The Lakewood Golf Club in Point Clear has often been described, “as a great reason to visit Alabama.” Since 1947, its majestic oak lined links have played host to American presidents, European royalty, movie stars, and sports legends, along with legions of local and visiting ...
POINT CLEAR, Ala. — The Lakewood Golf Club in Point Clear has often been described, “as a great reason to visit Alabama.” Since 1947, its majestic oak lined links have played host to American presidents, European royalty, movie stars, and sports legends, along with legions of local and visiting golfers.
Owned by the RSA (Retirement Systems of Alabama) and located at the 160-year-old Marriott Grand Hotel on Mobile Bay, Lakewood is Baldwin County’s oldest course and the only private resort member of the legendary Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
A tee-to-green renovation began on all eighteen holes of the Dogwood course on May 8 of this year. It’s set to reopen next June. The work begins on Azalea’s eighteen on January 15, 2019, and is expected to be completed in ten months.
Niall Fraser, Lakewood’s Director of Golf, explained, “Nothing was spared. We planted Celebration Bermuda grass on the tees and fairways for a more uniform look, with tiff eagle on the greens. The crews limbed up the low hanging branches on the oaks which allows for more sun and grass and gives players the ability to make consistent shots that weren’t available before. They replaced the pine straw under the limbs with a new club-friendly, playable gravel product that is neater, cleaner, and easier to hit from. We also re-sanded the bunkers, re-decked the bridges, added elevation changes, and moved greens and sand traps.”
Another noticeable improvement was to move the cart paths closer to the tees and greens.
“Golf has changed”, Fraser commented, “today’s players want to have fun, make the shots they see on television, and not walk twenty yards through the trees to get to a tee. We’ve made the links more assessable without sacrificing its shot value.”
Particular attention was paid to the finishing holes 14-18. The greens were completely redone with added water and other challenges coming into play. The huge oak that loved to eat tee shots on the fifteenth hole was removed opening the view to the entire hole.
The clubhouse is also getting a complete facelift with new floors, back deck, and an updated look.
Fraser added, “Golf courses all have unique facets, trees, water, and terrain. In Point Clear, we have ancient oak lined fairways, beautiful red and black fox squirrels, and breathtaking sunsets. Once we finish this renovation, Lakewood will be ready for the next twenty years.”
Always on the competitive edge, Lakewood is where history meets high tech.
Phillip Ellis is a local golfer, Publisher of Golf Today Magazine 1999-2017, author, Golf n’ Grits The Misadventures of Orville and Calvin Clyde, 2009 and the upcoming “Desi Quina Murder Mysteries.