Andy Staples to renovate Arizona’s Mesa Country Club; Jeff Lynch brings a natural connection to Ireland’s Portmarnock Links
Glenmoor Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, reopened in mid-June following a year-long renovation by Love Golf Design.
A 1985 creation from Pete Dye, with wife Alice and son Perry assisting, Glenmoor hadn’t undergone any changes since that time, but membership at the private club in suburban Denver concluded it was due for a refresh.
Led by Davis Love III, his brother Mark and lead architect Scot Sherman, the Glenmoor renovation was spurred by a need to replace aging infrastructure. The second goal was to make the course more challenging for the high-level player, while also being more playable for members and guests.
The project included a new irrigation water source, a new irrigation system, replacement of 2 miles of railroad tie bulkheads, new greens, 89 upgraded bunkers, some additional length, tee upgrades, cart path improvements and reintroducing a few bunkers that had been abandoned over time.
"What a unique Pete Dye design," said Mark Love, founder and president of Love Golf Design. "We are so pleased to help preserve and upgrade Pete’s unique course."
A new practice range and putting green accompanied the reopening of the 6,787-yard, par-71 golf course.
Grow in of this Donald Ross classic continues at Bobby Jones Golf Club. Hats off to Troon's Ian Murphy and staff on their efforts. Looking forward to finalizing grass lines on the short course in a few weeks with QGS Development. pic.twitter.com/VgdryBdHMX— Richard Mandell Golf Architecture (@RichardMandell) May 31, 2023
MESA COUNTRY CLUB TAKES NEW LEAP
Mesa Country Club in Mesa, Arizona, is embarking on a significant renovation of its historic golf course as part of the club’s plans to commemorate its 75th anniversary.
The project is the largest and most encompassing investment since the William P. Bell/William F. Bell-designed course opened in 1948. The father and son were best known for creating Torrey Pines in San Diego, but they were prolific throughout the West and Southwest.
"All the greens will be rebuilt to USGA standards, greenside bunkers will be renovated to improve playability and, importantly, a new irrigation system will ensure significant water reduction usage," said Neil Baier, president of the board at the country club. "We are also upgrading our clubhouse facilities. In the next few years, Mesa Country Club will be one of the region’s top membership choices."
Scottsdale-based Staples Golf Design was hired to manage the project.
"The big news item here is the water conservation work in relation to the irrigation system upgrade, the lake reduction plan, and the low water use areas in out of play areas,” said Andy Staples, president of Staples Golf. "This will address the water issues and the upcoming state mandates."
Work on the project starts this summer. Mesa Country Club is one of the few parkland courses in the greater Phoenix area and features mature eucalyptus and pine trees lining fairways and integrated throughout the routing of holes.
With a plateau running through the course, elevation changes put a premium on shotmaking. However, the par-72, 6,900-yard course is eminently walkable.
PGA Tour member Joel Dahmen is a member. Mesa Country Club was among the first private golf clubs in Arizona, along with Phoenix Country Club, Arizona Country Club, Tucson Country Club and Paradise Valley Country Club.
DUBLIN'S PORTMARNOCK GOLF LINKS REOPENS
The 18-hole layout at the Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links near Dublin, Ireland, has reopened following a four-month renovation by Jeff Lynch of ReGolf Design.
Originally designed by Bernhard Langer in 1995, Portmarnock Links sits just north of the fabled Portmarnock Golf Club, some 15 minutes away from Dublin’s international airport. It is affiliated with a palatial hotel that was once the home of the Jameson Distillery family.
Holes 8, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 17 were rerouted. DAR Construction built five new green complexes and four new tee areas, plus new fairways.
“The remodeling stems from the fact that some of the golf elements needed to be renovated anyway, giving us an opportunity to explore other possibilities," Lynch told GolfCourseArchitecture.net. "With the modern world and society spinning at a rapid rate and digitally plugged in 24/7, a reconnect with the natural world is a must.
"The concept was the main driver for the redesign. Similar to Royal Lytham, Portmarnock is cut off from the sea. We are trying to engage the members and guests with a more coastal experience both visually and acoustically. We have cozied up to the foredunes with certain greens, tees and pathways, and elevated others to embrace the Velvet Strand [beach] and the Irish Sea. There will be more playable corridors for the majority but they will be flexible enough to be set up for tournament play."
Aquaturf Solutions, an Irish sports turf irrigation company assisted in the club’s effort to enhance course conditions through the introduction of top-grade fescues and to help the club meet its sustainability and biodiversity goals by reducing the inputs of water. With the new routing and altered topography providing stunning views of the Velvet Strand, Lambay and Ireland’s Eye, plus an improved eco-environment, the Portmarnock Links feels like a new course.