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Course of the week: Topeka CC begins major renovation and enhancement project

By |  May 4, 2023 0 Comments

Photo: Topeka CC

Photo: Topeka CC

The Topeka (Kan.) Country Club recently began an extensive golf course renovation and enhancement project lead by golf course architect Todd Clark of CE Golf Design and golf course historian and designer Ron Whitten. Work on the project that began in January 2023 by Mammoth Golf Construction.

Aside from an irrigation system update in 2004 and a greens resurfacing project in the late ’90s, the current project marks the first major renovation of the golf course since the original Perry Maxwell design debuted in 1940. Maxwell’s design added 9 holes to the existing Thomas Bendelow-designed 9-hole course, which opened in 1906. Clark and Whitten’s master plan focuses on modernizing the 83-year-old golf course.

Photo: Topeka CC

Photo: Topeka CC

The renovation project includes adding, eliminating and laser-leveling tee boxes, installing new drainage and adding 12 new fairway bunkers. In addition, the crew will modify, reshape and rebuild all existing bunkers using Better Billy Bunker, which provides a technically advanced drainage and liner system.

Photo: Topeka CC

Photo: Topeka CC

As part of the renovation and to improve playability, the crew will also remove invasive trees to improve agronomic conditions.

The crew will add a cascading water feature to the 15th hole that feeds a pond in front of the 17th green. Maxwell’s original design did not include any water hazards. The new water feature is similar to what Maxwell created at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., and Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

In addition, the crew will add and reroute the cart paths throughout the property.

“In remodeling Topeka Country Club for the 21st Century, we seek to install as much Maxwell authenticity as we can,” said Clark. “His wonderfully contoured greens are being preserved while reclaiming a few front and back corners to recapture lost hole locations. The bunkers protecting the greens will all be new and be shaped in a Maxwell style with playable bright white sand and contain the most efficient drainage component. We’re also adding fairway bunkers to a number of holes where none previously existed, to add both definition and challenge to certain tee shots and second shots.”

The renovation is expected to complete by mid-summer of 2023.

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