Desert Mountain makes changes to its dual-greened Renegade course

  • Renegade

    Heritage Links is carrying out renovation work on Desert Mountain’s Renegade course

  • Renegade

    Nicklaus Design’s master plan involves work on all holes of the dual-greened layout

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Golf construction firm Heritage Links is in progress with a renovation of the Renegade course at Desert Mountain Golf Club, in Scottsdale, Arizona, following the creation of a masterplan by Nicklaus Design.

The Renegade course is set up with two flags on each hole, and golfers choose whether they want to play to the white, or more difficult gold, pin positions. Thirteen of the holes have a large green with separate areas for each flagstick, and five holes have two entirely separate greens.

“The main goals were to get more equal play to the white and gold greens,” said Chris Cochran, senior design associate for Nicklaus Design. “Renegade gets more rounds than any other course at Desert Mountain and 75 percent of that play was to the white green.

“Adjustments to the greens, their positioning and hole strategy, as well as additional tees and a fresh look at how to set up the golf course, should make the play closer to 50-50.”

Construction work is being overseen by Mark Maldonado and project managed by Oscar Rodriguez, both of Heritage Links. The firm said that Desert Mountain has seen few changes since it opened in 1987: “Nicklaus Design created a new master plan which Heritage Links is in the process of implementing. As a signature design, Jack Nicklaus has been personally involved with the project and has conducted site visits and provided critical oversight about the renovation.”

Work is taking place on all eighteen holes and includes new greens, bunkers, tees, cart paths, drainage, irrigation, lake construction and grassing. Cochran also considered the maintainability and sustainability of the course, with much of the steep mounding and shaping eliminated.

“With the removal of the steep mounding, revised green complexes and strategy the holes are more playable, while being very strategic for golfers of all levels,” said Cochran. “The lowering of the mounds on the course has also been a big hit with the residents because now they see fairways and greens instead of the backside of mounds.

“The turf areas are being sand capped and bentgrass fairways and blue/fescue roughs are being seeded. It’s been calculated this will add 45 more days of golf, which the membership had clearly stated as a major goal.”

The project is on track for completion in December 2018.