Kevin Norby renovates A.W. Tillinghast’s Golden Valley; Cabot Citrus Farms picks its architects; Chris Wilczynski to design Florida’s Astor Creek
The latest news and notes in golf course architecture.
> Eleven years after teaming up on the design and after numerous routings, Harrison Minchew and Fred Funk are at long last ready to unveil RainDance National Resort and Golf in Windsor, Colo. Situated 55 miles north of Denver and 20 miles southeast of Fort Collins, RainDance is a semi-private layout set in the high desert at nearly 5,000 feet elevation. The thin air partially explains the back tee scorecard length of 7,845 yards, though it can actually be stretched to 8,485 yards. The terrain features 20- to 30-foot deep arroyos that flow down to the Cache la Poudre River.
“I’ve never had such a beautiful golf-only site with ideal terrain like RainDance,” says Minchew, a 37-year member of the ASGCA who spent 26 years with Arnold Palmer Design. Developed by The Water Valley Company, RainDance will also feature the 65,000-square-foot G.O.A.T. Ranch putting green and short game area. Seeding on the championship course was completed last fall and the course is expected to open in mid-July.
> Carver, Minn.-based architect Kevin Norby practically has a home game in renovating Golden Valley Country Club in Minneapolis. Designed by Tom Bendelow in 1916 and completely redesigned by A.W. Tillinghast in 1926, Golden Valley has enlisted Norby to reconstruct the bunkers and also to re-grass and expand the putting surfaces to increase pinnable area and recapture lost green square footage. Tillinghast historian Philip Young and architecture scholar Bradley Klein will assist Norby in ensuring that Tillinghast’s original vision is fully realized. Duininck Golf will start bunker construction on Sept. 8. The Phase 2 greens project is expected to begin in 2023 or possibly 2024.
> In late January, Brooksville, Florida’s World Woods was transformed into Cabot Citrus Farms. Included would be a reimagining of its two Tom Fazio courses — Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks — plus other changes at the facility. On Feb. 21, Cabot Citrus Farms announced the architects who would assist in the transformation. Kyle Franz, best known for his restoration of North Carolina’s Mid Pines, a Donald Ross classic, will remodel Pine Barrens. Keith Rhebb and Riley Johns, longtime Coore-Crenshaw associates and prized for their re-do of Orlando’s Winter Park, will handle the redesign of Rolling Oaks. Architect Mike Nuzzo, of Texas’ Wolf Point renown, will rework the expansive practice area and also will construct two new nine-hole courses. Work is expected to start in June, with a likely completion date of early 2023.
> Astor Creek Country Club has started construction on its new Chris Wilczynski-designed, 18-hole, private residential course in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Wilczynski, who spent two decades with Arthur Hills before hanging his own shingle in 2010, began design work in April 2021. “We’re essentially striving to create a golfer’s utopia from a dead-flat piece of property that was once a citrus farm,” says Wilczynski. Expected opening date is sometime in 2023.
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