Golf Course Architecture - Issue 75, January 2024

62 Apogee West sits on more open ground. The par-72 routing measures out at 7,501 yards from the back tees, though most players will play from one of the other six tees that range from 4,077 to 6,971 yards. The point of those shorter teeing grounds, of course, is to enable golfers of every swing speed to enjoy the challenge, strategy and variety of paths from tee to green that elite players have – without compromising intrigue and interest and without undue stress. Fazio and Davis are not only designing the South course and the practice areas; they are also coordinating construction of all three layouts in-house. To that end they have arranged for Apogee to purchase all the needed construction equipment: a veritable arsenal of haul trucks, excavators, bulldozers, skid steers, tractors, dumpers and utility vehicles. Day-to-day turfgrass and maintenance operations are in the hands of a team led by superintendent Tony Nysse, a stalwart of the south Florida scene, thanks to previous stints at Pine Tree, Old Marsh and Mountain Lake. Construction of the West entailed a cut of 71,000 cubic yards and a fill of 296,000 cubic yards; the material needed to lift various features came from ponds dug on the perimeter of the property that stay out of the line of play. Tees sit at grade, with only modest elevations required for some of the green pads. The irrigation system entails 2,000 heads, 26.5 miles of HDPE pipe and 23 miles of wire. Drainage, paramount on a low-lying site that is subject to occasional heavy rains, is channelled through 19 miles of pipe. The method of design-build that Hanse and Wagner deployed here relies upon a process of ‘chunking’ in large swaths of well-established grasses from on site and scattering them on the backs of bunkers, in nearby rough and behind greens – all to create an effect of ageing and informality. As Wagner explained: “We decided to utilise native grasses to give the course an antiquated look, with a little patina like it has been here a long time. We use loaders and tractors to harvest the grasses from the other side of the property, haul those to the course and use an excavator “ We decided to utilise native grasses to give the course an antiquated look, with a little patina like it has been here a long time” APOGEE WEST One of the design principles agreed for Apogee is that greens should be accessible along the ground