The Sharon Golf Club in northeast Ohio has reopened its golf course following a renovation by Zinkand Golf Design.
This story was first reported by Golf Course Architecture magazine.
The private club recognized that its 1967 George Cobb design required updating to modern standards, with scope for green expansion, tree clearance and bunker work. Architect David Zinkand identified scope for additional improvements, noting Sharon’s underdeveloped strategies, excessive mown rough, disconnect between holes, and unnecessary cart paths.
Zinkand’s proposal was to take Sharon’s heavily engineered design and naturalize it to promote more connected aesthetics while also enhancing playability and ground game options. Work on the front nine was completed in December 2021, with the back nine following in summer 2023.
“We reimagined the bunkering to add a rugged, natural appearance to dramatize the landscape and provide strategic options through thoughtful placement,” said Zinkand. “The opening green was completely relocated and rebuilt, while we also enhanced contouring on the remaining greens to add interest and support for modern putting speeds. All the green surrounds were recontoured to introduce the running game to an extent rarely enjoyed on golf courses in Ohio. Also, all tees were lowered and recontoured to engage with the terrain, improve hole connections and maximize flexibility of tee placements.”
Other work undertaken to create a more natural environment included exposing rock ridgelines, removing thousands of trees, adding wetland shelves and planting more than 40 acres of native shrubs, flowers and fine fescue grasses. Zinkand has also established a long-term plan to continue the removal of undergrowth along many holes.
“We also leveraged several weaknesses in the course’s routing, rather than trying to hide from them, resulting in multiple attractive convergence areas that enhance the flow of the golfing experience,” said Zinkand. “As a result, heightened strategic interest and transformative visual impacts greatly magnified the value of capital expenditures incurred by the club.”
Since starting the final phase of the project, membership has grown by more than 20 per cent and the club has now put a cap on new national and local members and has introduced a waiting list.
Zinkand said: “Our team and the excellent club staff have transformed this 1960s golf course – built in what many consider the dark ages of golf course architecture – on a sensible budget to accomplish noteworthy results seldom replicated by clubs built in this period.”