Northeast Golf - December 2021/January 2022

Page 58


By John Molori

The International - Bolton, Massachusetts Renovation with an Eye on Tradition at The Oaks Course


IKE A PHOENIX RISING from the ashes or Lazarus rolling back

Course. Davis relates, “New tees are going to give the players

the stone, The International Golf Club in Bolton, MA and its

more options to find a tee they are comfortable with, and the

revered Oaks Course have come back from

new bunkers are geared more towards being in

the dead, looking to once again set the stan-

play for better players.

dard for New England golf courses.

“We have worked to give the average player

In 2020, The International filed for bank-

more options to avoid trouble, but it’s still very

ruptcy citing a glutted golf marketplace,

much a course where the better players will have

declining memberships, and the COVID-19

to be on their game to play well.”

pandemic. It was eventually purchased by

Davis had no trouble balancing moderniza-

Escalante, a boutique owner and operator of

tion with tradition. He relates, “The Oaks is not

numerous golf properties across the United

that old of a course, so the modernization was


subtle. What we have done is more profound

Over the past few months, the Oaks Course

in the structure of tees and bunkers - how they

and practice facility have undergone sublime

are built and can be maintained.

makeovers – changes that have been made with one prime priority: golf. “We are a golf club, not a country club,” says

“The changes are about helping the course Tripp Davis­—Architect

interesting look and more varied playability.

Steve Brennan, General Manager of The International “Our

There is an element of modernization just to account for the

overall goal was to create a purity of golf. We really wanted to

length most better players have gained. On this course, that

maintain the culture of the Oaks Course with this renovation.”

was part fairway bunker placement, part adding some tees,

Jody Tavarez, Director of Agronomy at Escalante Golf, is pleased with the results of the renovation. “It exceeded every goal we had in mind for the Oaks Course - innovative in design approach but remaining true to the traditional style of golf course architecture. “Bunker design requires a specific artistic ability in order to make them feel like they’ve always been there, while improving playability and maintainability. The new bunkers on the Oaks Course achieve exactly that and are some of the best I have ever seen. Tripp and his team are humble and easy to work with.” Tripp is Tripp Davis, the true star of the Oaks Course renovation. Tripp Davis and Associates embarked on an architectural journey and took the good folks at the International with him. As Brennan states, “We didn’t look to Tripp for confirmation of our goals. We looked to him to lead us down a path. He is extremely knowledgeable and very good at what he does.” From bowled out bunkers to laser leveled tees, golfers can look forward to some significant changes on the Oaks 56

appeal to a broader audience with a more

DECE M B E R 2 02 1 / J A NUARY 2 02 2 | NORTHE AST.G OLF

and part enhancing the strictness of angles into greens.” Like Davis, Brennan eschews the word modernization. “I actually don’t like that term,” says Brennan. “This course is

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