Golf Course Gets Complete Facelift

Originally published 10/18/12 

The Westwood Country Club golf course is undergoing a rather severe landscaping job. At the moment, there is hardly a blade of grass to be seen. As a matter of fact, it resembles more of a moonscape as the yellow machines tear into the ground, making a bunker here, a knoll there, and providing drainage improvements in all areas. The project is under the general direction of Gene Bates, one of the most recognized names in golf course architecture.

According to Westwood’s Golf Course Superintendant, Pat Franklin, one of the most challenging aspects of the project is flooding that affects the course during even modest storms. Rain runoff, starting in the Woodford Road area is channeled along Wolf Trap Road, and enters the golf course under Route 123. Normally a tame, almost dry stream, it can quickly become a raging river, inundating the course pond. This is a result of the loss of absorbent woodlands to asphalt in the last decades. The current is sometimes strong enough to churn up dozens of golf balls and leave them on the banks as the water recedes.

All the top soil has been carefully pushed back into piles as the sub soil is reshaped. Extensive new irrigation will be put into place. When all the grading is finished, the top soil will be redistributed and seeded. “We are anticipating having all 18 holes open by next fall”, said Franklin.

Westwood Country Club is a good neighbor to us, giving open vistas to contrast with the rapidly developing cityscape to the east. They make efforts to provide sanctuary for bluebirds, deer, foxes and other wildlife species. Plus, we are in the front row of the best-kept secret of Vienna: A first class fireworks show on the 4th of July. We wish them well in this major undertaking.