Royal New Kent Golf Club in Virginia honored among Golf Inc. magazine’s 2020 Public Course Renovation of the Year
(NEW KENT, VA) — The positive reviews of the fully restored Royal New Kent Golf Club continue to pour in more than a year following its reopening. This time, the heralded Mike Strantz design joins the medal stand with two courses currently hosting PGA Tour events, as Golf Inc. magazine announces its 2020 Renovation of Year honorees.
Golf Inc. runs the annual contest to highlight architects and contractors who have transformed aging courses, making them more playable, eye-catching and efficient. The 2020 scoring system focused on how each project achieved its stated goals, the level of improvement in playability and maintainability, and course aesthetics.
Along with Royal New Kent, the public course honorees are the Plantation Course at Sea Island and the Plantation Course at Kapalua. The private courses honored are TPC Sugarloaf, La Jolla Country Club and Renegade at Desert Mountain. More information can be found in the publication’s summer issue.
Royal New Kent became the toast of the golf world in 1997, when architect Mike Strantz’s masterpiece originally debuted. Now, numerous golfers from across the country are travelling to New Kent, Va. — midway between Richmond and Williamsburg — to play the storied layout, which was renovated by its ownership company, Wingfield Golf Management.
Consistently rated as one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s finest layouts, Royal New Kent is a Virginia original sprinkled with Irish seasoning. Strantz paid tribute to the fabled seaside links of the Emerald Isle, with an emphasis on the character and feel of two of the architect’s favorites — Ireland’s Royal County Down and Ballybunion.
Those who have enjoyed this enhanced Golf Ireland in Virginia playing experience have been raving online and through social media since Spring 2019.
According to Darryl Bartlett, a judge in the Golf Inc. competition, “The team involved with this should be commended for preserving (this) golf course. Mike Strantz only did a handful and to see it preserved in the banner described deserves some sort of preservation acknowledgement.”
In mid-2018, after Wingfield Golf Management purchased Royal New Kent, the Greenville, S.C.-based firm immediately began performing a total overhaul on the entire golf complex with three primary objectives: restore the course to the original Strantz design vision; make the course manageable and maintain first-class playing conditions; and provide an Irish golf experience without the overseas travel and time expenses.
During the restoration, Royal New Kent’s green complexes were converted from bent grass to the more heat-tolerant Champion Bermuda. Wingfield Golf trucked in 2,300 tons of new sand to reconstruct the Royal New Kent bunkers, making the golf course more playable and easier to maintain. The upgrades to the irrigation system include a new pump station, and all 120 inlets were rebuilt for better drainage. Meanwhile, substantial clubhouse upgrades were also performed.
Learn more at www.RoyalNewKent.com.