Construction work is in progress on the Kipp Schulties redesign of the golf course at Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida.
Discussions between the club and Schulties began in 2017, when the architect was asked to create a master plan for a comprehensive redesign and renovation of their course, a Bob Cupp design from 2002 that replaced the club’s original Joe Lee layout.
Schulties explained that with the club having done at least two smaller renovations to Cupp’s design, they wanted to “do it right” this time, “so there would be no more significant renovation work for decades to come”.
The project will address drainage issues and replace irrigation, expand greens to increase the number of pin positions, and add tees.
The plan passed a membership vote in the winter of 2018-19 and contractor Heritage Links began construction in March 2020, with the budget set at almost US$8 million.
“We are implementing the approved scope of work – and then some,” said Schulties. “Ultimately, this will be a fully redesigned golf course that will certainly lift the stature of the Woodfield golf experience inside the gates and significantly raise the perception of the course to one of the better courses in all of Southeast Florida.”
All greens are scheduled to be built and grassed by mid-August and the entire project is expected to be complete by mid-September. The club is targeting a mid-November reopening, subject to weather.
“The biggest change on the golf course will be on the twelfth hole,” said Schulties. “The county came in and cleared all the vegetation within their easement, which is what separated Woodfield from the Florida Turnpike. Of course, once this happened, homeowners and golfers alike were now exposed to masses of South Florida traffic within a couple hundred yards.
“To counter that, we filled in an entire lake on the right side of the hole, dug a new lake on the left between the course and the homes – meaning there were many homeowners that now have waterfront lots – moved the hole to the right and then added a berm and 16-foot-tall hedgerows combined with transplanted trees to buffer out the adjacent roadway.
“On just one hole, we moved almost 60,000 cubic yards of earth – something you rarely see within a hole in a renovation project, given the flat canvas of land that we call Florida. In fact, we’ve had projects where the total amount of earth moved on the entire 18-hole golf course is only 80,000 cubic yards.”