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Richard Hetzel

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Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« on: June 17, 2017, 02:22:30 PM »
Since I missed out on my chance to play Belleview Biltmore GC (Ross) prior to their closing for renovation, I drove up to Sarasota the other day and played 36 (in 3 hours no less!) at the Bobby Jones Municipal Golf Complex in Sarasota. They also have a 9 hole short course here. This place "could be" so much more, and it's pretty run down except for the greens. The clubhouse smells like mildew. The drainage here is terrible (summer is rough with a ton of rain in Florida which certainly does not help), the fairways were like rough and the rough was even in poor shape. The greens were PERFECT. You can tell what they spend their limited money on. I wonder why they don't close one of the two courses during the summer months???

I guess Richard Mandell has a master plan for the 36 hole complex plus a new practice/short course area as well. Where is the $14.5 million coming from to get this completed? Does anyone know if the Bobby Jones American Course is the original Donald Ross designed course here? I know that Paul Azinger was promoting this place for a re-do a few years ago as well from a 2014 thread on GCA.


http://www.yourobserver.com/article/golf-architect-outlines-bobby-jones-overhaul


Here is a copy of the master plan, which includes a lot more ponds/basins to help with rge drainage issues.


http://www.bjgc365.com/media/site_assets/63194ce4df7a578f6a0ff8aa003cbc05/assets/full_site_90_concept.pdf


Maybe Richard Mandell will chime in more on this topic and the challenges at Bobby Jones. Here are few cell phone shots from my early morning round the other day. With such a flat site, this place could be a walker's paradise.


See the double green? I was surprised by this and not sure if original or not. I never even noticed it when playing the other side of the green.
















































« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 04:24:45 AM by Richard Hetzel »
Last 15 Played:
Stoatin Brae GC (MI), Crystal Downs CC (MI), Diamond Springs GC (MI), Perry Park (KY), Lakota Links (CO), Copper Rock (UT), Little America GC (WY), Erie GC (PA), Skyway (NJ), Ferry Point (NY), The Bridge (NY), Montauk Downs (NY), Totteridge (PA), Hillsboro Elks CC (OH), Smock (IN)

Brian Ross

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 04:43:29 PM »
The back 9s of each course comprise the original Ross 18.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

http://www.rossgolfarchitects.com

Tom Yost

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2017, 09:12:05 AM »
The back 9s of each course comprise the original Ross 18.

True until a 1987 renovation of the American course.  I posted this in an earlier discussion of Bobby Jones:

Website for the Friends of Bobby Jones
http://friendsofbobbyjonesgolfclub.org./

Reading the history of the club, I see:

1926 - Original Ross 18 opened

1952 - 9 holes added by RB Harris

1967 - 9 holes added by Roy Albert Anderson.  At this time the original Ross 18 was divided, with 9 holes paired with each of the newer nines.

1987 - Ron Garl renovation to the American course which includes one of the Ross nines.  In the words of the Friends of Bobby Jones Golf Club: "...the work consists of significant revisions to holes No. 10 through 18 of the historic 1925 Donald Ross course, altering the Donald Ross Design Intent..."

So it seems only 9 holes of Ross remain at Bobby Jones.


Ben Hollerbach

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2017, 10:35:02 AM »
Looking over Mandell's master plan, it strikes me that the golf courses will be entirely bunker-less. The Ross plan and notes for the course suggest that many of the routing changes that were made to the original Ross back 9 will be corrected; with the greens being restored to their original locations and shapes, and in the process multiple ponds being filled in. That to me seems like a wonderful decision, but as the 1925 plan below showcases, Ross drew the course up to be heavily bunkered. I wonder if the decision to leave the course bunker-less is being driven by maintenance cost. It would be compelling to return the course to its original state but leave the original sand bunkers as grass.



Brian Ross

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2017, 03:15:01 PM »
True until a 1987 renovation of the American course.  I posted this in an earlier discussion of Bobby Jones:


Tom,


While true that there have been some significant changes made at BJGC since 1925, the original Ross routing is still mostly intact over the entire 18 holes. Your statement probably gives a bit too much credit to the amount of Ross left on the British Nine. In fact, it could be argued that the British Nine has been modified more than the American Nine (certainly from a routing perspective, at least), as British Holes 11 and 12 are probably the two least authentic of the original Ross holes. It would seem that perhaps some land was lost to an easement along the western boundary at some point, forcing the changes there (guess on my part). In addition to that, the original Ross 9th green (British 18) was located more or less where the present-day putting green is. Your statement would probably most accurately be presented as, "it seems very little Ross remains at Bobby Jones, aside from the routing."


Looking over Mandell's master plan, it strikes me that the golf courses will be entirely bunker-less.


Ben,


Don't read too much into the color rendering on the BJGC website at this point. There will be bunkers.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

http://www.rossgolfarchitects.com

Ben Hollerbach

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2017, 03:55:59 PM »
Brain,


How much of the rendering is accurate?


As I mentioned previously, the rendering depicts what looks like a restored routing for the back nine, is this accurate? The bunkering on the 1925 routing looks really good, is this style bunkering in the works.


