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By Design

A team effort

Great communication and teamwork were the keys to a successful

renovation of the Heron Course at The Oaks Club in Osprey, Florida


he Heron Course at The Oaks

Club in Osprey, Florida, faced

major infrastructure problems,

including poor drainage, issues with

playability, inadequate irrigation,

poorly constructed greens and bunkers,

overgrown trees, and insufficient tees

and tee space.

The membership at this 36-hole private

club was cautious about change because

of a contentious renovation of their other

course. That project was deemed not to

have delivered on certain key promises.

A key challenge was convincing

residents—who are all members of The

Oaks Club, but not all golfers—that the

Heron Course needed to be rebuilt to

accomplish their goal of becoming the

best 36-hole club in the region.

The design team worked tirelessly

to communicate with two different

committees and all parties involved

in the project. Outreach activities

included club surveys, numerous town

hall meetings, over 100 individual

homeowner meetings, realtor meetings,

cocktail parties, board meetings, club

staff meetings, weekly architect and

superintendent led course tours,

individual golf association meetings and

presentations, and weekly e-mail blasts

with photos and video.

A highly skilled team was assembled to

cover all facets of the project. Research,

analysis and planning were extremely

thorough and detailed. The team-

oriented approach eliminated delays,

misunderstanding and change orders.

State-of-the-art infrastructure was

implemented, with drainage, bunkers and

greens that have since weathered tropical

storms and a hurricane. Playability was

greatly improved and the redesigned

Heron Course has received rave reviews.

The originally reluctant membership was

won over by the process and results of the

project, which was delivered on time and

within budget.

The Oaks Club, Heron

Vertical Analysis



The Oaks Club


Osprey, Florida

Golf course architect:

Dana Fry, ASGCA

Fry/Straka Global Golf Course

Design, LLC (on behalf of

Hurdzan/Fry Environmental Golf

Course Design, Inc.)

Project summary:

The Heron

Course at The Oaks Club

suffered from an antiquated

design and failing infrastructure.

A highly-coordinated design team

won the trust of the membership

through extensive communication

and delivered a renovation that

exceeded design, timeframe and

budget expectations.


Southeastern Golf, Inc.

(construction); Toro (irrigation);

West Coast Turf (turf); Better Billy

Bunker (bunkers); Advanced

Drainage Systems, Inc. (pipe);

AM Engineering (engineering);

Pikes Creek Turf (turf); Quality

Grassing (turf); Altum Irrigation

Design (irrigation design);

O’Donnell Landscapes Inc

(landscaping); Golf Agronomics

Supply & Handling (sand)

Photos: Dave Sansom