ASGCA Past President Greg Martin (Martin Design) tackled drainage and settling issues during his recent renovation of Settlers Hill Golf Course, Batavia, Illinois. Built in 1990 on a landfill site, Martin’s handiwork was unveiled at a Fall 2022 course reopening.

Golf Course Architecture reports:

Martin highlighted the need to address circulation and playability problems that had been caused by drainage and settling issues.

“The plan proposed updating the golf course infrastructure, modernising and expanding the irrigation system, a realignment of the layout to accommodate returning nines, adding a practice range, expanding the putting green, and incorporating a four-hole junior course,” he said.

The golf course was closed for the project in 2020 and Wadsworth Golf Construction was contracted for construction. A Toro irrigation system was installed by Midwest Irrigation, bunkers were lined with Better Billy Bunker. Greens constructed and bunkers filled with new sand from Waupaca Sand Solutions. DLF Seed Research 007 grass was selected for tees, fairways and greens.

“A landfill project is never easy, requiring extensive permitting, approvals and multiple layers of government oversight, but capable project construction management helps to ensure success,” said Martin.

Two new par threes have been introduced, which Martin says provide better green-to-tee connections as well as taking advantage of some of the property’s features.

“The final golf course offers wider fairways and approaches; fewer bunkers, with those remaining being deeper and more relevant; more tee surface; and larger greens that have more pinnable areas,” said Martin. “Feature shaping to help overland flow combined with added drainage was necessary to develop a faster and firmer playing surface.”

The club held a soft opening this autumn, with an official event scheduled for spring 2023.