The famous Dubsdread course at Cog Hill in Chicago will reopen on 15 May after a US$5 million renovation led by architect Rees Jones.
“The routing remains the same but every hole has undergone renovation from tee to green to restore the original design integrity and overall character inherent in the work of the original architects," said CEO Frank Jemsek. "Dubsdread remains a pleasant challenge for the average golfer, but will offer more strategic shot-making options and risk-reward challenges for the tour professional.”
Jones’s renovation project is the first time the course has been significantly altered since its 1964 opening. The work on the 7,600 yard, Dick Wilson and Joe Lee design, included reconstructing all greens and tee complexes, reshaping of fairways, adding a pond on the seventh hole, significant tree management and the repositioning and sculpting of 98 bunkers.
One of the biggest investments of the project took place underneath the greens. The SubAir aeration and moisture removal system has been installed on all 18 greens to promote healthier and stronger playing surfaces through moisture management, subsurface aeration and root zone temperature control.
“SubAir is like a vacuum system that hooks to subsurface drainage under greens so when we get heavy rains, we can accelerate the drainage process by sucking water out,” said course superintendent Ken Lapp. “We can also change that system to cool greens during hot dry spells by blowing air into the root zones. This system will allow Dubsdread to have consistent, faster, tournament condition greens throughout the season.”
“This is a great piece of golf property and Dick Wilson did a wonderful job with the original design,” said Rees Jones. “Many of the greens have been made a lot smaller because the green complexes are more important today than in past. The ball goes so far now. Back when Dick Wilson designed this course, they always built big greens because on long holes you would hit woods into them, now you hit mid-irons. So the green complexes have to be smaller. We still will have the Dick Wilson tongues and little small areas of greens. But the golfer will have to make choices, go for the fat of the green or go for the Dick Wilson tongue. That will depend on where you hit your tee shot, and the penalty will be greater if you go for the small part of the green and miss it. There will be all kinds of choices so this will be a course of continuing interest.”
Dubsdread hosted the PGA Tour's Western Open from 1991-2006 and the BMW Championship in 2007. After a one year hiatus, due to the renovation project, the Tour will return in September for the 2009 BMW Championship, the third in the four-event FedExCup series.