Total rebuild for Scottsdale course

Sean Dudley

Resort operator JW Marriott has begun a twelve month renovation project of the Indian Bend course at its Camelback property in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Indian Bend, originally designed by Jack Snyder in 1970, is to be completely rebuilt by architects Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, who recently amicably dissolved their long-term partnership, but intend to complete the projects they had jointly signed.

At the heart of the renovation at Indian Bend is a rebuilding of a desert wash that runs through the property, which is located in a flood plain. Over the years, the wash has flattened and its control of the water from valley flash floods has diminished. The reconstruction of the wash will restore area flood control, while unneeded soil will also be used to build new contours in the fairways, which until now have been predominantly flat.

Hurdzan and Fry will also eliminate more than 100 of the course's 250 acres of maintainable turf and reintroduce native desert areas. Not only will the course's appearance be completely transformed, but less water will be needed. Another benefit is that these areas will become nesting grounds and food sources for local bird life and solidify the golf club's status as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

The old Indian Bend had only three sets of tees and the women's set was a longer-than-normal 5,800 yards. While the renovation will extend the course's championship yardage to 7,238, increasing the tee boxes to five sets per hole will help cater to golfers of all abilities. The new forward set will play just less than 5,000 yards.

“When it reopens, the course will be unrecognisable. Twelve of the course’s holes don't even exist today,” said Rob Bartley, Camelback's director of golf. The new-look course is expected to open in late 2013.