Starkville Country Club in Mississippi, USA, has hired Nathan Crace to develop a long-range master plan for improvements to the club’s eighteen-hole golf course.
The plan will study all areas of the course, including greens, tees, bunkers, water hazards, trees, irrigation, cart paths, possible realignment of holes, native areas and sustainability.
“I’ve been working with the club off and on for a few years now,” said Crace. “And earlier this year we began a small renovation on the fifth hole to address some drainage issues, replace a dilapidated bridge with a new lake and levee, and relocate the tee complex for safety. While working on that project, the committee made the decision to go ahead and start planning for the future.”
“Nathan has said that a master plan is a ‘road map to the future’ of the club,” said Sterling Dahl, from the club’s renovation committee. “With Nathan’s master plan, we’ll be able to plot our course and budget for it accordingly. It will also help us communicate to current and prospective members the direction the club is headed in the future.”
Crace will work closely with the committee to determine when segments of the master plan will be phased-in. After the current project on the fifth hole is complete, the redesign of the par-three thirteenth may be next, including a completely new green complex.
Starkville is home to Mississippi State University, which makes the project particularly personal to Crace. “First and foremost, it’s a great club with great people. Secondly, not only did my wife and I both graduate from Mississippi State, but our daughter is a student there now and we have two sons who will be there in the coming years. Plus, we come back for ballgames every year and we plan to retire to Starkville at some point in the future.” Crace laughed: “I guess I’ll be involved with the club for the next thirty years or so.”
Sterling Dahl, from the club’s renovation committee, said: “It’s nice to be able to work with a golf course architect who not only has a long list of successful projects, but also graduated from Mississippi State University and still has connections to the community.”
Crace and the club have agreed that the master plan will be handed to the committee by the end of 2018. Crace said: “Something I learned from my Dad when I was young – and it applies to this business too – is that it’s better and less expensive to do something right the first time than it is to do it twice.
“I’ve had the good fortune of working with clients for 25 years who believe in that same philosophy and I think it shows in the finished product. Starkville CC is no different and we’re looking forward to getting started on planning for the future for the members and their families.”