ASGCA announces 2013 Design Excellence honorees

The second annual American Society of Golf Course Architects Design Excellence Recognition Program recipients have been named. Projects from 12 courses have been cited for their work with ASGCA members in addressing unique design challenges leading to improved social, economic and environmental benefits.

Begun in 2012, the Design Excellence Recognition Program shines a light on the innovation and problem-solving skills required of today’s golf course designs, whether the project is a “small” bunker renovation or a full-scale 18-hole layout.

All of the 2013 nominations were reviewed by a panel of golf industry leaders, including representatives of the Club Managers Association of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Golf Course Builders Association of America and National Golf Course Owners Association.

The recognized courses are:

“These courses – along with their architects – are to be commended,” said ASGCA Vice President Lee Schmidt. “In each case, golf course owners, managers and superintendents faced challenges unique to them, including the landscape, environment or business situation. And, in each case, they met the challenges by working with ASGCA members, who serve clients around the world every day.”

  • Butterfield Country Club, Oak Brook, Ill./Steve Smyers, ASGCA: This 85-year-old course experienced significant drainage and infrastructure problems, including bank erosion and new county-mandated watershed management requirements. Design solutions altered Salt Creek to deliver holes with multiple strategies and attack options, allowing the county to store more water and prevent future erosion. Now, the aesthetic and artistic solutions combine with quicker recovery from heavy rains.
  • Camelback Golf Club, Scottsdale, Ariz./Dana Fry, ASGCA and Jason Straka, ASGCA: Camelback’s flat terrain flooded easily and the course’s reputation for occasional poor playing conditions and outdated design was affecting business at the adjoining resort. Contour was added, bridges introduced and maintained turfgrass dropped from 210 acres to 90 acres. The new course is safer, drains better, has more visual and architectural interest and will cut down on the amount of water, fertilizer, pesticides and fossil fuels to maintain it.
  • China Maple Golf Club, Dandong, Liaoning Province, China/Rick Robbins, ASGCA: A new golf resort was created among rugged terrain surrounding an undeveloped national park. The site’s 260 meters of elevation change proved a challenge, and maintaining the river’s high water quality was a priority, as surrounding land was to be developed for homes and the national park. The 27-hole facility now fits into the mountain terrain, meeting flood and erosion control measures.
  • Columbia Country Club, Columbia, Mo./Dana Fry, ASGCA and Jason Straka, ASGCA: A portion of this 1922-designed course was lost to outside development. Owners requested course work resulting in no loss of par, yardage or golf quality. Working with club, developer and local government, the back nine holes were rerouted and reconstructed. Army Corps-regulated streams were restored to improve water flow through the course and to improve the water quality of the urban watershed. All of the project’s private and civic goals were met.
  • Ely Callaway Golf & Learning Center-Honors Course presented by TaylorMade, Oceanside, Calif./Rainville & Bye G C Architects, David Rainville, ASGCA Fellow: Rainville & Bye and the PR Kids/The First Tee of San Diego teamed up to create a golf learning and practice facility on 6.3 acres, adjacent to the Oceanside Municipal Golf Course. Results include a 5,000-square-foot putting green and six-hole par 3 course with holes 45-114 yards long. Bunkers vary in size and location. The coordination between client, project architect, project engineer and golf course architect was the key to success.
  • Glenlaurel Resort, Rockbridge, Ohio/Mike Hurdzan, ASGCA: How do you build a low cost, fun to play, unique golf experience at a small resort? A course with grassless tees and greens, cut out of a pasture. Glenlaurel features eight holes on 30 acres, holes 45-218 yards in length to be played with modern equipment, or rented early-20th century wood shaft clubs and half-distance balls. The course was entirely built at a fraction of the cost of one conventional course hole and has no irrigation, drainage, bentgrass, rootzones or cart paths and minimized turf maintenance.
  • Island Hills Golf Club, Centreville, Mich./Raymond Hearn, ASGCA: Island Hills is a complete master plan remodel intended to grow the game by making the course more strategic and appealing to all golfers, while offering more course play options. New features reduced surface area and sand bunkers, which provide operational savings. Short course options allow anyone – including super seniors, women and juniors – to play for less cost, and remodeled holes designed to decrease playing time.
  • Lake Venice Golf Club, Venice, Fla./Jan Bel Jan, ASGCA: Federal Aviation Administration updates to neighboring Venice Municipal Airport necessitated redesign and improved routing on nine of 27 holes. Results: four greens and tees saved, a new practice area created, invasive exotic growth removed, and construction and grow-in completed in just seven months.
  • Mohegan Sun Country Club, Baltic, Conn./Robert McNeil, ASGCA: Mohegan Sun’s remodel required complete course enhancement, including the need to develop a self-sustaining water management program. Along with new tee complexes on all 18 holes, 65 new bunkers constructed and more, the project reduced maintained areas while designing the management system, including three inter-connected lakes and state-of-the-art irrigation and water transfer systems.
  • Rock Manor Golf Course, Wilmington, Del./Lester George, ASGCA: The problem: expansion of Rt. 202 and I-95 in Delaware significantly encroached on the course and flooding of the nearby Matson Run Watershed was a loss-of-life reality to residents. Despite needing to create new maintenance and floodwater attenuation, working around utilities and routing around a major interchange, Rock Manor is now a playable, fun, beautiful course that improved the environment.
  • Stevens Park Golf Course, Dallas/John Colligan, ASGCA: Colligan oversaw a total renovation of this 90-year-old course, while working around a creek running throughout course, six street crossings, topographic changes, mature trees, adjacent homes and underground utilities. The renovation improved playability, improved practice facilities and bike/hike trails, features a new irrigation system and treated water use, and included concrete cart paths and additional plants to create “Garden Golf Course.”
  • Twin Oaks Country Club, Springfield, Mo./Todd Clark, ASGCA Associate: Twin Oaks sought to renovate its practice facility and create a short course for beginners and juniors, but did not have additional land for separate facilities. The solution was a new practice range with synthetic greens that could be configured as a short course. Range targets vary from 60-250 yards, and the new six-hole short course varies from 50-120 yards per hole.

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