Design Notes

David McLay Kidd reimagines Utah’s Entrada at Snow Canyon

Huxham Golf Design expands Quebec’s La Tempete; Art Schaupeter redesigns Texas’ Lozano; Nicklaus Design’s Rose Canyon in Vietnam takes shape

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An aerial view of the ninth hole at Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club in St. George, Utah.

The latest news and notes in golf course architecture.

> Following a 17-month overhaul from David McLay Kidd, Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club in St. George, Utah reopened in early April. Kidd’s comprehensive renovation has completely transformed the original 1996 layout designed by Johnny Miller and Fred Bliss. Working in conjunction with Troon’s Design, Development and Agronomy team, Kidd started below ground, with new drainage and irrigation systems along with relined and renovated irrigation lakes. Above ground, Kidd’s team and Troon’s team relocated or renovated tees, re-contoured fairways and redesigned and resurfaced every green. In addition, every bunker was reconfigured and tees, fairways and roughs were re-grassed. The new course eliminates most of the more penal aspects of the old design as it introduces more width and player-friendly contours, a trait Kidd has utilized to pleasing effect elsewhere, such as Gamble Sands and Sand Valley’s Mammoth Dunes.

“It’s definitely a desert course, you’re out here in southern Utah, but I want to have that links experience,” said Kidd. “I want it to be the ground game. So many courses in America call themselves links, but you can’t run the ball anywhere. This golf course is made entirely for that. From the way the design is, to the way the grasses are maintained, it’s all about being able to run the ball along the ground and use it to your advantage.”

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> Huxham Golf Design, helmed by brothers Darrell and Warren Huxham, is on track to complete the final nine holes for La Tempete Golf Club in Quebec City, Canada. The Huxhams, who trained under acclaimed Canadian architect Graham Cooke, crafted the well-received first 18 holes at La Tempete in 2004. That course will soon be known as the North course at La Tempete. Elevated demand for more golf brought the Huxhams back in 2019 to carve out another 18 from more than 200 acres of forested land. Upon completion, the layout will measure 7,300 yards, with an eye toward hosting important tournaments, including perhaps the RBC Canadian Open. 

“The finishing holes of each nine are definitely the main attraction, with the par-4 ninth and the par-5 18th wrapping around either side of a large pond, with stadium mounding  on the outside of each hole to accommodate spectators,” said Warren Huxham. Nine holes of the new South course opened in 2021, with the second nine scheduled for completion in 2023.

> Art Schaupeter has been tabbed to revitalize the nine-hole short course and practice facilities at Lozano Golf Center for the City of Corpus Christi, Texas. Schaupeter, who crafted the award-winning TPC Colorado course that measures 7,991 yards, has a smaller, if no less significant task at Lozano, in transforming a 1,947-yard par-30 layout into a better version of itself. Improvements will include a new irrigation system, additional fairway drainage, reconstruction of tees and greens and re-grassing throughout. He will also relocate several tees and greens in order in provide more variety.

“The objective is to create a very fun and engaging playing experience for all levels of players,” said Schaupeter. “The majority of the course will be mowed at fairway height. Balls will be easy to locate, and there will be minimal hazards, with only six small bunkers, few trees, no water and only one lateral hazard area.”

To appease better players, Schaupeter will install “micro-slopes” throughout the course, notably around greens, to provide interest and challenge. He will lower, reshape and enlarge the putting surfaces for more short-game interest. Also on tap is an expanded practice range and a new short-game practice area. Construction is expected to begin in November 2022.

> Post-pandemic, Vietnam continues to be the leading growth region for new courses in Asia. Adding to the stable of new layouts coming online is Nicklaus Design, which is continuing work on 36 holes at Rose Canyon Resort in Ha Nam, an hour south of Hanoi.

“The South course is sited in an old quarry comprising impressive near-vertical mountains, low-lying flatlands and water-filled excavations,” said Sean Quinn, senior design associate at Nicklaus Design. “The dramatic mountains relate to every part of the golf course. Holes play between and around the monolithic forms, with some green sites having 200-foot-high cliff backdrops.”

Construction on the South course should conclude in late 2022, with an expected opening of mid-2023. Once that occurs, the Nicklaus Design team will begin work on the North course.