Wolfard discusses restoration project at The Courses at Watters Creek


Wolfard discusses restoration project at The Courses at Watters Creek
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

The Players course at The Courses at Watters Creek in Plano, Texas, US, has reopened for play.

A thirty-three hole complex with a full eighteen hole course and a short six hole course, as well as the recently reopened nine holes, The Courses at Watters Creek has undergone extensive renovations over the past year.

The Players course is now a par 30, with six par three holes and three par four holes. The recent project on the course is the latest work carried out at Watters Creek by design firm Weibring-Wolfard Golf Design. Based in Plano, Weibring-Wolfard have previously carried out work at Amarillo Country Club, The Honors Club, and Wichita Falls Country Club.

Speaking to GCA, architect Steve Wolfard outlined some of the problems the club faced before the project. “Watters Creek had many issues that were causing a lack of interest from the golfing public,” he said. “Difficult playability, challenging maintainability and eighteen holes of difficult golf, as well nine holes of standalone even more difficult golf, were all problematic. Holes one and eighteen were not in view of the clubhouse and hole nine did not return to the clubhouse. There were numerous safety issues, poor practice facilities, and silted and low quality water features. This amounted to a negative public perception.”

“The goal for Weibring-Wolfard Golf Design and the City of Allen, Texas (the course’s owners) was to re-brand the facility by creating a challenging eighteen hole golf course capable of supporting any type of tournament or event regardless of the skill level of the participants,” said Wolfard. “Other crucial aims of the restoration project were to bring the finish closer to the clubhouse, upgrade the practice facilities to a level that could be considered the best in the state of Texas for a public golf facility, and capture and store much more runoff water onsite for irrigation.”

Of the work itself, Wolfard said: “The original par 36 nine-hole course was reduced to a par 30 and we designed it to be fun and playable with enough architectural style and aesthetics to be interesting to play for all. We expanded the practice range and created more targets and driving lanes for an interactive practice experience. We added a two-acre short game area with multiple greens and endless short game practice options. And last, but not least, we designed a six hole short course that is also lighted for evening play.”

The course has reopened in time for a busy autumn schedule.

“Watters Creek should be a ‘game changer’ and help the industry see how a facility such as Watters Creek can truly help grow the game of golf,” concluded Wolfard. “My colleague D. A. Weibring and I have been wanting to design a facility like this for a while and found a willing partner in The City of Allen. Our industry needs more alternative golf experiences and we found an opportunity to do that at Watters Creek.”