The course at Spring Run Golf Club in Bonita Springs, Florida has reopened for play following the completion of a renovation project led by the Sanford Golf Design firm.
Working with the Wadsworth Construction firm, the Sanford team has updated the course’s infrastructure, added new irrigation systems, improved drainage and reworked the tee boxes, greens and bunkers.
GCA caught up with John Sanford, the firm’s principal and current secretary of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, to find out more about the project.
“Prior to the renovation Spring Run Golf Club was aging quickly and required a new irrigation system, improved drainage, updated grasses and a new ‘look’,” explained Sanford. “Our goal was to provide the members with a new course that would be visually and strategically dynamic and most importantly, fun to play without changing the routing.”
The course forms part of the Spring Run residential community and was originally designed by Gordon G. Lewis.
“Spring Run Golf Club is a very successful ‘bundled community’ that is ‘built out’ with 800 homes. That meant that changing the routing was not an option,” said Sanford. “Since new infrastructure was required throughout the course, there was no additional cost to redesign each hole with strategic risk and reward shot options. This was accomplished by ‘opening the course up’ with wider fairways and placing hazards to challenge the members to hit the ‘preferred side’ of the fairway that provides the best angle and shorter shot to the green.”
Since plans were announced in December of last year, Sanford has worked extensively to revitalise the course and give it a new lease of life.
“The greens at Spring Run are large, roughly around 7, 000 sq ft each,” added Sanford. “Each green is partially open at the front to accept a running shot and partially protected by a hazard that requires a ‘shaped’ shot to attack the flag.”
Sanford is pleased with the final result, and has already received positive feedback from the Spring Run members.
“We’ve introduced all new sand bunkers, native bunkers, grass hollows and feature plantings,” he added. “It’s really given the course a fresh look.”