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Richard Hetzel

  • Karma: +0/-0
I thought this was pretty interesting and did not hear of this when we stopped in at Jekyll for a few days in late December.


Pretty surprised that they are going to destroy the Oleander Course (Dick Wilson), which in my humble opinion is the course that has the most character and the best routing there, so I am surprised that they didn't renovate that course instead. I know that the Jekyll Island Authority has limited funds for golf. The three, 18 hole courses currently located there are Pine Lakes, Oleander and Indian Mound.


https://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/content/brian-ross-and-jeff-stein-plan-travis-inspired-course-at-jekyll-island


Wish they could re-create the Donald Ross course that went NLE back in the very early 1960's.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2024, 01:04:55 PM by Richard Hetzel »
Last 8:
Smock GC (IN), Westbrook CC (OH), NCR CC - South (OH), Fort Jackson - Wildcat (SC), True Blue GC (SC), Pinewood CC (NC), Asheboro Municipal (NC), Pete Dye River Course (VA)
Next Up: Wolf Creek, Conestoga, Sand Hollow, Red Dixie Hills, Black Desert

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
I have mixed feelings about this.
On one hand, I think it could turn out to be a VERY cool golf course, depending on what they are able to do with Great Dunes.
But as a retired Georgia high school coach, I have a LOT of sentimental attachment to Oleander; for many, many years it was the site of the Georgia AAAA state championship each year.  The players played 36 holes, pausing between rounds only long enough to get a sandwich and change shirt.  We had a great golf program at Roswell HS, and we were one of the 16 teams in the tournament more often than not.
Four dear friends/colleagues and I also went to Jekyll every March for a coaches' convention and golf tournament; the tournament was also 36 holes, one day on Oleander and the other on Pine Lakes.  There is absolutely NO way that I could ever convey how much fun those weekends were, or what the trip meant to us.  One of the four passed away years ago, and a second has given up golf because of age and general health.  I live in NC now, so only see those guys a couple of times a year, but those were some of the best days of my life.
In that respect, I'll hate to see Oleander go.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm sure they will do a great job.  IMHO from watching Jekyl for 40 years...it doesn't matter what is done, they never take care of the courses there.  They always say they will but often the biggest issue with muni golf is not being able to unload a guy  who has been doing it his way for years...and JI is not the only place with such an issue...just last week I had a parks and rec director tell me he didn't need my help on renovating tees and bunkers at a course I had designed 25 years ago.  Said his supt had it under control and was going to do it his way.  Hopefully these guys have assurances. 
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm sure they will do a great job.  IMHO from watching Jekyl for 40 years...it doesn't matter what is done, they never take care of the courses there.  They always say they will but often the biggest issue with muni golf is not being able to unload a guy  who has been doing it his way for years...and JI is not the only place with such an issue...just last week I had a parks and rec director tell me he didn't need my help on renovating tees and bunkers at a course I had designed 25 years ago.  Said his supt had it under control and was going to do it his way.  Hopefully these guys have assurances.


Mike,


I think any course that is a line item in a much bigger budget is at risk of this.  Bean counters might understand construction costs, but are far less likely to understand ongoing maintenance issues and needs for golf courses. 


I agree with you that this project could turn out great initially, then suffer from poor maintenance practices.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Will love to see what Brian does with the greens.

Richard Hetzel

  • Karma: +0/-0
Will love to see what Brian does with the greens.


Me too. The size of the greens on the current Walter Travis nine holer are pretty diminutive. They are probably trying to attract more golfers there with a "new" course, and saving money by not maintaining 63 holes. Years ago they renovated Pine Lakes, making it better, rather than the Oleander Course. Jekyll Island is a pretty chill place to hang out for a few days, even if you do not golf. Lots to do.
Last 8:
Smock GC (IN), Westbrook CC (OH), NCR CC - South (OH), Fort Jackson - Wildcat (SC), True Blue GC (SC), Pinewood CC (NC), Asheboro Municipal (NC), Pete Dye River Course (VA)
Next Up: Wolf Creek, Conestoga, Sand Hollow, Red Dixie Hills, Black Desert

