Irving Golf Club, overlooking Dallas, Texas, is close to opening following a complete renovation of the former Twin Wells course by Colligan Golf Design.
“Every square inch of the course was reshaped to improve maintenance, aesthetics and playability for all skill levels while making the course more unique and competitive in the market place,” said Trey Kemp, project architect at Colligan Golf Design.
The project will also minimise the risk of flooding on the course, which is based on a former landfill site and has been closed since 2014. The City of Irving selected Colligan Golf Design in May 2017, construction began in December and grassing is expected to be completed by mid-August, for an autumn opening.
Ten of the original 18 holes remain in the same location and of the remaining eight, three are completely new and five play within the existing corridors, but in the opposite direction.
“This was done to improve the overall playability and balance of the course and to get the most flood-prone holes out of harm’s way,” said Kemp.
This primary challenges for the design team were a tight time window and constraints relating to the landfill.
Colligan Golf Design principal, John Colligan said: “Irving has been great to work with, primarily because they will make decisions quickly, which is not always the case with a municipality.”
“We were provided with a boundary survey that supposedly delineated the limits of the landfill. However, this was not always the case and in a couple of instances we were forced to make modifications to the design to avoid getting into the trash.”
Fourteen holes are now grassed and the remaining four, plus the driving range, putting green and short game area, are in final shaping and preparation for grass.
“The course itself has been given a completely new look and feel to make it unique relative to the other courses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area,” said Kemp. “The charter of the course is more links in nature as opposed to the parkland-style courses found throughout the metroplex.
“The features are very bold and very user friendly at the same time. Fairway and greenside bunkers have relatively flat bottoms with steep faces. Mounding is broad and high, again with steep grass faces. These create a very memorable look.
“The greens complexes, which are TifEagle bermudagrass, are very special with more geometric shapes and contouring they are again unlike any found in the area. The 419 bermudagrass fairways are some of the widest in the area creating many different angles to play each hole.”
Construction is by Fleetwood Services and the irrigation system was designed by Larry Rodgers and is being installed by Mid-America Golf. The lead shaper is Jeff Janes, who Kemp described as “quite the understated artist, as well as being a joy to work with”.
Golf course superintendent Jamie Miller will be working on grow-in with Fred Leonard of Elite Golf Management, who have been appointed by the city to manage the course.
“The city staff, Joe Moses, Gene Moldin, Terry Read and Chuck Majors, have been great to work with from the beginning and their enthusiasm for the project is very obvious,” said Kemp.