Tripp Davis has completed restoration work on the golf course at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma.
The focus of the project has been to restore greens to a style closer to the original design, a Perry Maxwell and Alister MacKenzie collaboration that opened in 1929.
“We worked hard to restore old angles with wider fairways helping that a good bit and using the ground slopes to make the ground game more interesting in playing shots,” said Davis. “The greens were 75 per cent what Maxwell had left, which we worked to preserve and we restored parts of what had been lost – lost areas along the edges of greens and some hole locations that are not usable at modern green speeds.
“The combination of preserving and restoring greens, restoring the width to fairways, recapturing a bunker style that fits the architectural lineage, and bringing back a lot that makes you think on every shot, has been really fun to see.”
The project has also seen significant tree management, repositioning of tees to create a more natural look and feel, and styling the bunkers to look and feel closer to the original design.
Grass has been replaced throughout the course, with 007 bentgrass now used on greens, Latitude 36 bermuda on tees and fairways, and Astro bermuda for the rough.
“The project has been one of the most satisfying projects in my career,” said Davis. “Because it is near my home and being the only large project we had under construction in 2019, I was able to enjoy being with my family and I was able to focus more on the work than I have in a long time. It has been over 10 years since we only had one large project in a given year and it was eye opening. I really enjoyed it.
“The course reopened right when restrictions were going into place for the coronavirus, so players had to walk, and tee times were spaced out more,” continued Davis. “Word spread fast though, and even without carts available and no caddies, the tee sheet has filled up every day within a few minutes of being available.
“I hope one good thing to come from this virus is golfers walking more. The response has been outstanding so far and even those that were not fully behind the project are now wondering why it was not done sooner.”