Renovations at Bayberry Hills Golf Course in Yarmouth, Ma. are complete.
The work, costing $2 million, was undertaken by Tim Gerrish of Providence, R.I., a former member of the Geoffrey Cornish/Brian Silva team that laid out the track in 1988. Changes were made to make the nearly 7,300-yard course friendlier to the average golfer, yet maintain or even enhance the course’s challenge to the low handicap player.
Embracing the Bob Jones/Alistair MacKenzie (Augusta National Golf Club) design style, bunkers have been renovated and re-positioned to enhance play options. Plus, bunkers have been replaced with closely mown collection areas on some holes, providing multiple options for greenside recoveries, fairway corridors have been widened, and green surrounds have been expanded. Rough areas in the front of greens have been replaced by tightly mown fairway to create the illusion of false fronts in many cases.
Gerrish expanded approaches and green surrounds, offering players an opportunity to access areas of the greens without having to carry bunkers. For the less aggressive or high handicapper areas to “bail out” and chip for par were created with undulating terrain to add visual interest and variety and shot options to the ground game. A more sustainable grass species along with additional topsoil was used that dramatically reduces fertilizer and water use.
Fairway corridors have been widened and tree lines thinned, allowing for recovery shots where previously none existed. This feature, accomplished through the removal of over 3,000 trees, provides enhanced course playability, along with a vast improvement in aesthetics and added panoramic course views.
Gerrish experimented with adding several “waste or native areas” of exposed sand on the course to provide an additional feature not common on Cape Cod courses, thus reducing the environmental impact of water, mowing and fertilizer use. The par-three 12th hole now has a flowing sand area forming a dominating hazard for the better player, while framing the hole for the less accomplished.
The course’s original bunkers were re-built to reduce sand area, while maintaining proper proportions and enhancing the original style. The bunkers were lined with pervious capillary concrete that allowed dramatic sand flashing, while reducing bunker face maintenance, especially for post-rain events.
Forward teeing areas on four holes were added for more options in course setup and to provide additional user friendliness. Three tees were re-surfaced, including a new championship tee on number three (a par three), stretching the course to nearly 7,300 yards. In some cases, tees were located for better playability, and on other holes additional playing surface was added to provide varied play lines and more tee placements.
The golf cart path system was revised eliminating a great deal of wear and tear from playing surfaces and resulting in significant improvement in conditions and green and tee access, thus reducing pace of play and the ability to allow play under adverse weather conditions.
“Player reaction has been uniformly positive,” said Jim Armentrout, club Director of Golf Operations.
“I never dreamed that I would see Bayberry Hills this great,” said Jim Hallet, a former PGA Tour player.
“The new Bayberry layout offers challenges that you never get tired of,” said Bob Quirk, PGA Master clubfitter and a Cape Cod Teacher of the Year.