Iconic US course reverts greens back to original size

By Alistair November 29, 2020 06:43 Updated

PGA WEST, one of the USA’s most iconic golf venues, has restored the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course greens back to their originally designed size.

More than 50,000 square feet, or just over an acre, of putting green surface was regained, expanding the greens to 140,000 square feet, as designed when the course first opened in 1986.

The benefits of increasing the greens include creating more interesting hole locations, such as the ability to tuck and hide the flagsticks in varying positions on the same hole.

“With the recent releases of new varieties of turf that provide a better, faster, smoother roll of the ball, it was a good time to complete this project,” said Chris May, the resort’s director of agronomy.

12th Hole, Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA WEST

Over time, shrinkage of golf course greens is a natural occurrence, according to May. To determine the original size of the greens, a metal detector was used to find the metal liner that outlined the initial shapes and boundaries.

Working with a veteran shaper of Nicklaus Design, they redefined the greens and began the restoration, which took three days to plant.

“We believe in investing in our courses to keep them in the best shape possible and restoring the greens was an easy decision,” said Ben Dobbs, executive director.

In addition to the greens renewal, a 9,000 square foot putting green also was added, tying into the championship tee on the first hole. The Nicklaus Tournament course opened this autumn when the greens were established and ready for play, and following a period of overseeding.

By Alistair November 29, 2020 06:43 Updated

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