Renovation of Birmingham's Vestavia CC Moves Ahead

Vestavia Country Club, a private golf club in Birmingham, Ala., is working on a remodel of its golf course. Golf course architect Lester George designed the master plan for the course in the foothills of the Appalachians that is known for its dramatically undulating greens, wide fairways and vistas.

George is now in the process of preparing the preliminary design of a master plan he completed last year. Once that's complete the club will assess the feasibility of proceeding with construction.

Designed by George Cobb and opened in 1951, the VCC's championship course is a 6,811 yard, par-72 layout. Renovations are planned for the tees, greens, fairways, mowing patterns and bunkers on all 18 holes. "They have allowed us the freedom to conceptualize a golf course that will maximize the physical characteristics of the site and the spectacular views," said George. "The course will also be environmentally sustainable."

Vestavia Country Club established a Long Range Architectural Golf Course Committee in 2006 to steer the club through the renovation process. The creation of the master plan was the first part of a multi-step, long-term plan.

"Through our process, we interviewed almost a dozen architects of high national regard," said Alan Coshatt, committee chairman. "After careful examination, our decision to hire Lester George was probably the easiest and best move we made. His work on several high-profile historic layouts has drawn praise from the entire golf community.

"Lester presented not only the most creative design features for our course, but more importantly, how to implement a process where the plan is a success before it was even unveiled."

George took care to create a plan that would help make the course playable for all members, promote club membership, attract future events, maximize views, offer more strategic playing options, correct infrastructure deficiencies and increase environmental sensitivity.

"Lester has an innate ability to listen and a strong imagination for creating exceptional golf experiences," said Robert Carr, VCC's general manager. "After we presented the master plan to the membership, and they saw that the plan addressed the aspirations they had voiced to Lester during town hall meetings, they were excited by the possibilities for the new golf course. This logically motivates us to move the project forward into the next phase of design and planning."

George is known for his renovation and restoration of classic golf courses, some of which include The James River and Westhampton courses at The Country Club of Virginia, The Country Club of Florida in Boynton Beach, Fla, The Old White Course at The Greenbrier, Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club in Virginia Beach, VA, and Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.