/or re-sized to accommodate the additional play and ease the strain on maintenance.

The golf courses at Maxwell AFB are heavily utilized since the base is home to a number of training schools for the US Air Force.  When the work is completed, the West course will be one if the more enjoyable courses in the area for the money.  Landscapes Unlimited is performing the golf course construction work on the project.  Construction began in the spring of 2008 and the course re-opened for play in the fall of 2008. 

The following photos of the renovation project were posted throughout the life of the project and the "Before and After" photos taken during Thanksgiving 2008 are shown first below (project photos are shown below the "Before & After" photos).

BEFORE & AFTER

  These "after" photos were taken on Thanksgiving 2008 (which explains why the rough and fairways are going dormant).
AFTER:  The new green and bunker at the par-4 6th hole.
BEFORE:  The old green and bunker on the 6th hole.
AFTER:  The new green and bunker at the par-5 2nd hole.
BEFORE:  The old green and bunker at the par-5 2nd hole.
AFTER:  The new green and bunker at the par-3 3rd hole.
BEFORE:  The old green complex at the par-3 3rd hole.
AFTER:  The new green and bunkers at the par-4 7th hole.
BEFORE:  The old green complex at the par-4 7th hole.
AFTER:  The new green and left bunker at the par-4 10th hole.
BEFORE:  The old green complex at the par-4 10th hole.
AFTER:  The new green and bunker at the par-4 11th hole.
BEFORE:  The old green complex at the par-4 11th hole.
AFTER:  The new bunker and green at the par-5 12th hole (as seen from behind the green, looking back toward the tee).
AFTER:  The new green and bunker complex at the par-3 13th hole.
BEFORE:  The old green complex at the par-3 13th hole.
AFTER:  The new green and bunker at the par-4 14th hole.
BEFORE:  The old green and bunker at the par-4 14th hole.
AFTER:  The new green complex at the par-4 16th hole.
BEFORE:  The old green complex at the par-4 16th hole.
AFTER:  The new green complex at the par-5 17th hole.
BEFORE:  The old green complex at the par-5 17th hole.
AFTER:  The new green complex across the ravine on the par-4 18th hole.
BEFORE:  The old green complex at the par-4 18th hole.
AFTER:  The new practice putting green combines the two old practice greens into one large green with undulations
and plenty of room to practice without interfering with other golfers.
BEFORE:  The two small separate practice putting greens wasted a great deal of space and offered little variation for practice.

SITE VISIT

  The following photos were taken during Mr. Crace's site visit on 10 April 2008.
Shaping of the bunker at the fourth green. Demolition of the third green.
Finish shaping of the third fourth green with a deep pot bunker guarding the left side of the green
The new fifth green is framed by pine trees and guarded by a bunker along the left side of the green
The sixth green following hand raking and prior to installing the drainage lines in the floor of the green
The new 7th green following rough shaping shows the undulations in the green.  Two bunkers guard the left side of the green.
The view from the right side of the new 7th green show the bunkers along the right side as well.
Seen from the forward tee, new 13th green provides a large target protected by two deep bunkers on this uphill par 3
A closer view of the 13th green shows the slight shelf that crosses the mid-point of the putting surface
The green on the 15th hole is the only new green that has no sand bunkers.  It's undulating surface helps protect par
A view from the front of the new 15th green shows the rolls in the green and the green complex for the 5th hole behind

SITE VISIT

  The following photos were taken during Mr. Crace's site visit on 22 April 2008.
The shaper and foreman from Landscapes Unlimited mark elevations on the floor of the new green on the first hole
Drain tiles being installed on the new 7th green
The new eight green features more visible rolls along the right side of the green
The depth of the new bunker fronting the new 8th green will make the approach shot appear more daunting from the fairway
The new 12th green with the new sand bunker guarding the right side
Seen from the fairway, the new 14th green sits on top of a bluff overlooking the Alabama River beyond the trees in the background
A view from behind the 14th green looking back toward the tee and the tree-lined fairway of this par-4
Drain tiles installed in the new green of the long par-4 15th hole
The short and picturesque par-4 16th will be guarded by sand and grass bunkers as well as a lake in front and a creek behind.

 

SITE VISIT

  The following photos were taken during Mr. Crace's site visit on 6 May 2008.

The par-4 7th green seen from the fairway after being prepped for sod and sprigs
The 7th green seen from the left side (note the sod and sand lines painted by Mr. Crace in the left two bunkers)
The 7th green seen from the right with the other two bunkers guarding the right side of the green visible
The new 10th green (with a bunker left and one bunker short) seen from the fairway after rough shaping
The new 12th green with drainage installed in the green floor
The new 17th green is guarded by a large yawning bunker front right and a lake behind.  The 8th green is seen in the background.
The largest of the new greens (the par-4 18th) features rolling contours surrounded by bunkers and large catch areas

 

SITE VISIT

  The following photos were taken during Mr. Crace's site visits in late May and again in mid-June 2008.
Workers install sod on the par-3 3rd green in preparation for installing sad in the bunkers and sprigging the putting surface.
More sod being installed on the par-3 3rd green complex.
Workers begin installing the sod on the green surrounds of the par-4 4th hole (note the bunker short left of the green).
Sprigs being watered during grow-in on the new practice putting green.
The new 7th green is well underway during grow-in in this photo.
Seen from the fairway of the par-5 17th, the green looks ready to play; but a few weeks of grow-in still remain.
A close up view of the Tifdwarf coverage after only a few weeks of grow-in on the putting surface of the 7th green.

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