Tom and Logan Fazio leading renovation of River Oaks Country Club course


Tom and Logan Fazio leading renovation of River Oaks Country Club course
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Architects Tom and Logan Fazio are leading a renovation of the 18-hole course at River Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas.

The project team started grassing the course with Celebration Bermudagrass in January 2015 and will continue to plant all surfaces on the course, including fairways, tees and roughs, until June 2015.

Other elements of the renovation include the building of three new golf holes, the expansion of the club’s driving range, and the development of a comprehensive short game area.

Old grass is being removed, with every playing being regrassed and elements of the course layout being reshaped. New cart paths, a new golf shop, and a computerised irrigation system are also being put in place.

Donald Ross designed the course at River Oaks back in 1923,which is now the architect’s only surviving course in the state of Texas.

Renovation work began back in August 2014 on the course’s back nine, with the focus shifting to the front nine in December 2014.

“We determined that we wanted Celebration early on,” said Morris Johnson, director of Golf Course Operations at River Oaks Country Club. “We had it on our driving range and teaching facility tee for three years. We had success with it. It’s a tighter grass with better cold tolerance than other bermudagrasses that we tried.”

The course’s greens surfaces will be grassed with MiniVerde bermudagrass.

Texas-based All Season Turf Grass was selected as the turf farm to grow the grass for the project, and the company’s sales manager Scott Sipes said: “This is one of the biggest jobs All Seasons Turf Grass has ever done. Most farms wouldn’t be able to supply that much of a sand-based single product because of the sheer volume. It’s all coming from the same farm, more than 100 acres of land.”

“The entire course will be uniform in grass quality,” Sipes added. “It comes from all one place with one specific type of sod. Meticulous growing measures have been taken to be sure the grass is vibrant and healthy. All of the grass will have had the same mowing and fertilising techniques to ensure quality throughout the course.”