Dan Hixson is nearing completion of a golf course renovation at Portland Golf Club in Oregon.
The layout was originally designed by George Turnbull in 1914 and has only undergone minor changes since it was renovated by Robert Trent Jones Sr in 1964. Hixson was hired to update the greens, bunkers and irrigation system.
“The focus on this project was primarily to improve the course strategically and aesthetically, as well as the functions of the course systems,” said Hixson. “There were numerous problems with the bunkers, including failing drain lines, contaminated sand and surface run-off. The bunkers also lacked variety, strategic value, aesthetics and were excessively large. Many of the green surrounds needed renovating to divert the water away from the bunkers to help with this.”
Twelve greens have been expanded to recapture and increase the area of hole locations, with all bunkers relined with Better Billy Bunker.
Hixson has also rebuilt tees, removed trees, changed mowing patterns and built a new green complex on the fifteenth.
“The biggest visual difference will be in the bunkering,” said Hixson. “The old bunkers had very simple repeating shapes and most of the fairway bunkers were at obsolete distances for the modern game. The course has a great variety of low at-grade putting greens, which are very steep on the hilly portions of the course. The new bunkering will reflect this variety with some lower profile designs.”
Hixson and construction company Milroy Golf Systems began work on 18 July 2022 and the project is due to be completed in late October. The new irrigation system, designed by Brent Harvey and supplied by Rain Bird, will be installed in 2023.