Architect John Fought has completed a renovation project at the Maryvale Golf Course in Phoenix, Arizona.
Owned and operated by the nearby Grand Canyon University (GCU), the course was originally designed by William F. Bell but had become somewhat run down in recent times.
The university negotiated a long term operating agreement with rights to upgrade and rename the Maryvale course and the facilities in October 2014.
“The president of GCU hired me to make the course worthy of having the NCAA championship while making the course fun for all levels of players,” Fought told GCA. “The school has spent US$10 million to completely renovate and redesign the old course and build a new clubhouse complete with a team room for the schools men’s and women’s golf teams.”
Working with and construction firm Duininck Golf, Fought has maintained the general routing of the course but has added a number of tees and moved selected green locations. This has resulted in a 500-yard increase in the course’s total yardage.
“During the project we built all new tees, bunkers and greens,” Fought said. “We also dug out the four lakes and installed a new irrigation system.”
Fought said that much of the work on the course was inspired by the work of AW Tillinghast.
“The greens are raised fill-pads with beautiful sand face bunkers located in strategic locations,” he explained. “Before the project began I made a trip to New York and toured several of Tillinghast’s wonderful courses while taking photos and speaking with each courses superintendent.”
Fought added that the project was not only fun to do, but will also have a positive impact on the local area for years to come.
“The course lies in an area in the western part of Phoenix that has a low average income and can sometimes be quite dangerous,” he said. “I am very pleased to say that the project has been getting rave reviews from everyone who has seen or played the course. And I love the fact the GCU is keeping the rates low to encourage the residents to get involved with the game, while also bringing people back to a poor forgotten neighbourhood.”