The grand opening of a new nine-hole golf course in Maryville, Missouri, is to take place this May.
The Watson 9 Course at Mozingo Lake has been designed by a team from Tom Watson Golf Course Design, with work led by Robert Gibbons and Tom Watson himself.
The course measures approximately 1,600 yards, with holes ranging from 50 to 290 yards in length.
Bruce Twaddle, chairman of the committee behind the course, spoke to GCA about what golfers can expect.
“Each of the nine holes has three sets of tees to provide various levels of challenge to the junior golfers,” he said. “The green sizes vary between 4,200 and 5,000 sq ft, with the practice green at 18,000 sq ft. The course is generally rolling terrain with a creek bisecting it. The fairways are bluegrass/rye with roughs of fescue variety.”
Twaddle said that the total cost for construction of the Watson 9 was approximately US$1.2 million.
“The entire project was funded through private donations from individuals, businesses and foundations,” he said. “The fundraising was conducted over an 18-month period of time, during which all necessary funds were secured. The Wadsworth Charities Foundation and their Links Across America initiative was a major contributor, with a US$250,000 donation.”
The course was constructed by Mid America Golf & Landscape, with ground broken back in October 2014. The company’s president Rick Boylan worked closely with Watson’s team throughout development.
Twaddle explained that maintenance costs going forward will be the responsibility of the City of Maryville, and that The Junior Golf Academy at Mozingo Lake Golf will have ‘full utilisation and priority on the Watson 9 Golf Course.’
“The vision of the Junior Academy is to reach all youth in the north-west Missouri/south-west Iowa region, irrespective of economic class, in teaching the fundamentals and values of the game of golf,” Twaddle said. “A Junior Golf Foundation has now been established to assist in fulfilling that mission.”
“It is the sincere desire of the Junior Golf Foundation at the Watson 9 to share our vision with others in the world golf community, to demonstrate the possibilities in building facilities such as the Watson 9,” he added. “Growing the game of golf, along with the values and moral lessons involved, is at the heart of our vision. Through the generous efforts of many people, and led by golfing great Tom Watson, we now have the vehicle in which to drive our vision and dreams.”
The grand opening of The Watson 9 Course at Mozingo Lake will take place on 14 May 2016.