Eighty Years Old … Yet Still Growing

An Interview with ICC Golf Course Architect Ross Forbes about his 2009 ICC Renovation

The original layout of the golf course was designed by the well known golf architect, Wayne Stiles in 1926 who was recommended by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. who lived nearby. Two years later the first five holes of the course were opened. This was due to a lack of land, and later the Great Depression.

A few years later, the remaining four holes were completed and the nine hole course was ready for play in 1932.

In 2009 a major renovation took place. Forbes Golf Design, LLC was contracted to provide a new layout for the course. Four new holes were added and an existing hole was lengthened to a par 5. All renovations were consistent with a Wayne Stiles approach to golf course design under the close supervision of Ross Forbes.

In subsequent years, further renovations were added in the form of two new greens, several bunkers, and other architectural features.

The finished product is a beautifully designed and maintained 2400 yard, par 34, nine hole course. All fairways and greens are irrigated, and several signature holes feature rolling greens, lush bunkers and fescue covered mounds along fairways and green surrounds.

When asked to explain his approach to the renovations, Ross Forbes made the following comments:

“Our goal on a sensitive restoration project is to make it look like we were never there. Yes, modifications can always be made to improve the golf course, but they should fit so seamlessly with the other features of the course that no one can discern what is original and what has been added or changed. This is the hallmark of a great restoration – it appears to be straight from the drawing board of the original architect.

On all our restorations we strive to make modifications in the spirit and style of the original architect. At IslandCountry Club, I was continually asking myself, “What would Mr. Stiles do if he were overseeing the project.” My hope is he would be pleased with the improvements that have been made to this wonderful golf course. I hope you enjoy them as well.”

Ross Forbes