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Bunker Remodel Underway at Kings River in California


Golf architect Neal Meagher has broken ground on an extensive renovation project at Kings River Golf & Country Club in Kingsburg, Calif. Kings River was constructed in 1955 as one of the first of 16 courses built by golf professional and designer, Bert Stamps.

Impressed by his successful transformation of nearby Belmont Country Club, Kings River chose Meagher, an associate member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, to redesign and reinvigorate all of the bunkers on the course.

"The golf course plays out and back along the banks of the Kings River," Meagher said. "Its natural systems became the major source of inspiration for our design work. Specifically, we decided to use and expand upon the existing rolling landforms created by the ever-changing meanders of the river over time. Imagining the old river currents and eddies, we created new bunkers and movement to the land to mimic the way the water would have created its own natural land sculptures."

In all, a total of 46 bunkers will be sculpted, some in their original locations, others in new areas that will allow for multiple strategic options on every hole. "Applying our 'river theme,' we wanted both to create a unique aesthetic and to add strategic choices for the golfer to enjoy." Meagher continued. "The course plays about 6,700 yards. That's a perfect length for a private club course as long as the individual holes ask players to make the many decisions this new work should inspire."

The club is looking forward to enjoying better sand quality than prior bunker conditions allowed. Additionally, the club is working with Meagher to selectively thin trees to widen the playing corridors and open up angles to accommodate the new strategic design.

Construction management services are being provided by DL Siemens, Inc. of Fresno. Dale Siemens (GCBAA), formerly of Daylen, Inc., is the owner of DL Siemens, Inc. an experienced golf course construction management firm.

Specialized Shaping of Forest Ranch, Calif., is handling the construction of the remodel. Art Strain is the owner of Specialized Shaping, a small firm that believes in individual attention to each project.

Meagher is based in Pleasanton, Calif., and has practiced golf course architecture since 1984. His firm focuses on only a select few projects at any given time to allow for a high level of craftsmanship; each new or remodeled course is the result of carefully and studiously working with the owner and/or superintendent and builder. Meagher believes that an environment that fosters open collaboration is the key ingredient to allowing each project to be unique.

For additional information about his firm, visit www.nealmeaghergolf.com.