Golf Course Architecture - Issue 73, July 2023

35 For the Firekeeper Golf Course, Jeff Brauer and Notah Begay III aimed to design a layout that preserved the character of the land flight resorts and changing attitudes and the living conditions of our native people.” The club has already added 10 acres of wildflowers and a pollinator garden. The short course project is personal for Powell. “I see it as a way for me to teach the young kids, and the elders, how to play the game that is a vehicle to better oneself.” Choosing Fraser as the architect is very much in keeping with this plan. Fraser’s MO in design is aimed at making golf more inclusive. “I’m optimistic that golf will change for its own sustainability in terms of participation and interest,” she says. Fraser brings this perspective to her design. “How can we make golf smaller? How can we bring the rules, footprint, land, usage of fertiliser, maintenance and budget all back to size while keeping the architecture, vistas and challenge of the game? This will allow social relevance going forward… equity is always the pursuit.” Powell notes the Potawatomi nation in Kansas now includes a boys and girls club, early childhood education centre, senior centre, functioning government, and an excellent golf course. “It’s nice being part of the operation that invests in continuing to be great,” says Powell. “I mean, let’s face it, reservations were not selected for deeds of access and prime real estate. But we’ve made something great. And we are fortunate that we are within a short drive of major metro areas, pulling from several populations.” Powell adds: “When we first built Firekeeper, people viewed it as ‘The Indian Casino’. There were negative connotations of the reservation, Photo: Prairie Band Firekeeper Resort