Fry/Straka completes redesign project at Columbia Country Club course


Fry/Straka completes redesign project at Columbia Country Club course
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

The course at Columbia Country Club in Missouri, US, has reopened following extensive work by Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design.

Ten holes at the course have been rebuilt or rerouted, with renovations taking place on the remaining eight holes and the practice facility. Numerous trees and invasive vegetation have been removed, and new tees added and tee boxes redesigned on selected holes of the par-71 course.

Jason Straka, a principal at the Fry/Straka firm, faced many challenges when conducting the redesign, with the numerous land limitations due to bordering roads, freeways and an abandoned Missouri Department of Transportation site.

Furthermore, a commercial development resurgence has taken place in recent years on the south-eastern boundary of the course. This meant that the back nine holes had to be redesigned and some holes completely relocated in order to keep the overall yardage.

However, this rebuilding presented Straka with the opportunity to improve drainage, irrigation, turf-growing conditions, aesthetics and playability, and he has been pleased with the feedback.

“The comments by the membership and guests of the club have been incredibly complimentary,” said Straka.

The Columbia Country Club course now ranges from 4,702 yards to 6,527 yards, and specific construction methods have led to more disease- and drought-tolerant greens.

“You can get a risk-reward shot or you can play it safe – nearly everyone says the redesigned course is beautiful and extremely fair,” said Brett Bieske, PGA, general manager and director of golf at Columbia Country Club. “It now has the look and feel of a Lake-of-the-Ozarks course.”