Youth on Course Member Restores Bunker at Northwood Golf Course

At Youth on Course, we believe in the transformative impact that access to golf can have on young people. William Carlson, a member of Youth on Course for eight years, exemplifies how fully utilizing his membership can lead to life-changing opportunities.

We are thrilled to celebrate William’s remarkable achievement in successfully completing the restoration of an Alister MacKenzie bunker at Northwood Golf Course.  As a dedicated Youth on Course partner, Northwood Golf Course enables our members to play for just $5 a round, in addition to providing William this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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Screenshot 2024-04-09 at 10.03.59 PMWilliam's journey with Youth on Course began in 2016 when he was just ten years old. Like many young golfers, he became a member to access various courses affordably. "Being a Youth on Course member enabled me to play many different courses with friends and family," said William. "For me personally, being able to play a variety of golf courses enabled me to see different designs which influenced my interest in golf course design."

Little did he know that this would lead him to an extraordinary project: restoring a historic bunker designed by the legendary Alister MacKenzie.

Northwood Golf Course, a masterpiece created by MacKenzie in 1928, is a treasure trove of golfing history. Over the years, some of its original features had been altered, including the iconic bunkers that defined MacKenzie's strategic vision. William, captivated by the course’s history and design, saw an opportunity to bring a piece of that history back to life.

Hole 6

William's project began with meticulous planning and research, with a goal to break ground during Master's week he started outlining the restoration in March. Next, he dove into the initial shaping and installed drainage. After completed final shaping he added the liner and by May 8 the restoration was complete, revealing a beautifully restored bunker on Hole #6.

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“Working on a course designed by Alister MacKenzie has been a dream come true,” William said. “This project allowed me to blend my love for history and golf course design, bringing back a piece of MacKenzie’s original vision.”

The restored bunker is a testament to MacKenzie’s genius, featuring his signature strategic deception. It challenges golfers to rethink their approach, adding depth and excitement to the game. The Northwood community and visitors have been enthusiastic about the project, which enriches the playing experience and preserves the course’s historical integrity.

Gaylord Schaap, General Manager of Northwood Golf Course, praised William’s dedication and craftsmanship. “William’s passion for golf course architecture is evident in every aspect of this project. His work has brought a new level of beauty and challenge to our course, honoring Alister MacKenzie’s legacy while engaging the next generation of golfers.”

William’s achievement highlights the impact of Youth on Course in nurturing the next generation of golf enthusiasts and professionals. By providing affordable access to golf, we empower young people to explore the game and discover their passions, just as William has done. His journey from a curious young golfer to a budding golf course architect exemplifies the opportunities Youth on Course aims to create for its members.

For William, this project is a significant step toward his dream of becoming a golf course architect. It has provided him with invaluable hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of both historic and modern construction processes. “Northwood Golf Club is so valuable for golf course architecture history because the raw features that MacKenzie built haven’t been altered,” William explains. “Bringing back the bunkers to their former glory will provide a valuable understanding of both historic and modern construction processes.”

We are incredibly proud of William’s accomplishment and grateful to Northwood Golf Course for supporting his vision. This project stands as a testament to the power of youth involvement in preserving and enhancing the game of golf. It is a shining example of how Youth on Course empowers its members to achieve great things and contribute meaningfully to the golfing community.

As we celebrate this achievement, we invite all our members and supporters to visit Northwood Golf Course and see the restored bunker on Hole #6. William’s work not only honors Alister MacKenzie’s legacy but also showcases the potential and passion of the next generation of golf enthusiasts.

At Youth on Course, we look forward to seeing more from William and other young golfers inspired by his remarkable journey. Together, we are building a bright future for the game of golf, one that is inclusive, historic, and filled with endless possibilities.