The city of Corpus Christi in Texas has hired Art Schaupeter to redesign the nine-hole short course and practice facilities at Lozano Golf Center.
“The layout is very simplistic in terms of design and has relatively low-quality playing conditions, yet is used quite a bit, especially by the local high school teams,” said Schaupeter. “This is an opportunity to upgrade the only public-access practice range in town as well as the only short course. There is a lot of opportunity for increased use of this executive course since it is the only alternative to a full 18-hole round.”
Planned infrastructure updates include a new irrigation system, reconstruction of tees and greens, additional fairway drainage, and a regrassing of the entire course. Some tees and greens shifting to create more variety in hole lengths and experiences.
The routing will stay largely as it is. “The fifth hole is the only one that moves substantially,” said Schaupeter. “It is being rotated about ninety degrees so that the new short-game area can be incorporated into the overall practice facility.
“My objective is to create a very fun and engaging playing experience. I want it to be very appealing to beginners as well as very interesting for the more accomplished golfers, serving as a great alternative option for when they don’t have time for a full round. The nine-hole executive course will be a much better conditioned and more interesting golfing experience after the renovation.
“The majority of the course will be mowed at fairway height. Balls will be easy to locate, and there will be minimal hazards, with only six small bunkers, few trees, no water and only one lateral hazard area that runs alongside two holes.”
Schaupeter will design ‘micro-slopes’ throughout the course, especially around greens, to create strategic challenge for low-handicap players. For the high-handicappers, the course’s three par-four holes will all be relatively short to keep the course playable for them.
“The greens will be lowered and reshaped so that they are generally larger more undulating surfaces,” said Schaupeter. “This will allow for a greater variety of hole locations in terms of how strong the adjacent slopes are, which direction they fall, and how long the hole plays. On the par-three holes, finding the right part of the green will be key to having a good birdie opportunity. The immediate green surrounds will also be more interesting and stronger in terms of slope and undulation. With few formal hazards, the players can focus on their execution of chips and pitches when they miss the green to save par.
“By putting the focus on executing shots with minimal downside risk other than needing an additional shot, I put the golf in the golfer’s hands. It becomes a more positive experience in that they know that they control their results, much more than they do when there are more severe and numerous hazards.
“I expect that players will complete their round happy with their level of execution, or optimistic that they left a few opportunities on the course and that next time they will do better. These are both positive mindsets, and I think that a positive mindset is more enjoyable and will bring players back to the golf course again.”
Construction work, which is expected to start in November 2022, will also include widening the range to provide 15 more tee spaces, a reshaping of the range so target greens can be created, and the addition of a new short-game practice area.
Schaupeter said: “The new two-acre area will include a 15,000-square-foot practice green, a chipping and pitching area with two greens, two bunkers, a variety of slopes and turf heights to allow players to practice any type of shot, a pitching range that will allow players to practice shots from 30-100 yards, and we’ll add lights around the course and practice facilities.”