Silver Lakes to rise again

The Silver Lakes golf facility in Alabama, part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, will reopen in September after damage sustained during a tornado left it unplayable.

The rated tornado hit Silver Lakes on 27 April, taking out more than 38,000 trees and  destroying some buildings. “The destruction of the tornado was so massive that we considered closing Silver Lakes,” said Dr David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which owns the RTJ Trail courses.

Jason Callan, director of golf at Silver Lakes, said: “In late May, it was virtually impossible to access this area. While we received millions of dollars in damage, we did not lose one life within our staff, which is remarkable. Our team has pulled together and done a phenomenal job. While play on our golf courses will return in September, the clubhouse is available for special events.”

“We have more than 70 people working on the courses and I am pleased to announce Silver Lakes will reopen 36 holes of golf in September,” said Bronner. Architect Roger Rulewich, who was the lead designer for the Robert Trent Jones firm when the Trail were originally constructed, is advising on the reconstructing, and making design changes at the same time.

“In the coming months, we will be upgrading all the greens with Champion ultra dwarf bermudagrass, repairing structural damage caused by the tornado and incorporating Roger’s design recommendations,” said John Cannon, president of Sunbelt Golf Corporation, which operates the courses. “Since the tornado, we have been able to keep all our staff working and remain committed to this region. These employees and the 50 others working every day to bring Silver Lakes back to life are the real heroes in this story. Employees from accounting and food service worked alongside our golf and maintenance staff to clear the courses of debris and preserve much of the original design. Perhaps appropriately named for the situation, the Mindbreaker, Heartbreaker and Backbreaker will be back in action by the end of September, along with the short course.”

 

Discussion

comments powered by Disqus

Share this page

Latest Golf Design News

By Adam Lawrence | 17 April 2014

A new start for one of golf architecture’s powerhouses

Thad Layton and Brandon Johnson are leading a new era for Arnold Palmer’s firm.

By Adam Lawrence | 17 April 2014

Estonian Golf Club achieves certified status from GEO

Prestigious international sustainability award for Baltic golf course.

By Sean Dudley | 16 April 2014

Vero Beach Country Club upgrades bridge structure on course

Florida club replaces two existing 20-year-old models with aluminium version.

By Sean Dudley | 16 April 2014

University of New Mexico North course reopens following renovation work

Staples Golf assists in project with focus on irrigation at course in Albuquerque.

By Adam Lawrence | 15 April 2014

Montenegro developer launches golf in schools programme

Royal Montenegro owner seeks to promote golf among youth of Balkan country.

By Sean Dudley | 15 April 2014

Holes reopen at Port Jefferson Country Club following renovation work

Back nine now open with front nine soon to follow at Long Island club.

By Adam Lawrence | 15 April 2014

The return of a fallen favourite: Golf’s one shot epics

Are long par three holes making a comeback? Adam Lawrence investigates

By Sean Dudley | 10 April 2014

The Shire London completes £120,000 club-wide upgrades

Extensive bunker remodeling carried out on The Ballesteros Masters Course.

New Features and Interviews

By Stuart Yarwood MG | 27 January 2014

A light bulb moment: the story behind Tom’s Locker

Stuart Yarwood describes how he came to create his one-stop shop for greenkeepers.

By Adam Lawrence | 16 January 2014

Continental drift? The current state of golf development in Asia

Has golf development stalled in Asia, or is there still momentum across the continent?

By Rod Burke | 24 October 2013

The vital importance of understanding player attitudes

New research into golfer’s attitudes will help the game evolve, says Rod Burke.

By Adam Lawrence | 23 October 2013

The important role synthetics will play in the future of golf

Jon Scott and Kevin Holinaty discuss how synthetic turf can shape golf’s future.

Supplier Directory

Newsletter

Get the latest golf industry news delivered directly to your inbox!