As you’re nearing the end of your next round at Spyglass Hill, you’ll come across the newly renovated 17th green. The course’s penultimate hole has been enhanced using the latest agronomic technology to improve playability. Here’s what’s changed, and how it will affect your next round at Spyglass:
As designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. in the 1960s, the original 17th green sloped significantly from back to front. The design created a fair challenge at the time, when green speeds were slower. But as advancements in agronomic practices and maintenance equipment lead to increased green speeds, flag placement options became limited on the steeply sloping putting surface.
Another issue lurked beneath the green: native soils underlying the green’s surround and inadequate drainage of the green itself caused the area to become overly saturated in the winter months.
Following USGA specifications, renovations began by temporarily stripping the existing grass from the green and surrounding area.
Sixteen inches of underlying soil was excavated to make room for a grid of drainage pipes that connect to a state-of-the-art SubAir system, which essentially sucks excess moisture from the soil profile so it can exit the footprint of the green.
The piping was then covered by a layer of gravel, followed by a layer of sand and organic material – both of which were contoured to match the topography of the final putting surface.
A similar drainage system was added to the green’s surround before replacing the original sod.
The renovation softened the green’s slope while retaining many of its original contours and undulations, increasing the number of pin-able areas. The green was also extended to the rear and to the front right, creating even more options for pin placement. These improvements will allow for additional hole setup options not only during resort play, but also during tournaments such as the AT&T Pro Am.
Additionally, the drainage improvements will make a tremendous impact during the rainy season as the green and its surround will remain firm with improved playability during this time.
Can’t wait to test your skills against new pin placements on the 17th hole? Book your next tee time today!