Notah Begay III, the PGA Tour’s only full-blooded Native American player, is joining forces with architect Jeff Brauer and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation to create Firekeeper, a golf course that will be part of the Prairie Band Casino and Resort north of Topeka in the state of Kansas.
“I’ve had the opportunity to travel all around the world and play on some of the best golf courses,” Begay said at a news conference this Monday. “You take all these mental notes and try to incorporate those experiences into what you want to do as a designer,” Begay said. “My feeling is this is going to be a premier product in the area and people are going to enjoy it.”
Begay’s consulting firm, NB3, was chosen from seventeen companies that bid on the project. Architect Brauer, a former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, has designed other several other courses in the state, including Colbert Hills in Manhattan, Sand Creek Station in Newton and Eagle Bend in Lawrence.
Work on the course began in May, and it is scheduled to open in July 2010. Landscapes Unlimited is building the course, and Colorado-based Golf Club Consulting has been appointed to handle agronomy. “Our responsibility is to investigate the issues related to greensmix and bunker sand. Also involved is determining the best grassing plan possible,” said Dick Eide of Golf Club Consulting. “An inspection of all the available sand sources took place the week of 9-12 June, and we also visited a number of courses in the area to make sure all issues are known and reviewed. Our final analysis will include turf agronomy recommendations.”