Golf course architect Tripp Davis is to renovate and restore the course at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma.
The Perry Maxwell and Alister MacKenzie course opened in 1929. It was one of only a few courses that they collaborated on – others include Crystal Downs in Michigan and the Ohio State University Scarlett course.
“Being given the responsibility to renovate and restore the Maxwell/MacKenzie course at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club is uniquely exciting for me given my history there and the many friends I have there,” said Tripp Davis. “I first played the course in 1985 as a freshman on the University of Oklahoma golf team, and it has since been one of my favourite courses in the world. Being able to bring the golf course back to more what it was intended to be by Maxwell and MacKenzie will be one the greatest thrills of my professional career.”
The restoration side of things will include: restoring the original rounded/irregular shape of the tees; returning strategic widths in fairways; removing many introduced trees; restoring the strategic intent and style of bunkers; and returning the size of the original greens.
Davis aims to preserve the existing – mostly original – contours of the greens, while making minor changes to equip them for modern play. All greens have had their existing contours scanned, with each layer of the rebuilding process to be monitored with GPS equipment.
Renovations will include restructuring of tees, greens and bunkers; regrassing most of the course using Latitude 36 bermuda for tees and fairways, and 007 bentgrass for greens; while drainage and cart paths will also to be renovated.
Jason Gold – who has been at Tripp Davis & Associates (TDA) for over ten years – will be on site shaping the course. Davis will also be on site regularly due to living 30 minutes from the course, as well as limiting his workload. He will oversee the shaping of greens to ensure that the existing character is preserved.
“Jason and I will be working to make sure every detail is right and that every strategic element is pure to how Maxwell and MacKenzie wanted the course to play,” said Davis. “They were extraordinary at making everything they did look like a natural part of the land and using that to create beautiful strategic variety and interest, highlighted by the angles they created and the importance of precision when playing into the greens.”
TDA is also working with EC Design Group from Iowa, to plan a new irrigation and pumping system.
The club will close the course for construction this winter, with plans for a limited reopening in December 2019, and full play in Spring 2020.