Keith Williams

  • Karma: +0/-0
I have mixed feelings about this.
On one hand, I think it could turn out to be a VERY cool golf course, depending on what they are able to do with Great Dunes.
But as a retired Georgia high school coach, I have a LOT of sentimental attachment to Oleander; for many, many years it was the site of the Georgia AAAA state championship each year.  The players played 36 holes, pausing between rounds only long enough to get a sandwich and change shirt.  We had a great golf program at Roswell HS, and we were one of the 16 teams in the tournament more often than not.
Four dear friends/colleagues and I also went to Jekyll every March for a coaches' convention and golf tournament; the tournament was also 36 holes, one day on Oleander and the other on Pine Lakes.  There is absolutely NO way that I could ever convey how much fun those weekends were, or what the trip meant to us.  One of the four passed away years ago, and a second has given up golf because of age and general health.  I live in NC now, so only see those guys a couple of times a year, but those were some of the best days of my life.
In that respect, I'll hate to see Oleander go.


I'm with you AG.  Played Oleander in the state tournament and have lots of fond memories.


I always thought that doing something with the Great Dunes course could result in a big hit; so it will be interesting to see what comes about with the work and pairing it with the revamped Oleander holes in the trees.


-Keith

Jim Sherma

  • Karma: +0/-0
It's probably been discussed in other threads but it seems like Dick Wilson's work has sunk in how it's thought of more than possibly any other architect with an at one time national profile. Are there any others that come close to his decline in status? 

Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Start another thread on that...
Coming in August 2023
~Manakiki
~OSU Scarlet
~OSU Grey
~NCR South
~Springfield
~Columbus
~Lake Forest (OH)
~Sleepy Hollow (OH)

Mike_Young

  • Karma: +0/-0
It's probably been discussed in other threads but it seems like Dick Wilson's work has sunk in how it's thought of more than possibly any other architect with an at one time national profile. Are there any others that come close to his decline in status?
I'll take him over RTJ Sr. anyday and that's not saying I dont like RTJ Sr.   Architect should not be judged by the maintenance level of his golf courses...
"just standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona"

Ronald Montesano

  • Karma: +0/-0
Preach...again, why I said to start another thread on Dick Wilson.



Coming in August 2023
~Manakiki
~OSU Scarlet
~OSU Grey
~NCR South
~Springfield
~Columbus
~Lake Forest (OH)
~Sleepy Hollow (OH)

Jeffrey Stein

  • Karma: +0/-0
I thought this was pretty interesting and did not hear of this when we stopped in at Jekyll for a few days in late December.
Pretty surprised that they are going to destroy the Oleander Course (Dick Wilson), which in my humble opinion is the course that has the most character and the best routing there, so I am surprised that they didn't renovate that course instead. I know that the Jekyll Island Authority has limited funds for golf. The three, 18 hole courses currently located there are Pine Lakes, Oleander and Indian Mound.
https://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/content/brian-ross-and-jeff-stein-plan-travis-inspired-course-at-jekyll-island
Wish they could re-create the Donald Ross course that went NLE back in the very early 1960's.




I'm glad to see that our project with Jekyll Island has popped up on the radar, might just be the Augusta effect, so happy Masters week to all!


In regard to some of the questions and comments about the Great Dunes project, I can understand the attachment to the history and sentimental value of the Oleander golf course, but there are both economic and environmental reasons why the JIA (Jekyll Island Authority) decided to implement the restructuring of the golf facility.  Credit also goes to the NGF and Troy Vincent for their recommendations dating back to 2016 and 2019 respectively.  The fact is that the front nine of the Oleander golf course was the most prone to flooding and closure to golf, thus could be designated as wetland conservation.  The JIA, within their quota of developed land on the island was able to trade about 100 acres of the existing back nine of the Oleander golf course to plan development of other economic interests on island, mostly to support the newly renovated golf facilities (new clubhouse, practice facilities, accommodations, etc).


When Brian and I interviewed for the job we decided it would be much more interesting (and fun) to embrace the history of Walter Travis' work on the Great Dunes (rather than Wilson's), of which there are 9 holes remaining.  Our vision also aligned with the overarching environmental goals of the JIA Conservation Masterplan to restore native dune habitat, reduce turf, and the associated required inputs...Our great challenge, will be tying the two nines together with a cohesive architectural language.  Walter Travis' distinct green complexes and strategic design philosophy will be the glue that excites and intrigues golfers as they pass through several distinct habitats throughout the round.  You will start on Oleander no.1 in a maritime forest of pines and live oak before switching over the Great Dunes holes on the 4th tee, heading straight to an ocean view atop the most dramatic dunes on the property.  From there you play 8 more holes through sandy coastal plain and undulated dunes, with a few more peaks at the Atlantic (much like the dune crossovers you see at a place like Burnham and Berrow on the coast of England).  The golf course then crosses back over to the Oleander holes, again passing through grand live oaks, massive pine trees, and the beautiful coastal hammocks which the original Ross/Wilson courses were known for.  IMO we are giving golfers the best of all worlds. 




