Griffin Gate Golf Club begins golf course bunker renovation

Maintenance friendly edges are key to the design of Better Billy Bunkers

Griffin Gate Golf Club, a Marriott Golf-managed facility located at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa in Lexington, Ky., announced that the property has broken ground on a $1 million bunker golf course renovation project, along with a complete golf course greens complex refinement.

Scheduled for completion in mid-May, Marriott Golf has commissioned renowned golf architect Rees Jones, the original Griffin Gate Golf Course designer, to direct the project, which will further enhance one of the premier golf experiences in the rolling hills of Kentucky Bluegrass Country.

Highlighting the project, Rees Jones will utilize the highly successful Better Billy Bunker Method throughout the golf course. The golf course bunker system is currently used at a collection of the game’s premier golf courses, including Valhalla in Louisville, Bethpage Black in New York, and Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., site of the 2016 Ryder Cup. The golf course bunker system is also popular among Marriott Golf facilities, having recently been installed at The Rookery at Marco, located at the Marco Island Marriott Resort.

“I am happy to be returning to work on Griffin Gate, one of my first designs. It’s like seeing an old friend after 34 years,” Rees-Jones said. “1981 was quite a while back, so a golf course bunker renovation to bring the course ’back to the future will serve the course well. We are also re-defining the fairway lines and creating chipping areas to give the course more varied challenges. We feel the changes will maintain the popularity that Griffin Gate has enjoyed for the last three decades.”

“We are extremely excited to have Rees Jones return to Griffin Gate and lead not only the golf course bunker renovation but the greens complex refinement as well,” said Mark Ravenscraft, general manager, Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa. “Aside from his famed expertise, no one knows the facility better, which means this project will greatly enhance a golf course already known for its competitive play, beauty, and environmentally-friendly appeal. Griffin Gate enjoys a tremendous history and popularity in the rolling hills of Kentucky and we are excited that Rees Jones will help to take that distinction to another level.”

To best service customers during the project period, Griffin Gate officials and Rees Jones, Inc. will execute the operation in two nine-hole phases, thus allowing for nine holes of the course to remain open for resort and local guests at all times. The project is estimated to be completed in mid-May when all details of the renovation and all related refinements will be announced, and prior to the public re-opening of the new-look Griffin Gate Golf Course.

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