June 13, 2017

Not the TPC Potomac of the past

After major renovations to restore the course to its original and natural state, TPC Avenel became TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms. The renovations began following a 2006 PGA TOUR event at the club and lasted about two years. With the primary goal to bring the course up to the modern standards, the renovations will be on full display during the 2017 Quicken Loans National.

Renovations to the course also were aimed at preserving the historic Rock Run Stream Valley, one of the main tributaries of the Potomac River, which runs through much of TPC Potomac. The renovations were broken down into three major categories and help to highlight the major changes to the course.

During the renovations, all the greens, tees and fairways were rebuilt with Bentgrass and a new irrigation and drainage system. The greens were re-orientated and re-contoured, and all bunkers were re-positioned and re-shaped, adding tall fescue grasses to some. All holes were re-graded and had their fairways reduced to approximately 30 to 35 yards. Accent features like stone walls and eight timber bridges create an older feel and charm.

To help make TPC Potomac a better course for hosting a PGA TOUR event, all of the spectator mounds were lowered to create a more natural look, with views of multiple holes available from singular locations.

Each hole was modified to some degree. The greens on hole Nos. 1, 4 and 5 were shifted back, with No. 1 being lowered and No. 5 being elevated. No. 2 had the tees shifted to the left, and the tees were moved forward on the par-3 third hole. No. 6 was converted from a par-5 to a par-4 by moving the green to the other side of Rock Run Stream Valley.

The green on the seventh hole was moved forward, and both the green and tees were shifted back on the eighth hole. The most dramatic change came at No. 9, where the green was relocated on the hillside next to the first tee box and the practice putting green.

By combining it with part of the 11th hole, No. 10 was converted to a par-5 from a par-4. The original 12th hole became the new 11th hole and the current par-3 12th hole was created using the land that was once 13 fairway.

The 13th hole converted to a par-4 from a par-5, and the fairway bunkers were redesigned on the 14th hole. The tees were shifted back on the 15th hole, and the 16th hole fairway was changed to 320 yards. The 17th hole was stretched to 222 yards, and lastly on No. 18, the green was raised and the landing area was lowered.

Along with course renovations, the practice facility was redesigned. The 15-acre facility features a 10,000-square-foot putting green, a short game and private lesson area, target and chipping greens and enlarged tee decks.

The Quicken Loans National will put TPC Potomac to the test as the first PGA TOUR tournament to be held at the club post-renovations. The course now checks in as a par-70, 7,124-yard test, and it will surely become one of the premier stops on TOUR in 2017.