Golf course renovations have either wrapped up or are underway at The Resort Course at La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas; FireLake Golf Course in Shawnee, Okla.; Royal Oak (Mich.) Golf Center; and Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston, Mass.
The Resort Course at La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas has closed for extensive renovations. The property features two championship 18-hole golf courses, the Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish-designed Resort Course and the Arnold Palmer-designed Palmer Course.
The renovation will include new green complexes, tee complexes and bunkers. Tee boxes are being leveled and enlarged to gain additional tee space, while greens are returning to original sizes and will be resurfaced with TifEagle grass. Green contours also will change to match the increased green speeds.
The total number of bunkers will be reduced and locations changed to better define the direction of holes and accommodate the advancements in golf equipment and distance. Bunkers will be regraded, reshaped and rebuilt incorporating a technically advanced drainage and liner system. Finally, white sand will be used to create a more appealing aesthetic.
“This renovation strikes a good balance between playing strategy, course aesthetics and environment,” said Steve Shields, PGA, Director of Golf. Once complete, golfers will experience the game with the challenges they’ve come to expect and the same spectacular views of the Texas Hill Country and San Antonio skyline. It will feel as though their playing a brand new course”
While the course is closed, crews will trim trees and lift tree canopies, repair cart paths and renovate course restrooms. Off course, the Resort Golf Shop will be updated, while the Resort Grille and Snack Shop will also be refurbished. Additionally, the practice range and tee area will be leveled and resurfaced. Renovation projects are expected to be completed late October as the Resort Course is scheduled to reopen November 1.
Nearly two years after work crews began excavating large sections of FireLake Golf Course in Shawnee, Okla., golfers are set to return to the 18-hole public course beginning July 1, the Shawnee News-Star reported.
The 6,335-yard course has been outfitted with several redesigned holes and new amenities. Lined with native grass and water hazards on 13 holes, FireLake’s champion Bermuda greens on all 18 holes are available to be played seven days a week. The course, owned and operated by Citizen Potawatomi Nation, was built in 1983 and saw changes beginning in 2015, the News-Star reported.
“The tribe committed to shutting down two years so we could make a good course a great one, and with what we have worked since 2015, I believe FireLake is just that,” said Chris Chesser, course director.
The course, clubhouse and driving range have been overhauled since renovations began under the supervision of FireLake Superintendent Derron Day. The new clubhouse is has a pro shop, restaurant and bar and there is an event space on the second floor, the News-Star reported.
“It’s been a long process, and we know we have a lot of people asking about re-opening,” said Chesser. “But we wanted to get it right the first time, have good grass down and give our golfers a playable course on our opening day. There are still a few minor fixes but we’re very happy to see our regular golfers and new faces out here.”
Royal Oak (Mich.) Golf Center has completed $1.4 million in renovations, The Detroit News reported.
Changes include more tees for the driving range, a major face-lift for the mini-golf course and a new snack shop. The golf center debuted its changes last week, the News reported.
One of the biggest changes was an additional 22 covered and heated tees on the driving range, bringing the total to 32. A cinder-block wall keeps cold winter winds out, while new windows cool golfers in the summer. The wall’s construction permits more covered tees to be added if they prove popular. In addition, there are 53 open-air tees, the News reported.
“While this was already a year-round facility, it is really a year-round facility,” said General Manager Glenn Pulice.
Visitors liked the mini-golf before its renovations, with its elevation changes and water features, Pulice said, but some of the features seemed tired and some visitors found the course too difficult. So he signed a check paying for new deluxe golf course carpeting, brought in a mini-golf reconstruction company from Wyoming and had the mountains rebuilt and newly stained, the News reported.
A new room houses the golf ball cleaner, which will keep clean golf balls warm in the winter months, a simple pleasure for Michigan golfers, the News reported.
Ed Doyle, one of the owners, said the golf course renegotiated a contract with Royal Oak until 2033 in exchange for $700,000 minimum in renovations. After several meetings and a year of planning, he said they spent double that—funded by the owners and PNC Bank, the News reported.
With the longer lease, he said he is optimistic for returns on the investment. Both the architects and the construction managers involved came to this course recreationally before putting their skills together realize the owners’ wish list of renovations. Architect Jason Krieger said the biggest issue was blending the renovations in with the existing facilities so they look like they’ve always been there, the News reported.
The biggest game-changer, Krieger said, is the pavilion, which can accommodate 200 people for parties. “It used to be a tent and AstroTurf,” he said. “It was hideous. Now, you can have a party here. The return on investment is amazing.”
The last nine months have been busy at the Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston, Mass., as it takes on a new look. Now, the owners are ready to show it off, the Greenfield (Mass.) Recorder reported.
The Crumpin-Fox Club, an 18-hole, 200-acre course, held an open house on June 30 July 1, featuring an all-you-can-eat barbeque buffet, live music, games for children and discounted golf, the Recorder reported.
The open house is a way of “showcasing what we’ve done so far and (giving) people a taste of what we’re going to continue to do to the course and the property,” Director of Golf John Jackson.
“We’ve been on a continuous renovation project,” he said. “It’s kind of the rebirth of Crumpin-Fox.”
“We’ve spent a little over a million dollars on the course in the last nine months,” said Michael Behn, president of Sandri Companies, which owns Crumpin-Fox. “We’re ready to show it to people.”
The renovations include: installing a new deck off the clubhouse, which Behn said is the largest in Franklin County and possibly in western Massachusetts; adding sod to improve areas around the greens; adding new golf cart paths; installing a pavilion; and replacing the fleet of gas-powered golf carts with electric carts that feature GPS, the Recorder reported.
Jackson’s his goal is to see Crumpin-Fox return to being one of the top 100 golf courses in the country, as it was in the 1990s, the Recorder reported.
“We’re not there yet, but we’re starting to look like one again,” he said. “People will come up and be so blown away by what we are right now, but also by what we’re going to do. We’re not stopping until we reach our ultimate goal.”