Chris Lutzke’s design firm, CR Lutzke Golf, is under way with a restoration project on the Harbor course at Grand Harbor Golf and Beach Club in Vero Beach, Florida.
Pete Dye originally designed the course in 1989 with rolling fairways, pot bunkers and fairways lined with oak and palm trees.
“In the past, it was always Pete Dye who went back to previous courses to restore elements of his own courses,” said Garrett Wasson, senior designer at CR Lutzke Golf. “But after Pete’s passing, this is the first time Chris has had to go in and restore something Dye had originally created.”
“The intent here is to restore the Harbor course rather than renovate it,” said CT Shaw, vice president of golf operations at CR Lutzke Golf. “In other words, we are trying to put it back to the way it was originally designed in 1989 by Pete Dye.”
The golf course features – especially bunkers – have changed since 1989. The perimeters and shapes of bunkers have fluctuated: the levels have risen six to eight inches higher than originally built. Lutzke and his team will work to bring the shapes and levels back to as they were originally designed by Dye.
Work is also focused on greens, with 10 greens being sprigged this week. “This project came together rather quickly, and the only way we are able to meet the deadline is to make design decisions as we go, in the field,” said Shaw. “The base map for restoring these greens is by probing and following the contours in the gravel blanket that was installed 30 years ago.”
Lutzke, a mentee of Dye – who passed away in January 2020 – admits that it’s a sombre and surreal experience to bring back Dye’s original vision to the Harbor course, but one he is determined to face head on.
The CR Lutzke Golf team expects the project to be completed by the end of August 2021.