Drew Rogers is leading a major project at Quail West Golf & Country Club in Naples, Florida.
The project will eventually see work carried out on both 18-hole courses at Quail West – the Preserve Course and the Lakes Course.
Both courses at Quail West were originally designed by Arthur Hills, whose firm Rogers joined in 1992.
Rogers’ efforts are currently focused on the Preserve Course, which will reopen later this year following the renovation work. The focus will then shift to the Lakes Course, where work is scheduled to commence in the spring of 2017.
The greens and bunkers on the Preserve Course have been completely renovated, and the course has been converted to Celebration Hybrid bermudagrass. The club’s practice facility is also being expanded, and selected tees are being realigned.
“Some of the putting surfaces had become adversely affected by the shade, but because this is an honest-to-God ‘preserve’, this 25-year-old vegetation cannot be touched,” Rogers explained. “Several greens were tucked on one side of these fairway corridors, so in several cases we picked up the greens and adjusted their position within the space, to get more sunlight and better reimagine the surrounds that frankly give these holes so much more character today.”
A number of bunkers have been removed from the Preserve Course, while PrecisionAire systems have been added to each of the greens. This system allows moisture to be mechanically siphoned through the sub drainage more effectively, which helps stimulate root growth and prevent organic buildup.
Rogers has also put significant work into the green surrounds, working to improve their playability, aesthetics and agronomics.
“When we build today, we make darn sure the surrounds are harmoniously and seamlessly blended,” said Rogers. “In terms of the soil profile, you shouldn’t be able to distinguish the green edge from the outside edge. In the 1990s, the style was to bring that rough right up to the green edge. The penalty for missing that putting surface was severe. At the same time, folks who joined this club in the 1990s are a little older today. This is the demographic movement taking place today at Quail West and so many other clubs in Florida.”
“These greens today cannot feature so many penal edges, so many forced carries,” Rogers added. “They need bailout areas with closely mowed chipping areas to allow more of a variety of flopping, chipping and putting recoveries. When the Preserve reopens in December, the members are going to notice these varied forms of recovery right away.”