PGA Tour player Zac Blair’s long-held ambition to create his own golf course, to be known as the Buck Club, has moved a step closer after he closed a deal to acquire a site for the course, outside the city of Aiken in South Carolina.
Blair will co-design the course with design firm King-Collins, who will also supervise construction. The 407-acre property, described by architect Rob Collins as “sandy, rolling terrain and in the ‘don’t mess it up’ category” is an existing tree farm.
“When Zac and I first toured the property, the names he and I were thinking about were Pine Valley, Morfontaine and Pinehurst No. 2,” said Collins. “Given its current usage, the course will have trees on it, but we’ll clear out under the trees and we'll have very natural transitions from fairway to unmaintained ground.”
Collins confirmed that the course routing is basically by Blair. “Full credit for the routing goes to Zac. I drew what he laid out – an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and some cabins,” the architect said. “But he is very aware that drawing a plan is just part of the battle – that’s why he hired us. We’ll collaborate with him to make sure we nail the details and fully implement his vision.”
The site has around 60-70 feet of elevation change, and Collins said the Coore & Crenshaw restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 had provided a lot of inspiration for the design thinking on the Buck Club.
Blair’s original plan, to build the course in his home state of Utah had to be abandoned, as land and construction costs made it impractical to complete the project. The player-developer is currently raising funds to support the development, and Collins confirmed there is no rush to break ground.
“We will leave the construction schedule to Zac – it will go ahead when he is ready,” he concluded.