Renovation and restoration work completed by Mark Mungeam, ASGCA (Mungeam Cornish Golf Design) at George Wright Golf Course and Franklin Park Golf Course in Massachusetts was on full display recently. The courses hosted the 2018 Massachusetts Amateur Championship, the first time in the 110-year history of the event that it is played at a daily-fee, public-access facility.
The Boston Globe reported on Mungeam’s work and the positive impact it has had on golf in the communities of Dorchester, Hyde Park and surrounding areas:
Boston’s two public courses have experienced a renaissance over the last 15 years. Thanks to support from then-mayor Thomas M. Menino and current Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the city reclaimed control of the courses in 2003 and has invested significant resources into restoring the old classics.
Anyone who played Franklin Park or George Wright in the 1980s or ’90s would be blown away by the current condition of the courses. They look immaculate this summer, with 3-inch rough, perfectly groomed bunkers, and barely a blade of grass out of place.
Both courses are now booked solid on the weekends, hosting upward of 37,000 rounds of golf each year — about 10,000 more than a decade ago, according to the city, though records are spotty. And both courses can be played for just $45 (plus $20 for a cart).
“Anybody who had ever played George Wright always said it had so much potential,” Mungeam said. “The bones of the golf course are phenomenal. It’s a great layout. The city is so fortunate to have such a great golf course.
“I feel that George Wright is right up there with some of the best courses I’ve worked on. With each passing year, spending a little bit more money and improving things, it gets better and better. I love George Wright.”
Franklin Park is the second-oldest public golf course in the country, opening in 1896. The legendary Bobby Jones honed his game there in the 1920’s while studying at Harvard, and famed golf architect Donald Ross redesigned the course late in that decade.
Over time, the George Wright team did complete tee-to-green renovations on holes 1 and 13. They renovated 25 of the course’s 34 bunkers, and expanded 10 of the tee boxes. They installed a new irrigation system. And they cut back some of forest that had overtaken much of the property, reopening angles for golf shots, and providing beautiful sightlines of the signature 3-mile stone wall that encircles the property.
The complete Boston Globe article can be found here.