The Donald Ross design, along the St. Johns River adjacent to NAS Jacksonville, was built in 1923 and has continued to stand the test of the time. But golf-course agronomy being what it is, the time also is right for another makeover, said superintendent Chris Neff.
“It seems like we just did it, but it’s been a while,” Neff said. “We’re excited about the plans.”
Bobby Weed, who supervised the renovation in 1996, will serve as a consultant again. The course will close May 2 and the club plans to re-open it in October. Neff said all 18 tees and greens will be re-grassed, along with the 14 fairways.
The 82 bunkers will be reworked. There are no plans to add or subtract any traps. Some minor irrigation work also will take place.
Neff said several different kinds of Tif-Bermuda grass will be planted, with one variety for the greens, one for the tees and one for the closely mown areas near the green. The new varieties will stand up better to shade and the extremes of heat and cold in north Florida.
The only change in the playing characteristics of any hole under consideration is to the 11th green, famous or infamous, depending on how someone might have just played it.
The green slopes severely from back to front to a pond, and players have been known to putt from the back of the green to a front pin, and watch in dismay as the ball misses the cup and rolls off the green and into the water.
“The decision hasn’t been made yet whether there will be any change to the 11th green,” Neff said. “It could be they make no changes. Other than that, I think the course is going to remain about the same.”