Construction at Rockwood Park Golf Course in northwest Fort Worth, Texas, is in full swing.
The front nine is complete with new tees, greens, bunkers, cart paths, irrigation, drainage and grass. Crews are working on the back nine with grass planting to be completed by the end of August 2016.
The course is undergoing a US$4.48 million makeover designed by golf course architect John Colligan, who told Golf Course Architecture about the issues he’s faced with this project. “The biggest challenge has been Mother Nature,” he said. “The 1938 John Bredemus design was very flat with no subsurface drainage and there was over 20 inches of rain during the first part of the Summer, along with temperatures which were much cooler than normal. The cooler temperatures set back the turf farms which created a big demand when the grass was ready to harvest.”
But Colligan rose to the challenge. “Our contractor, Heritage Links, has brought on more man power and the City of Fort Worth has added more funds for extra labour, an increased sprig rate and more sod,” he said. “In addition, the city has been flexible with the opening date in order to give the superintendent Bill Strum more time to get the course ready. It has been a great team effort.”
The result, said Colligan, is a far more interesting course. “I feel that the most interesting part starts with the rerouting of the course. My Associate, Trey Kemp, has created a routing which will hold its own against any course, public or private, in the Dallas / Fort Worth area and beyond. Trey has reversed the direction of several holes, combined par threes and par fours to create a par five and captured views of the historic Pioneer Tower and several breathtaking vistas of downtown Fort Worth – much like he did at the Stevens Park Golf Course in Dallas. We located an aerial of the course from the early 40s that allowed us to document the original Bredemus bunker style and many of the quirky green shapes which we added to the routing. We also added a pinch of Chicago Golf Club and created some of the most interestingly subtle green floors to be found anywhere.”
“Rockwood will basically be a brand new course,” says Nancy Bunton, assistant director of the park and recreation department at the club. “The new design keeps true to Rockwood’s heritage, respecting its original design while improving the course’s overall sustainability, adding several new holes and making improvements to some existing ones.”
The opening of the new course at Rockwood is anticipated for late October or early November 2016, and will be playable to golfers of all skill levels.