The county of St. Johns in northeast Florida has renovated its golf course under the direction of former Arnold Palmer designer Erik Larsen.
St. Johns Golf Club first opened as a 27-hole facility in 1988 but nine holes were closed in 2012. Larsen was hired in 2021 to oversee the $8 million renovation, which has been funded by various fees and government sources.
Larsen and the club’s director of golf Wes Tucker have worked together to redesign the course with a “traditional throwback” style inspired by the work of Charles Blair Macdonald and Seth Raynor.
Three existing holes were used in the new routing, while fifteen others were changed dramatically. Biarritz, Punchbowl and Redan greens have been introduced, along with wider fairways and low-maintenance coffin bunkers. A large short-game area was created and the putting green was enlarged, while the range, holes nine, ten and eighteen are now much closer to the clubhouse, to create a social hub.
The project has also included drainage upgrades to improve resident water runoff, which is hoped will minimise the wet conditions that, prior to the renovation, led to around 30 days per year when the course was unplayable.
The reconfiguration has freed up 80 acres of land, upon which the county plans to build a new fire station and sheriff’s substation, plus other amenities.
Wadsworth Golf Construction has completed rebuilding the course, which is expected to reopen in late 2022, with green fees ranging from $25 for walkers to $60 for out-of-state visitors.