Coal Creek Golf Course reopens for play following restoration project

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley
  • Lovely Golf Course

    The course has now fully recovered from flood damage in 2013. Photo: EJ Carr Photography

  • Lovely Golf Course

    The course has views of the Rocky Mountains. Photo: EJ Carr Photography

  • Lovely Golf Course

    A number of bunkers have been added as part of the work. Photo: EJ Carr Photography

The Coal Creek Golf Course in Louisville, Colorado, has reopened for play following a restoration project led by the Herfort Norby design firm.

The course suffered devastating storm damage back in August 2013, which saw trees toppled, cart paths damaged, bridges and bunkers washed out, damage to the irrigation system, and tees, greens and fairways across the course covered with rock and silt.

Architect Kevin Norby, the owner and senior designer at Herfort Norby Golf Course Architects, was hired by the city of Louisville in 2011 for a long-range capital improvement plan for the course.

While the storm had a devastating effect on the course, it did provide Norby with the opportunity to accelerate some of his initial plans for Coal Creek, and GCA reported on his work there in January 2014.

The project has now been completed, with Norby saying the changes to the course are quite remarkable.

“Everything you thought you knew about Coal Creek, forget it,” he said. “It’s completely different.”

With assistance from Nebraska-based golf course contractor Landscapes Unlimited, the course at Coal Creek has been re-graded to help protect it against the type of flooding seen during the 2013 storm.

This proved valuable recently, when storms struck the site again in May 2015. However this time the newly introduced drainage and collection areas proved sufficient to prevent significant damage to the course.

With regards to the course itself, the re-grading has created additional contouring and undulation in fairways and green surrounds which were previously flat. This helps enhance both strategy and drainage.

Hundreds of tress across the course have also been removed, while greens on holes eight and sixteen have been moved to enhance sight lines.

A number of bunkers were added, while others were moved or removed as part of the work.

“We aligned all teeing areas, regrassed the green surrounds and moved cart paths to help direct play away from houses on some holes,” Norby explained.

The architect also expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the project, saying that the ‘new’ course ‘differentiates Coal Creek from other municipal golf courses in the area’.