Golf Course Architecture - Issue 63, January 2021
38 TEE BOX Rees Jones walks down memory lane for Coral Ridge renovation Rees Jones has completed a renovation at Coral Ridge Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The eighteen- hole layout was designed and built by Jones’s father Robert Trent Jones Sr in 1954 and was owned by the family for many years. “We used to stay in an apartment right behind the golf course, almost every winter,” said Jones. “Coming out of World War II, everyone was starting over, and Dad was able to build it with his own construction team. But there was no drainage – he just built greens, tees and bunkers.” Over the years, Jones Sr would regularly tinker with the layout. “Like Donald Ross, who lived next door to Pinehurst No. 2 and changed it over the years, that’s what Dad did,” said Jones. “And we’ve restored that improved Robert Trent Jones golf course, rather than the original one. “I am finishing what he would have done if he had today’s technology at his disposal,” says Jones, who had the benefit of experience of hundreds of rounds on the course, but also referenced old topographical maps, historic photos and aerial imagery of the course from 1961 in developing plans for the renovation. The main goal of the project was “to bring the course up to date,” said Jones, with a particular emphasis on raising greens and fairways to better withstand storm events, using fill generated from the excavation of ponds. “We elevated and contoured fairways, rebuilt bunkers with modern technology and enlarged the greens back to their original sizes, or a little bit larger,” said Jones. Greens have also been recontoured to suit today’s speeds and the total course length has increased to 7,300 yards.
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