Following a merger with Carlson Farm Country Club in 1969, Greensboro Country Club now operates two 18-hole layouts: the century-old Irving Park course (designed by Donald Ross) and the more modern Farm course, which was laid out by Ellis Maples.
In 2008, Donald Steel was commissioned to redesign the Farm course – the architect’s fifth golf project in America – and it changed from a par 71 layout covering 6,914 yards (with a slope of 134) to a par 72 course measuring 7,302 yards with a slope of 140 from the back markers.
More than 300,000 cubic yards of earth was moved, a new irrigation system installed, and five and a half miles of cart path put in place. Zoysia grass replaced bermuda on the tees and fairways, with A1/A4 bent used for the greens. The two nines were also reversed, setting up a finish behind the clubhouse with a new 588-yard 18th that used to be the par four 9th.
The new starting hole had around fifteen feet of hill between the drive zone and green removed, offering lake views that weren’t there before. Some of the fill was used at the new 2nd to remedy a severe fairway slope.
Holes 5 and 6 are brand new; a 161-yard par three followed by a 463-yard right doglegging par four. The green on the par three 8th was moved 40 yards left to expand the lake for irrigation purposes and a new back tee was added to the 9th, which also had the fairway reshaped.
On the back nine, a new stretch of holes was introduced between the 12th and 14th. The new 12th replaces the old 4th, with the fairway lowered around eight feet, and the 14th is a par three set on water with trees in the background. The valley on the 15th was filled, while the greens on the 16th and 17th were pushed back around 50 yards.
The Farm now comprises five par threes and five par fives, playing to a par of 35 on the outward half and a par of 37 on the inward half.
Writing in his book Thin End of the Wedge, Donald Steel stated that the “most enjoyable and invigorating” project of 2008 was the major renovation of the Farm course. “What gave it added scope was the availability of extra land that had been their driving range and the ability to create more space through judicious earthmoving, an opportunity Maples was denied.”