Golden-age architect Tom Bendelow designed the club’s original nine holes in 1916
WHITEHALL, Michigan (Nov. 19, 2020) – Raymond Hearn, ASGCA, is developing a new long-range Master Plan for the historic White Lake Golf Club founded here in 1916. The club is a pre-1920 classic located next to magnificent White Lake, which borders Lake Michigan on Michigan’s “Gold Coast.”
Hearn will be working closely with the Club’s Board, key staff and committee members.
Tom Bendelow designed the original nine holes in 1916. In 1926, the course was expanded to 18 holes. Club president E. E. Roberts completed most of the planning on the expansion.
“I am fortunate to be working on yet another incredible pre-1920 historic golf club,” Hearn said. “Mr. Bendelow’s features are still present on seven of the 18 holes. The original greens, bunkers and landforms are very dramatic. They are a treat to study and analyze.
“In addition to researching the course’s great history, I am carefully listening to the Club’s goals and objectives,” Hearn added. “I am working closely with the Club in order to provide a ‘roadmap’ into their future that they can implement in a phased manner over time and per their discretion.”
“We are fortunate to have found such a well-qualified golf architect, located close to home, who brings incredible enthusiasm, golf architectural skills and an appreciation of the historical value that the White Lake Golf Club possesses for our community,” said Frank Lundell, Jr., President of WLGC. “We look forward to the course enhancement of the Tom Bendelow stamp as we take Ray Hearn’s lead in developing a plan with which will make WLGC the finest Bendelow course in West Michigan.”
To be entrusted to prepare a long-term Master Plan for any historic club is a great honor and privilege. With Bendelow’s early involvement and the club’s pre-1920 founding, makes this great project even more exciting for me and my company, states Hearn.
“I have already been out to the Club numerous times in the early research stages studying course features, researching the history, measuring, photographing, talking to members and just taking in everything that I can to better understand what exists and how this historic course evolved,” Hearn said.
“As with all my renovation and restoration projects, my ultimate goal is to increase strategy, shot value, playability and enjoyment for all levels of golfing ability,” Hearn explained. “We also want to help make the course easier to maintain for the golf course superintendent. Rediscovering or embellishing historical features that have been lost over time will surely create very exciting discussions with the club.”
Implementing Bendelow features on the Roberts-designed golf holes will also be discussed.
“We hired Ray for his knowledge of Bendelow architecture and his ability to bring those features back to life at White Lake Golf Club,” Don Nellis, WLGC’s Director, commented. “A master plan by golf course architect Ray Hearn will give us a strategic blueprint to follow for many years. We expect the Bendelow enhancements will make White Lake Golf Club a shot makers paradise.”