Golf Course Architecture - Issue 68, April 2022

34 TEE BOX Construction is under way on a new 18-hole golf course, designed by Whitman, Axland & Cutten (WAC), in central Oregon. The Tribute Club at Thornburgh will sit at the base of the Cline Buttes mountains, with sweeping views of the Cascade Range and the Three Sisters peaks. Vegetation on the near-2,000-acre property, which is untouched by development, includes sagebrush and juniper trees that are over 1,000 years old. Used as a family ranch for more than 70 years, there has been a shift in focus for the land over the past 15 years. In 2006, Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw and Dave Axland visited the site to design a golf course, but the project stalled following the financial crisis. Fifteen years on, the owners decided to revive their plans and contacted Coore, who recommended WAC for the project. “It’s a site that seemed like it had all the things you’d hope for to build spectacular golf that would stand the test of time,” said Rod Whitman. “It spoke to us immediately.” WAC is working with a figure of eight routing. “The most dramatic holes were found at the extents of the loops, giving purpose for a routing that works to highlight the ‘bookends’ of the property,” said Whitman. “A steep ridge dotted with rock outcroppings adds drama to the ‘hub’ crossing between holes ten to eleven, and sixteen to seventeen. The bookends and hub do well to contrast the f latter and wider middle sections of each loop. The result is a fun, dynamic, and varied walk.” Following clearing of the site in summer and autumn 2021, the design team moved in during the winter and began shaping. More than half of the holes have now been rough-shaped and irrigation lakes are nearing completion. Landscapes Unlimited is assisting with construction and grow-in. Six to eight holes will be grassed by late summer. “The mental exercise of considering the limitless types of shots required to access a green, either along the ground or through the air, is both exciting and rewarding,” said Axland. Photo: WAC Golf WAC makes progress with Oregon newbuild