The project at the Round Rock, Texas property that is managed by KemperSports was funded by city savings and is expected to make the club financially self-sufficient, according to the city’s Chief Financial Officer. A new lighted driving range is being touted as a key new amenity that will help turn Forest Creek into “a social hub for the community,”according to General Manager Jeff Dayton, PGA.
Over the last nine months, renovation work has changed the face of Forest Creek Golf Club in Round Rock, Texas, and management is now preparing to welcome golfers back to the course on October 1st, the Community Impact Newspaper of Pflugerville, Texas reported.
The city-owned 18-hole course, which opened in 1990, came under new management in 2017 when the city contracted with KemperSports for its management, Community Impact reported. The change included the start of a $5.1 million renovation that was funded by city savings and, once complete, will allow Forest Creek’s golf course operations to be financially self-sufficient, according to city of Round Rock’s Chief Financial Office, Susan Morgan.
“It’s almost like opening a brand new course,” General Manager Jeff Dayton, PGA, told Community Impact. “It’s the same basic layout but we tweaked it here and there. We’ve added some bunkers, taken away some bunkers, and made it more playable.”
The course’s greens were reconstructed and now feature Tif-eagle Bermuda grass, a heat-resistant grass that rolls well and is one of the best grasses for greens, Dayton said. Crews also planted a native buffalo grass to act as a border around the course. When fully mature, Dayton told Community Impact, the long, wispy grass will provide a nice contrast to the greens.
“It may take [the grass] a year or so to really mature but the bones—the most important features of the course–will be way nicer than they ever were,” Dayton said.
Crews also thinned out the trees surrounding the course, allowing for improved playability, Community Impact reported.
“Over the years, the course had become overgrown and the wooded areas were really dense,” Dayton said. “If you missed the fairway and got into the woods, you had a hard time finding your ball and definitely couldn’t play your ball if you did find it.
“We thinned out the trees and brush and raised the canopies, so now when you miss the fairway you have a chance of finding and playing your ball,” he added.
The renovation also included the installation of a new irrigation system and water features, Community Impact reported, and the course’s nine bridges also got an overhaul, with the reconstruction of seven bridges and repairs on the remaining two.
“One of the most exciting parts of the renovation is the driving range,” Dayton told Community Impact. That amenity now features renovated teeing grounds, 50-foot netting surrounding the range, new target areas and LED lights, which Dayton said will allow the range to stay open past dark.
“It has given us the flexibility to turn this facility into something a little bit different than most golf courses,” he said. “It’s going to be a social hub for the community.”
The lights are also designed to minimize glare, which combined with the treeline, will lessen the effects at night for area residents, Community Impact reported.
“It will be really exciting to see this course a year from now, but I’m just glad to get to this point, because it’s been a long 8 1/2 to nine months,” Dayton said. “We’re all excited, everybody is.”
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