Design Notes

Keisers have big plans for Colorado's Rodeo Dunes

Andrew Green reinvigorates Florida’s Indian Creek; Lanny Wadkins tweaks North Carolina’s Firethorne

Though just barren land at the moment, the site for Rodeo Dunes has been described by developer Michael Keiser as being "where Ireland meets the American West."

Dream Golf, a.k.a. the Keiser family, announced on April 18 that it will develop up to six courses at a development being called Rodeo Dunes.

Situated near the Front Range town of Roggen, approximately 50 miles northeast of Denver, the 2,000-acre site is replete with massive dunes and mountain views.

"The moment I set foot on this land, I knew this was the place," said Michael Keiser, son of Bandon Dunes domo Mike Keiser, and the developer of Wisconsin’s Sand Valley with brother Chris. "The dunes are perfect — tall and rolling, with unlimited possibilities for great golf holes."

As first reported by Colorado Avid Golfer in December 2022, two courses are currently on the books, one to be designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the other to be the first solo project from longtime Coore/Crenshaw associate Jim Craig. It’s most likely Craig’s course that will appear first. Also to come, soon thereafter, will be a short course and a putting course.

Named for the previous property owner — the Crevi family, which is among the country’s elite producers of championship rodeos — the layout has inspired Michael Keiser to draw parallels to the terrain at Lahinch, calling the site "where Ireland meets the American West." Craig got the nod to design the first course based on the positive experience the Keiser brothers had with him when he built the Sandbox short course at Sand Valley on behalf of Coore & Crenshaw in 2018.

"You just could not ask for a better site," said Michael Kesier of Rodeo Dunes. "The land requires minimal shaping. We know what kind of amazing work Bill and Ben do, and their routing is as great as you would expect from them. Jimmy Craig’s layout explores the property in a way that feels both similar and fresh. The two courses will complement each other and be a blast to play."

Construction at Rodeo Dunes begins this summer, with an expected opening date for public play in 2025. 


Indian Creek Country Club reopened earlier in 2023 after a 2022 "resto-vation" by Andrew Green.

Located on Indian Creek Island on Biscayne Bay, across from Miami Beach, Florida, the low-key private club was perhaps best known in recent years for its stunning, yet comfortable Mediterranean-style clubhouse, with an impressive locker room to match. Now, the 1925 William Flynn-designed golf course can once more compare favorably to its magical seaside setting and to its remarkable clubhouse.

"We gave the course a real facelift," Green told The First Call in early February. "We reinfused it with the Flynn stylings. We did not go after a more natural or rugged presentation. We tried to keep the refinement that the golf course had transitioned to, but we also found ways to connect to some of the layered bunkering that Flynn originally had — clusters of sand that dance in the landscape."

Green also rebuilt the greens and expanded them back to their original dimensions, and moved the fourth hole closer to the bay, reflecting the original Flynn drawing. To enhance aesthetics even more, Green cleared away much of the overgrown vegetation that had obscured handsome vistas of golf course, bay and clubhouse. With newly improved sightlines, refreshed bunkering and heightened risk/reward decisions with holes set on the Bay.

Invited, the private club industry stalwart formerly known as ClubCorp, debuted its renovated Firethorne Country Club on May 9.

Located in the upscale Charlotte, North Carolina, suburb of Marvin, the club boasts a wooded 1998 Tom Jackson design replete with rock walls, creeks and ponds.

For the renovation, the club enlisted the aid of former PGA Championship winner Lanny Wadkins to consult on redesigning the ninth hole. Previously, the hole was a 516-yard par 5 that featured a challenging tee shot, with bunkers and water lining the right side of the fairway. The reimagined hole has been converted to a 440-yard par 4 as the green has been moved 75 yards toward the tee, with new bunkers installed to add an element of risk to the approach shot.

The tee box has been leveled with its footprint expanded and rebuilt with new grass, while the fairway was widened and fashioned into a concave shape that is more receptive to tee shots. The bunkers on the right have been removed, making for a more inviting tee shot. The former ninth green has been transformed into a short game practice area, allowing for pitch shots from up to 75 yards, as well as opportunities for members to work on both short and medium-length bunker shots.