Coore & Crenshaw Reimagination of The Pines at The International

by | May 21, 2024 | News

Coore & Crenshaw Reimagination of The Pines at The International on Schedule for Fall Opening

The reimagined version of The Pines course at The International – New England’s preeminent 36-hole, “pure golf” private club is scheduled to welcome limited member play this fall. The International is building a membership that will share in the responsibility of shepherding a new era at the club.

Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the renowned golf course design team and founders of the firm Coore & Crenshaw, are wrapping up the Bolton, MA., project they began in 2022. Over the past two years, they have created a new golf course that takes greater advantage of the land’s interesting topography, unique landforms, and mature vegetation. Not a single-hole corridor or green site remains from the prior version of The Pines, which was best known for decades as America’s longest golf course. This emphasis on length has been replaced by Coore & Crenshaw’s signature preference for golf courses that look natural, are strategic, and can be enjoyed by all levels of play.

The Pines is believed to be the first new 18-hole course to open in Massachusetts in more than a decade.

“Bill, Ben, shapers Ryan Farrow and Zach Varty, and the rest of the Coore & Crenshaw team have worked their magic, taking an exceptional site and crafting what we strongly believe will be considered one of the country’s best new golf courses,” said Paul Celano, Director of Golf at The International. “Their deep admiration for courses built during the early 20th century, the so-called ‘Golden Age of Architecture,’ is an ideal match for our vision of a golf-first experience at The International that preserves and honors the club’s 120-year history.”

The Pines is only the second course Coore & Crenshaw have designed and built in New England; the first is the highly acclaimed Old Sandwich Golf Club in Plymouth, MA., which opened in 2005.

Further evidencing the club’s appreciation for golf’s golden era, The Pines will be one of the region’s few courses to feature fescue grass on tees, fairways, and in the rough. Fescue grass courses are typically found in Scotland and Ireland, places where the game was first played. These turf conditions, when combined with Coore & Crenshaw’s elevated course architecture, will allow for greater shot diversity and foster an ever-evolving, engaging golf experience on holes framed by sandy waste areas, wispy fescue, and stately pitch pines.

Sodding and grow-in of the fescue playing surfaces will continue in the coming months. Other final project tasks include installing new bunker sand, edging perimeters of bunkers, trimming and clearing trees, establishing fairway / rough lines, seeding the practice putting green, and initial mowing of tees, fairways, and bentgrass greens.

The Pines was originally designed by Geoffrey Cornish with help from legendary amateur golf champion Francis Ouimet. When it opened in 1955, the course measured 8,040 yards from the back tees and combined steeply pitched greens with challenging bunkers. Nearly two decades later, famed architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. was hired to soften several greens and bunkers but he also lengthened the course to an astounding 8,325 yards.

This calling card began to lose its luster this century, however, as golfers became less focused on course difficulty as a measuring stick for quality. Instead, they have signaled a preference for courses that are strategic, walkable and enjoyable to play for all skill levels.

“The Pines will check all of these important boxes,” said Celano. “With our recently renovated Oaks course, we now combine 36 holes of exceptional golf with a welcoming club environment and culture rooted in a deep respect for the game and its treasured traditions.”

In addition to The Pines, Owner Escalante Golf has made significant investments in the club’s Oaks Course since its 2021 acquisition. A renovation of the Tom Fazio-designed Oaks was led by renowned architect Tripp Davis and primarily focused on improving tees and bunkers.

Founded in 1991, Escalante Golf is a boutique owner and operator of luxury golf properties across 15 states. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company has quietly assembled an impressive collection of exclusive clubs in key markets that have hosted several prestigious amateur and professional golf tournaments, including the U.S. Mid-Amateur Golf Championship, the Charles Schwab Cup, the WGC Match Play Championship, the WinCo Foods Portland Open, the Shell Houston Open and five LIV Golf events in Portland, Boston, Tucson, Nashville, and Houston. Operating partners David McDonald, Elcio Silva, Robert Silva, and David Matheson direct the Escalante team.

Photo: The Pines (Escalante Golf)