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AROUND THE GREENS: Extreme Makeover

Though new course construction in Colorado remains at a standstill, significant improvements were recently completed on three layouts—and a fourth course begins comprehensive renovations later this summer.

Courtesy Broadmoor

The Broadmoor, East and West

Built in 1918, the East Course at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs has enjoyed nips and tucks over time. But the setting for the 1959 and 1964 U.S. Amateur, the 1995 and 2011 U.S. Women’s Open, and the 2008 U.S. Senior Open had all its tees and bunkers modified—the result of a $1.7 million renovation that also included major adjustments to the West Course. Both layouts saw their yardage increase approximately 100 yards due to the renovations.

A combination of the work of architects Donald Ross and Robert Trent Jones Sr., the holes on the East Course had lost their shape and had bunkers even disappear over the decades. So the Broadmoor team, working from Ross’s actual blueprints, returned some greens to their original location and reshaped others.

Down from 100 bunkers in 1918 to around 65 in the mid-’90s, the East Course now boasts some new ones, including a trio of traps standing in place of the pond on hole 11. Numerous tee boxes were elevated and lengthened to improve the golfers’ visibility to fairway landing zones as well.

On the West Course, every bunker was rebuilt or reshaped to mirror the Ross/Trent Jones Sr. designs, with some made either smaller or larger. Ditto on the greens, which are now more authentic to the vision of the storied architects.

“We wanted to get back to the original outline for the greens,” says Fred Dickman, the club’s director of golf course maintenance. “It really helped to have aerial photography of the courses in our archives.”

Keystone Ranch

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the Keystone Ranch Golf Course debuted in 1980. But with the track playing 7,090 yards from the tips, a decision was made to add new forward tees in part to speed up the pace of play.

“We’re looking to make the game more enjoyable,” says Steve Corneiller, Keystone’s director of golf. “By shortening select holes, we believe golfers are going to benefit by improving their scores.”

Shaping on the new tee boxes will be completed in July on holes 1, 2, and 3 on the front nine and hole 10 on the back nine. Holes 7, 8, 13, and 16 will be modified next year. Upon completion, the course will play some 780 yards shorter than its current red tee yardage of 5,582.

 

Maroon Creek Club

When it opened in 1995, Maroon Creek Club wowed members with its Tom Fazio design and its views of Red Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Hunter Creek. In August, the club closes to undergo major renovations. Estimated at around $3 million, the work includes rebuilding all greens to USGA specifications.

Fazio plans on giving each green a new look with fewer contours. The noted architect is also creating two new holes to make for a very exciting finish. No. 17 will be a new drivable par 4, and no. 18 will be a risk-reward par 5 with a 225-yard carry over a lake to reach the bunker-protected green in two. The private club is slated to reopen in May 2013.

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