Brian Ross

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2017, 08:13:04 AM »
Ben,


I'd say both of those assumptions have merit.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

http://www.rossgolfarchitects.com

David Cronan

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2023, 10:26:37 AM »
Welp....


I've driven by the golf course often, as Sarasota is my new home, and the renovation looks to be coming along nicely, albeit slower than probably anticipated.


The newest? Potentially, a $9,000,000, 15,000 sq. ft clubhouse for the municipal course.


"I think it's going to attract more people to use this course because it really makes it look like a world-class course that they're going to want to come to and not a rundown municipal course, (Vice Mayor) Alpert said. "I think that's a big factor in whether it will be profitable or have less losses than you were anticipating. I think it's probably something we should do because our idea was also to bring in people who are not necessarily playing golf."


https://www.yourobserver.com/news/2023/may/25/bobby-jones-clubhouse-may-cost-up-to-9-million/

Ben Hollerbach

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2023, 02:28:14 PM »

"I think it's going to attract more people to use this course because it really makes it look like a world-class course that they're going to want to come to and not a rundown municipal course, (Vice Mayor) Alpert said.


 "I think that's a big factor in whether it will be profitable or have less losses than you were anticipating.”


 “I think it's probably something we should do because our idea was also to bring in people who are not necessarily playing golf."

Three “I think” statements to try and justify a $9M clubhouse?

Ouch

ward peyronnin

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2023, 02:00:42 PM »
Not all that relevant but I am curious what siginificance B Jones lendoing his nane to the facility implies?
Back in 1926 was his name simply in the public domain or was he involved somehow?

"Golf is happiness. It's intoxication w/o the hangover; stimulation w/o the pills. It's price is high yet its rewards are richer. Some say its a boys pastime but it builds men. It cleanses the mind/rejuvenates the body. It is these things and many more for those of us who truly love it." M.Norman

Richard_Mandell

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2023, 03:50:38 PM »
Good timing for this post, guys.  That's what a rainy day in Pinehurst will do on a Memorial Day weekend.  Haven't been on GCA lately and missed this post six years ago.  Bobby Jones was the biggest name in golf at the time and was selling real estate in Sarasota at the time somehow is what the story is and why his name is attached to the golf course.  $9 million plus for the clubhouse was a decision that I had nothing to do with. 

Regarding the golf course itself, we are indeed restoring the Ross 18 per his 1925 routing.  Ben, almost all of the bunkering will be restored, with the exception of modifications to the 4th hole, which in Ross's plan was a 371-yard par four but is now a par-five, which we will keep.  All of the golf holes are in the exact place Ross had them in his plan with the exception of the 3rd hole par-three, which at the time was planned as a three going west-east to accommodate a baseball field to the south.  It was never built so the hole ended up playing north-south.  We kept that as well, but adapted Ross's design to that orientation.


The only exception to the original plan was the addition of water bodies for drainage's sake as well as preserving many of the Live Oaks that are now part and parcel of the site.  We did remove many other trees so they really stand out.  The front nine was built in flood plain and always flooded so we have raised the fairways above the 100-year water mark for the most part.


The bunkering is as authentic to the Ross plan as possible.  They don't have the more recent Ross restoration flair that we have seen elsewhere, such as last week at Oak Hill.  The City doesn't have the ability to take on such a maintenance commitment as that added flair creates a great amount of handwork.  Nonetheless, it is as accurate to his plan as can be.


What I love most about our work at Bobby Jones is the immense scale of the property and the features to match the property.  Although there are a good number of Live Oaks that still remain, the site is quite open now and has views from end to end.


In addition to the Ross 18 being restored, we built a huge driving range and short-game facility which includes a 30,000 sf (or so) green.  Circus Boulevard splits the site so on the western portion of the property will be a 25-acre, nine-hole adjustable short course and that is the course that has no bunkers.  It will have all sandy native areas and one cut of fairway (in addition to the greens) with no rough.  The course can be played multiple ways so the greens have been designed to play from 2, 3, and even 4 directions in some cases.

We're hoping that grassing will be done in the next 30 days.

David Kelly

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2023, 02:45:58 AM »
Great news because all aspects of the complex have needed extensive renovations for at least 40 years now, although $9M for a clubhouse seems a boondoggle.  I once pumped my opening tee shot on #1 out of bounds in all three rounds of the Sarasota City Championship in the 1990s.
"Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent." - Judge Holden, Blood Meridian.

David Cronan

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Richard Hetzel

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Re: Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota Renovation Plans New
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2023, 07:58:50 PM »
I am going to try and play here when I am in Florida at the end of December. It opens for play on December 16th. I'll post pictures when I return from vacation.

PS: Mr. Mandell, my nephew (Gavin) is on your son's soccer team!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2023, 08:01:40 PM by Richard Hetzel »
Last 15 Played:
Stoatin Brae GC (MI), Crystal Downs CC (MI), Diamond Springs GC (MI), Perry Park (KY), Lakota Links (CO), Copper Rock (UT), Little America GC (WY), Erie GC (PA), Skyway (NJ), Ferry Point (NY), The Bridge (NY), Montauk Downs (NY), Totteridge (PA), Hillsboro Elks CC (OH), Smock (IN)

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