John Fought is developing a second course at Windsong Farm Golf Club, located west of Minneapolis in Minnesota, which will feature classic design elements inspired by Seth Raynor and Harry Colt.
Fought has worked at Windsong before, co-designing the club’s first course with Tom Lehman in 2003. He returned in 2015 to renovate bunkers and tees.
The new layout will include six par threes, eight par fours and four par fives, with 13 holes featuring views of Fox Lake. It will play as a par 70 of 6,477 yards from the back tees, a contrast to the 7,586 yards of the club’s first course. The new layout will be constructed on a 125-acre tract of rolling farmland, forests and wetlands.
“It’s a unique piece of land with lake views and rolling terrain, and we will be doing what it allows us without having to move a lot of dirt,” said Fought. “This is open, rolling land with natural, native areas that are fescue and gives us the opportunity to integrate several old-style holes into the mix.”
Fought is drawing inspiration from Seth Raynor and Harry Colt’s classic layouts. A recent visit to Shoreacres near Chicago, an original Raynor design, provided Fought with ideas to incorporate into the new layout at Windsong. Those include a Biarritz green at the fourth, a double green shared by the thirteenth and sixteenth, as well as Redan and Eden holes.
“I generally don’t like to do the same thing with my projects, so this one will be really different from any of my other courses,” said Fought. “This will be like creating a course from the early 1900s but with a modern infrastructure.”
The course, which will be completed in summer 2024, will feature bentgrass fairways, grass-faced bunkers and wide corridors.
“This second course will play tougher than people might think as length is not the only factor in determining difficulty,” said Fought. “Playing strategies will very much come into play here. Plus, the eighteenth will be a ‘Cape’ hole – a long, 483-yard par four that plays around the lake.”
Duininck Golf will handle construction, having previously worked with Fought on the 2015 renovation. “John Fought brings both creativity and tremendous golf knowledge to a project with his past professional playing experience,” said Judd Duininck, general manager of golf. “Our partnership on past projects is a key part to the success of the project.”
Fought’s new course will make Windsong Farm the only 36-hole private facility in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area.
“This is really exciting for our members because they’ll be able to play two completely different, high-quality golf courses,” said Jon Dailing, superintendent at Windsong. “John knows this entire property so well and has done a great job studying where the new course will be built. He’s very creative and there will be a lot of history built into his design.”