Jones outlines Iowan course plans

Jones outlines Iowan course plans
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Golf course architect Rees Jones is planning a course in the Iowa town of Larchwood in the US, famous for its casinos.

The course, which lies on the Iowa-South Dakota border and will form part of the Grand Falls Casino Resort, has been described as a ‘prairie golf course’ by Jones, whose portfolio includes the Redstone Golf Club, Humble, Texas; Course No. 7 Pinehurst Country Club, Pinehurst, North Carolina; and The Oxfordshire Golf Club in Thame in the UK.

Jones intends to take advantage of the Iowa landscape’s prairie grasses and gentle rolling hills to create a course that accommodates a range of golfing abilities.

“This course will be sort of a step into the future, with the greens offering open entrances and the ability to either run the ball or fly the ball,” said Jones. “This is a beautiful lay of land and I plan to make it a prairie course, using the native prairie grasses and natural contours, designed with the wind in mind as well, absolutely.”

Jones has outlined his plans for the course’s greens, which will be subtly contoured in order to strike a balance between challenging more experienced players and minimising 3-putts for the less frequent golfer. The plan is to run the stimpmeter at 9.5 to 10 and not to surpass 11 at any point, in-keeping with the traditional green, bigger and appearing flatter.

The course will also feature minimal bunkering, as Jones doesn’t believe in a penal way of playing golf and prefers to appeal to a diverse range of golfers. The course will be comprised of a mix of grasses, and Jones is confident that the course has the potential to host Iowa State events, as well as regional amateur events.

“This course will be an awesome course for the public,” said Jones. “I like designing public golf courses. Courses everyone can enjoy.”