Established in 1920, the William Langford and Theodore Moreau-designed course at Butterfield Country Club features three 9-hole circuits – Red, White and Blue – within a wonderful 27-hole golf complex.
A number of architects (including Larry Packard and Dick Nugent) have revised the layout down the years but it’s the work of Steve Smyers in 2010 that has done most to revitalize the Golden Age design intent of Langford and Moreau.
As well as adding length to the layout and repositioning bunkers, Smyers restored many of the club’s original, geometrically shaped greens. He also removed a significant number of trees to improve sight lines and turf quality.
Additional ponds were dug to retain storm water, the banks of the creek running through the property were stabilized, and wetland plantings were introduced; all of which was done to improve the drainage system.
One of the weirdest bonding experience I've ever had in golf was in the parking lot of Fort Myers C.C. (another course that was "restored"/ruined by Steve Smyers). The man who I spoke with was a former contractor who had worked with a number of architects, his least favorite of whom was Smyers. I'm sure he's a nice guy but I just find many of the design decisions he makes to be really stupid. There are a number of greens that you just straight up can't putt due to the several ridges. The deep bunkering makes the course almost unplayable for beginners, and the course is really a family club, so it kinda detracts from that.
Despite this, the club itself is really neat. Its an old school capital C country club with tons of options and a great family place. I've seen the aerials of the original Langford design, and think the club could do something really special if they went back to that.
The Langford routing has still been preserved for the most part and the condition is nothing short of perfect. The bunkering is aesthetically pleasing and the greens are always fast. My favorite hole is the weird extremely tight 7th on Blue, which is about as tight of a golf hole as you'll ever see, but since its a short par five it works!