The eight-month project added USGA greens and a new irrigation system to the Naples, Fla. club’s 56-acre, 18-hole Arthur Hills-designed golf course. The greens were re-grassed with TifEagle Bermuda and other parts of the course were converted to Bimini Bermuda. Fairways are now 20 to 25 percent larger and greens have been increased by 30 percent, with more collection areas.
Members, staff and the Board of Directors Countryside Golf & Country Club in Naples, Fla. gathered for a cup-cutting ceremony on December 5th to celebrate the completion of the renovation to club’s 56-acre Arthur Hills-designed golf course. The eight-month, $5.5 million project added USGA greens and a new state-of-the-art irrigation system to the private 18-hole course.
C+RB reported in April 2019 on the plans for the project (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/countryside-gcc-begins-5-5m-course-renovation/).
The renovation was led by golf course architecture firm Kipp Schulties Golf Design of Jupiter, Fla. and general contractor Ryangolf Corporation of Deerfield Beach, Fla., along with Ragan Technical Solutions of North Palm Beach, Fla. for irrigation design and Flynn Engineering of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for permitting.
The course was re-grassed with Bimini Bermuda grass and Tif Eagle Bermuda on the greens. The renovation also took advantage of technology that improved since the origination of the course, such as better subsurface irrigation.
The renovation of the par-70 course went well beyond a facelift, Schulties said. “Not only did we improve the overall playability, we designed it for the long term,” he said. “The club and its Board wanted to do it the right way, and Countryside will be reaping the benefits for the next 20 to 30 years.”
Returning players will be surprised at how much bigger parts of the course now feel, Schulties predicted.
“Countryside’s course had skinnier fairways and smaller roughs,” he explained. “Now, the fairways are 20 to 25 percent larger, and we increased the size of the greens by 30 percent and added collection areas, so players won’t be penalized for missing their target.”
The renovation reconstructed sand bunkers, thinned overgrown trees and installed new stacked-rock retaining walls. Plans also modified the lake on the property and relocated the practice area away from the clubhouse and closer to the first tee, and expanded the short-game area and putting green.
“Countryside Golf & Country Club continues to enhance its member experience,” said Joe Smith, the club’s General Manager and Chief Operating Officer. “We’re planning on a grand reopening event in January, to welcome back our seasonal residents and introduce them to our beautiful new course.”
Larry Franzen, President of the Countryside G&CC Board, added that the club’s members are eager to play the newly renovated course and take advantage of its additional teeing options and the flexibility it offers for different skill sets.
“It will not only be visually very appealing, but also a joy to play,” said Franzen. “This was a major revisioning of the course, and we are excited about the future of Countryside and can’t wait for our first rounds of golf.”
The course renovation continues the momentum of more than $5 million in investments that Countryside G&CC has made in its new lifestyle, tennis and bocce complex. The recently completed master-planned improvement project added a Wellness Center with cardio and strength training equipment and member recreation areas and locker rooms, as well as two Har-Tru bocce courts and four lighted Har-Tru tennis courts.