Jack Nicklaus is planning a complete overhaul of the golf course at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
Opened in 1974, the Nicklaus-designed layout has been tweaked throughout the years, but this project will be the first significant change since 2011, when the par-three sixteenth was redesigned ahead of the 2013 Presidents Cup.
Speaking to Golf Channel, Nicklaus said: “I’m redoing the whole golf course. I’m going to have one more bite at the apple.”
The project will be completed over the next two years, with the first phase of work beginning this autumn and includes lengthening the par-three eighth, par-five eleventh and par-five fifteenth. It is expected to be finished by May 2020, in time for the Memorial Tournament in June.
Phase two will be the main focus of work for Nicklaus and includes rebuilding all 18 greens, installing new subsurface heating and cooling equipment, rebuilding bunkers and creating new fairway widths. Also, the fifth hole will be converted from a par five to a four, making the course a par 71.
Nicholas LaRocca, general manager at Muirfield Village, told Ben Everill of PGATOUR.COM: “Jack is going to touch up the golf course. He is going to redo all the greens starting July of 2020 and we will be ready to go for the 2021 Memorial Tournament.
“Right now, we are developing a plan for all 18 greens that will be rebuilt. We are trying to work out what we will put on the bottom, if we are going to put any new systems underground and we haven’t determined which turf we will select to seed.”
Jason Day, a 12-time PGA Tour winner and a member at Muirfield Village, told PGATOUR.COM: “I’m sure whatever changes Mr Nicklaus makes to Muirfield Village will be for the better. The golf course is already one of the best prepared we play on the PGA Tour and it’s clear Jack is mindful of maintaining the historical significance of the property while keeping things modern for the members, Tour players and the fans.
“New greens will mean some new challenges, and a bit more length in places will certainly test the Tour players. It has always been a great second shot golf course and no doubt it will continue to be that type of challenge.
“I’ve been lucky enough to make a home in the area and have been welcomed into the Muirfield community by Jack and those at the club, which has been great. I love the place, but I haven’t had the best results in the Memorial Tournament in the past so maybe the changes will help me fix that.”