A redesign project at Fontana Golf Club near the town of Oberwaltersdorf in Austria is progressing well.
Originally designed by Doug Carrick in the mid-1990s, the Canadian architect has returned to the course to oversee a series of changes to the layout.
The current project was brought about to allow for additional residential development on the site, with parts of the course being rerouted. The club’s owner Sigfried Wolf retained Carrick to oversee this work.
“I was brought back in in 2014 to oversee the redesign of the golf course,” Carrick told GCA. “The plan includes the addition of four and a half new holes – the new fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. The new eighth hole will play in the reverse direction of the current thirteenth hole.”
The championship yardage of the golf course is being increased to 7,304 yards in an effort to attract a major European Tour event – namely the Austrian Open.
“The club hosted the Austrian Open several times in the late 90s and early 2000s,” Carrick said. “Fontana was also selected as the host venue for Austria’s bid for the Ryder Cup in 2022, which Italy ultimately won.”
Other aspects of the project include the complete remodelling of all bunkers, while all tees will be rebuilt and all greens regrassed. New greens will also be created on the eighth, fourteenth and seventeenth holes, with those on the fourteenth and seventeenth being moved back to added length.
“New tees on the par five eigteenth hole have been repositioned to add length and elevation to the tee shot,” Carrick said. “The tee shot will now play parallel to the lake instead of across the lake. The third fairway has also been shifted closer to a lake to bring water into play on the tee shot on this short par four.”
The current seventh, eighth and sixteenth holes will be removed from the layout once the new holes come into play. The site of these former holes will then be made available for redevelopment.
Carrick added: “Construction work has been taking place since early spring and the major projects will be completed next year. Other smaller renovation projects will be phased over the next three to four years. Construction management is being overseen by the former golf course superintendent of Fontana, Barry Britton, while I am making periodic site visits as well.”