Golf course architect Erik Larsen, ASGCA, and St. Johns County (Fla.) are nearing completion of a renovation project at the St. Johns Golf Club in Elkton, Fla. The course will debut with a grand opening on Nov. 29.
“Job one was to fix the golf course, which suffered from poor drainage, broken irrigation, outdated features and contaminated grass. This led to making St. Johns a properly functioning course,” Larsen said. “Then we brought starting and finishing holes, the practice facility and an additional ‘wee-links’ concept nearer to the clubhouse to allow people to interact more. We layered on a ‘throwback’ design style unlike anything around, all of which will create more fun and social interaction.”
Larsen, former executive vice president of Arnold Palmer Golf Design Company, has worked on the St. Johns Golf Club project for seven years in concert with the longtime director of golf/general manager Wes Tucker and staff, St. Johns County, its board of county commissioners and Wadsworth Golf Construction Company of Plainfield, Ill.
Larsen brainstormed with Tucker to use “traditional throwback” design principles by taking three overgrown holes and changing others drastically to produce new routing. Features include wide fairways, Biarritz, Punchbowl and Redan green designs and square, low-maintenance coffin bunkers.
A short-game area, finishing and beginning holes and the practice area closer to the clubhouse are also part of the new complex. The course includes TifEagle bermudagrass greens, TifTuf bermudagrass fairways and Zoysia bunker faces.
The St. Johns Golf Club work follows Larsen’s successful 2015 reinvention of the Atlantic Beach Country Club course in Atlantic Beach, Fla., and its infrastructure. Atlantic Beach hosted the Korn Ferry Tour Championship from 2016 through 2018.
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