I'm sure they will do a great job.  IMHO from watching Jekyl for 40 years...it doesn't matter what is done, they never take care of the courses there.  They always say they will but often the biggest issue with muni golf is not being able to unload a guy  who has been doing it his way for years...and JI is not the only place with such an issue...just last week I had a parks and rec director tell me he didn't need my help on renovating tees and bunkers at a course I had designed 25 years ago.  Said his supt had it under control and was going to do it his way.  Hopefully these guys have assurances. 


Also quickly to Mike's comments, we appreciate the vote of confidence and really feel good about our plan.  Particularly with regard to the Superintendant we have.  Aaron Saunders has been working in this region for many years and is more excited than anyone to be the beneficiary of this generational investment in drainage, irrigation, and grassing! 


We are really confident in the current leadership here at the JIA and their restructuring of the golf facility bodes well for the sustainability and overall quality of the playing experience for years to come!  I know you have been watching this facility for decades, but I believe they are coming out of hibernation in a big way.


We hope to see many of you follow along with the project as we get underway at the end of this year!


Cheers!


P.S.
It is worth noting that the Great Dunes holes are also a product of Karl Keffer, the Canadian professional who took residence on Jekyll Island until 1942.  As economical as Travis was known to be in his course constructions of existing golf courses, he kept some of Keffer's green locations but did change the routing to what we see today (we can also surmise that several greens have been simplified from past renovations).  If you would like to read more about the history of golf on Jekyll Island please refer to the excellent research of Donald Childs, linked here  https://www.donaldjchilds.ca/jekyll-island
« Last Edit: April 11, 2024, 01:23:16 PM by Jeffrey Stein »
I love the smell of hydroseed in the morning.
www.steingolf.com

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
I thought this was pretty interesting and did not hear of this when we stopped in at Jekyll for a few days in late December.
Pretty surprised that they are going to destroy the Oleander Course (Dick Wilson), which in my humble opinion is the course that has the most character and the best routing there, so I am surprised that they didn't renovate that course instead. I know that the Jekyll Island Authority has limited funds for golf. The three, 18 hole courses currently located there are Pine Lakes, Oleander and Indian Mound.
https://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/content/brian-ross-and-jeff-stein-plan-travis-inspired-course-at-jekyll-island
Wish they could re-create the Donald Ross course that went NLE back in the very early 1960's.




I'm glad to see that our project with Jekyll Island has popped up on the radar, might just be the Augusta effect, so happy Masters week to all!


In regard to some of the questions and comments about the Great Dunes project, I can understand the attachment to the history and sentimental value of the Oleander golf course, but there are both economic and environmental reasons why the JIA (Jekyll Island Authority) decided to implement the restructuring of the golf facility.  Credit also goes to the NGF and Troy Vincent for their recommendations dating back to 2016 and 2019 respectively.  The fact is that the front nine of the Oleander golf course was the most prone to flooding and closure to golf, thus could be designated as wetland conservation.  The JIA, within their quota of developed land on the island was able to trade about 100 acres of the existing back nine of the Oleander golf course to plan development of other economic interests on island, mostly to support the newly renovated golf facilities (new clubhouse, practice facilities, accommodations, etc).


When Brian and I interviewed for the job we decided it would be much more interesting (and fun) to embrace the history of Walter Travis' work on the Great Dunes (rather than Wilson's), of which there are 9 holes remaining.  Our vision also aligned with the overarching environmental goals of the JIA Conservation Masterplan to restore native dune habitat, reduce turf, and the associated required inputs...Our great challenge, will be tying the two nines together with a cohesive architectural language.  Walter Travis' distinct green complexes and strategic design philosophy will be the glue that excites and intrigues golfers as they pass through several distinct habitats throughout the round.  You will start on Oleander no.1 in a maritime forest of pines and live oak before switching over the Great Dunes holes on the 4th tee, heading straight to an ocean view atop the most dramatic dunes on the property.  From there you play 8 more holes through sandy coastal plain and undulated dunes, with a few more peaks at the Atlantic (much like the dune crossovers you see at a place like Burnham and Berrow on the coast of England).  The golf course then crosses back over to the Oleander holes, again passing through grand live oaks, massive pine trees, and the beautiful coastal hammocks which the original Ross/Wilson courses were known for.  IMO we are giving golfers the best of all worlds. 




