A significant renovation project at the Maricopa, Ariz., property will improve the golf course’s playability while maintaining challenges, with a projected completion date of September 2014.
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club has announced plans for a significant renovation project aimed at improving the course’s playability for leisure players while maintaining the challenges and shot-values enjoyed by experienced golfers.
The enhancements to the Maricopa, Ariz., property include a complete bunker renovation, additional tee boxes, expanded landing areas, and other design improvements on several holes. Plans also include a hybrid conversion of the practice facility to serve as a six-hole short course in the afternoon and a traditional driving range during peak times of the day.
The project started May 27 and be completed by September 2014. When complete, the course will be ideally suited to appeal to both resort-style play and competitive tournaments.
“The Ak-Chin Indian Community is proud of its involvement with the Southern Dunes course since acquiring ownership in 2010,” said Louis J. Manuel, Jr., tribal chairman. “We are pleased to be working with Troon and the course architects to make these very important enhancements to our already beautiful course.”
To ensure the integrity of the award-winning design at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, original course architects of Schmidt-Curley Design and Fred Couples were brought in to lead the project that involves a complete bunker renovation. In all, 83,000-sq. ft. of bunkers will be removed from the course’s current total of 480,000 sq. ft. Major improvements also include significant turf expansion between many of the forward tees to eliminate unnecessary forced carries for those choosing to “tee it forward” or are still learning how to consistently hit shots in the air.
“This facility enhancement project is a game-changer for Ak-Chin Southern Dunes on a local, regional and national level,” said General Manager Brady Wilson. “The project addresses every spoke of the wheel with regards to improved playing conditions, better playability for core golfers, more challenge for accomplished players and growth of the game options.”
Additional enhancements include re-vegetation of native grasses and many transitions between bunker edges and native desert. A new back tee will be added on No. 1 (a change made with the experienced golfer in mind) while new forward tees are added on holes 5, 8, 12, 15 and 17. Improvements on No. 17 also include a nearly full-redesign with an expansion of the green, reshaping of a large dune to open sightlines to the hole, and changes to the bunker complex around the green.