Bayonet Golf Course Transformed By Gene Bates Redesign
SEASIDE, Calif., May 2, 2007 … The first segment of a golf course transformation unlike any other on the Monterey Peninsula was unveiled today, with the debut of eight renovated holes and a completely new hole at the legendary Bayonet Golf Course.
Under the guidance of award-winning golf course architect Gene Bates, both Bayonet and its companion course, Black Horse, are being sculpted into the golf centerpiece of a multi-million dollar project by the Seaside Resort Development, LLC (SRD). The end result will feature a luxury destination hotel and spa overlooking Monterey Bay, to be operated by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, all scheduled for completion in late 2009, or early 2010.
"This is not merely the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the golf courses, it is an entirely new book," said Joe Priddy, director of golf at Bayonet and Black Horse, which opened in 1954 and 1964, respectively.
The former military layouts that through the years have tested many of the greatest players in the game are undergoing alterations that will create two golf courses that are distinctly different, yet compatible and equally challenging. While Bayonet is retaining most of its classic, tree-lined character, Black Horse is to acquire a more open, flowing personality, and each is to benefit from Bates’ elegant bunkering and graceful greens.
The front nine holes of Bayonet are the first to be completed, with work on the back nine of Black Horse to begin May 7 and scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2008, when work on the resort hotel is to begin (on what currently is the driving range acreage).
At that time, the remaining holes (the back nine of Bayonet and the front nine of Black Horse) also will be under reconstruction. Concurrently the new double-ended practice facility – 58,000 square feet of grass hitting space that already has been completed – will be open daily.
The synchronized effort points to a final completion of the 36-hole renovation prior to the summer of 2009.
Although the overall length of Bayonet has increased only 16 yards (to a total of 7,133), the strategic and visual impact created by Bates’ bunkering is immeasurable.
The completed nine holes will be different in several ways, most notable in the order in which they will play. Traditionally the front nine of Bayonet, their order of play has changed and eventually the holes likely may make up the back nine. That means the completely new par 4 – 476 yards, with an uphill dogleg right – will be either the ninth hole or the 18th hole. The new hole replaces the old fifth hole, also a par 4.
Par has not changed on any hole, although the longest par 5 on the course has been shortened from 626 yards to 613 and will play just before the new hole to create a daunting one-two combination totaling 1,089 yards.
Overall, the addition of the classic style bunkering, punctuated by white sand, and removal of the Kikuyu and poa annua grasses in the fairways and greens produce the most substantial improvement to the playing surface.
The Kikuyu and poa annua eradication is to continue throughout the renovation process on both golf courses. All of the new turf is to be Jacklin T1 Bentgrass, a type that is superior in density and performance that will allow not only for better roll, but will harmonize with the state-of-the-industry drainage and irrigation systems being installed on all 36 holes.
One of the most dramatic design changes to the greens is the more level putting surface on what was the par-4 seventh hole (now the fifth hole on the side). Gone is the drastic, left-to-right dropoff, replaced with a more welcoming target with gentle movement.
For more information, visit www.bayonetblackhorse.com
Hunter Public Relations