I'm sure they will do a great job.  IMHO from watching Jekyl for 40 years...it doesn't matter what is done, they never take care of the courses there.  They always say they will but often the biggest issue with muni golf is not being able to unload a guy  who has been doing it his way for years...and JI is not the only place with such an issue...just last week I had a parks and rec director tell me he didn't need my help on renovating tees and bunkers at a course I had designed 25 years ago.  Said his supt had it under control and was going to do it his way.  Hopefully these guys have assurances. 


Also quickly to Mike's comments, we appreciate the vote of confidence and really feel good about our plan.  Particularly with regard to the Superintendant we have.  Aaron Saunders has been working in this region for many years and is more excited than anyone to be the beneficiary of this generational investment in drainage, irrigation, and grassing! 


We are really confident in the current leadership here at the JIA and their restructuring of the golf facility bodes well for the sustainability and overall quality of the playing experience for years to come!  I know you have been watching this facility for decades, but I believe they are coming out of hibernation in a big way.


We hope to see many of you follow along with the project as we get underway at the end of this year!


Cheers!


P.S.
It is worth noting that the Great Dunes holes are also a product of Karl Keffer, the Canadian professional who took residence on Jekyll Island until 1942.  As economical as Travis was known to be in his course constructions of existing golf courses, he kept some of Keffer's green locations but did change the routing to what we see today (we can also surmise that several greens have been simplified from past renovations).  If you would like to read more about the history of golf on Jekyll Island please refer to the excellent research of Donald Childs, linked here  https://www.donaldjchilds.ca/jekyll-island


Wonderful post; thank you!
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Brian Ross

  • Karma: +0/-0
Well I had typed out a nice, long post on this yesterday morning while I was at the airport but didn't have time to hit send and now Jeff has beat me to the punch!  ;)

He explained the situation perfectly, though, so I won't bother repeating it all. Selling a newly restored Walter Travis course on the ocean + nine more Travis-inspired holes to tie it all together was the right call for the JIA, even if it comes at the unfortunate expense of the Wilson course. You guys should be happy to hear that we are (generally) honoring the routing of the front nine of the Wilson course which as Jeff mentioned will be Holes 1-3 and 13-18 of our new routing. Strategically and aesthetically it will be different, for certain, and we are moving around tees and greens to bring them closer together to make this portion of the course feel less cart-oriented, but you will still be able to envision the old holes as you play the new course, IMO.

Regarding the long-term maintenance of the course, like Jeff, I'm a bit more optimistic than you guys, though obviously there is always a risk here regardless of whether the client is a municipality or not. I feel strongly that the leadership team currently in place 1) understands golf, 2) understands what this course CAN (and SHOULD) be, and 3) are willing to do what's necessary to ensure it's long-term success.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2024, 12:19:12 PM by Brian Ross »
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

http://www.rossgolfarchitects.com

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Well I had typed out a nice, long post on this yesterday morning while I was at the airport but didn't have time to hit send and now Jeff has beat me to the punch!  ;)

He explained the situation perfectly, though, so I won't bother repeating it all. Selling a newly restored Walter Travis course on the ocean + nine more Travis-inspired holes to tie it all together was the right call for the JIA, even if it comes at the unfortunate expense of the Wilson course. You guys should be happy to hear that we are (generally) honoring the routing of the front nine of the Wilson course which as Jeff mentioned will be Holes 1-3 and 13-18 of our new routing. Strategically and aesthetically it will be different, for certain, and we are moving around tees and greens to bring them closer together to make this portion of the course feel less cart-oriented, but you will still be able to envision the old holes as you play the new course, IMO.

Regarding the long-term maintenance of the course, like Jeff, I'm a bit more optimistic than you guys, though obviously there is always a risk here regardless of whether the client is a municipality or not. I feel strongly that the leadership team currently in place 1) understands golf, 2) understands what this course CAN (and SHOULD) be, and 3) are willing to do what's necessary to ensure it's long-term success.


Thank you!  I look forward to seeing the finished product.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

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