Game improvement has taken center stage at Stone Harbor GC in Cape May Court House, N.J., with a renovated driving range and two-tiered putting green for members. Grow-the-game initiatives have led Sunset Valley GC in Highland Park, Ill. to break ground on a new Youth Golf Development Center. And in Hilton Head Island, S.C., the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort has added an indoor archery range for guests to hone their skills.
Clubs in New Jersey, Illinois and South Carolina continue to bolster their arsenals of member amenities.
Stone Harbor Golf Club in Cape May Court House, N.J. debuted a renovated driving range and putting green for its members. Over the past five years, the club’s owner Lee Fishman and its leadership team have launched extensive golf course and clubhouse enhancement projects to provide members with an unrivaled private club experience at the Jersey Shore.
Stone Harbor Golf Club retained Golf Course Architect Tyler Rae to design and supervise the construction of the practice area renovation. Members will now be able to sharpen their golf skills on the expansive 38,000-sq.-ft. teeing area offering five target greens.
Also, the club installed a state-of-the-art Turfhound tee surface system that is designed to mimic the feel and performance of natural turf.
“The expanded facility now can accommodate over 50 percent more golfers on a daily basis, which in turn gives the members an added benefit of joining Stone Harbor Golf Club, where they can hit balls and not feel cramped on a small driving range,” said Rae.
Taking inspiration from the club’s unique Desmond Muirhead-designed golf course, Rae also designed a new 6,500 sq. ft., two-tiered putting green. Stone Harbor members will now practice putts on an undulating green that mirrors what they will find throughout the Par 72, 6,922-yard track.
“This project has been in the works for a few years,” said Fishman, who assumed sole ownership of Stone Harbor Golf Club in August of 2015. “This enhanced amenity, along with a multitude of other improvements that we have introduced over the past five years, give members what we think is the best private club experience at the Jersey Shore.”
On the course, Rae most recently collaborated with Stone Harbor Golf Club on renovations to Holes No. 1, 2, and 13 that began with the installation of new irrigation along the green surrounds. On these holes, the club also initiated the next phase of its course-wide tree management program that is designed to open site lines, enhance turf quality, and improve playability.
In addition, on No. 1 and No. 2, Rae redesigned and reshaped the green surrounds and the green-side bunkers. By blending the course’s Muirhead architecture with new Seth Raynor-style bunkers, Rae created holes that are both visually appealing and more playable. On No. 13, mounds were pushed back away from the green, creating flatter, more generous areas around the green surround. Also, a 100-year old oak tree, previously in the back of the green, is now incorporated into the design, becoming an iconic feature of the hole.
The club has also repaved many of its cart paths along the golf course, adding Belgian block curbing around the tees and greens and upgraded the irrigation system to maintain pristine course conditions.
Sunset Valley Golf Club in Highland Park, Ill. recently broke ground on a new Youth Golf Development Center. More than $200,000 in donations were raised by the Parks Foundation of Highland Park since 2018 to cover the design and construction costs of this state-of-the-art facility. The new Center will feature:
– Fairways, rough areas, and bunkers that replicate the golf course at Sunset Valley allowing for practice shots up to 50 yards; and
– Synthetic turf hitting stations for longer shots.
The new Center will be located adjacent to the Sunset Valley Golf course. It will be used primarily for short game youth golf instruction by the Sunset Valley professional staff and for practice by Sunset Valley golfers when not in use for teaching. The projected opening for the new Center is Spring 2021.
The Sunset Valley Youth Golf Development Center is the Parks Foundation of Highland Park’s first capital project since its founding in 2016. The Parks Foundation spearheaded several fundraising initiatives for the Center and also received a significant donation from Highland Park resident and Illinois Amateur Golf Hall of Famer Joel Hirsch as well as a $50,000 grant from the Wadsworth Foundation to fund the project.
Sunset Valley’s new state-of-the-art Center will be a welcoming high-quality environment where young people can learn discipline, fairness, and patience by practicing the game of golf. At the new Center, young players will have the opportunity to learn and improve their game and sports etiquette within the broader environment of the award-winning Sunset Valley Golf Course among seasoned players and professionals.
The Center will be located on an approximately one-acre plot of land adjacent to the new Sunset Valley golf course. This unique facility, typically only seen at private clubs and learning centers, will be Highland Park’s and the surrounding communities’ primary Center for youth golf instruction and skill development in the fundamentals of the short game.
Hilton Head Island, S.C. residents and visitors can now escape the heat by heading indoors to On the Mark Archery’s air-conditioned range at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. This new addition complements resort favorites such as golf, tennis and pickleball, while offering its own unique challenges and satisfaction throughout the journey to sporting success.
Founder Mark Pirrello, a Level 4 USA Archery instructor certified by Olympic Head Coach Kisik Lee, will oversee daily operations to help build momentum and establish a foothold on the island. The New England-based organization is known for its professional mobile archery classes, events and corporate team-building sessions for individuals and groups to enjoy. Youths and adults alike will undoubtedly find this activity refreshing and engaging when given the opportunity to experience one of the world’s oldest sports using traditional wooden recurve bows that require instinctive aiming and discipline to truly master the “Art of Archery.”
Pirrello describes archery as a mental sport that involves a focus needed to achieve consistency with the body, mind and spirit all acting in unison.
“We are excited to have the chance to showcase an Olympic sport like archery for residents and visitors of Hilton Head Island to experience something unique and totally different,” Pirrello said. “This is an activity that anyone can succeed in with a little patience and focus and although it can take years to master, the fundamentals can be learned within a few dozen shots.”