Golf Course Architecture - Issue 54: October 2018

Tee Box need to approach them from the ‘correct’ angle so as to set up a viable birdie putt. Much like the golf holes themselves, they are very individual in character. “The site is tree-less with the exception of hole eight, which is a very site-specific, somewhat unique par three that is located on a narrow, 70-foot-wide peninsula that juts out into Lonetree Reservoir between two groves of cottonwood trees,” said Schaupeter. “I have incorporated a bunch of sod-wall bunkers into the design using Durabunker. Many of the holes are positioned alongside two large reservoirs giving it a character like the seaside links courses. The water is a very visual element, but not necessarily a strong strategic element on the holes that are laid out alongside these reservoirs. “The combination of the sod-wall pot bunkers with the larger, free-form bunkers gives each hole its own individual character. The combination of bunker styles was used very specifically to add a level of strategy and interest for the better players and the tournament players. The expansive fairways – over 50 acres – help to provide playability for the ‘bogey’ golfer, giving them some room and margin to avoid the bunkers if they choose. “There are 38 sod-wall pot bunkers, and while they aren’t as numerous as one would find on a true links course in Scotland, they make up for their lack of quantity with being generally deep. They will have an impact on the players preferred options of play if they end up in one of them.” The stretch of holes thirteen to sixteen features the longest par five at thirteen, the longest par three at fourteen, the shortest par five at fifteen and the shortest par three at sixteen. “It will make for a good matchplay course for the members and general public with all of these ‘action’ holes right in a critical stretch of the back nine,” said Schaupeter. “The course then closes with two stout par four holes.” The course is currently open to members on select days and will open fully to the public in mid-October, when the first phase of the clubhouse construction, which includes the pro shop and cart storage, is complete. A grand opening will follow in spring/summer 2019 once clubhouse construction is fully complete. COURSE HIGHLIGHTS We asked TPC Colorado architect Art Schaupeter about his stand-out holes: “Hole thirteen, a 773-yard par five, will get a lot of notoriety just due to its length from the back tee. It is intended to be a true three-shotter for even the best players. The ode to ‘hell bunker’ on the second shot is definitely unique and a conversation-starter. On this hole, players need to consider a longer, more challenging second shot if they don’t want to leave themselves a long – 200 yards or more – third shot into the green. The length that players hit the ball nowadays had rendered this type of par five obsolete. Here is one attempt to create it again. The 5,000-foot elevation of the course pushes out the length of the hole even further to create the desired effect. “Hole sixteen is probably the marquee hole. This short par three is positioned to be as close to the clubhouse as possible, with a 200-foot wide tee running alongside the patio of the clubhouse. Named ‘Centre Stage’, this hole gives players the opportunity to really get a feel for what it’s like for the pros, with a built-in audience at the clubhouse watching you play up close. It will be highly entertaining for everyone, and a bit nerve-wracking for the players, though they will only be hitting short irons on this short par three. “Two deep pot bunkers guard the short, front hole locations. A narrow shelf on the right side of the green is a small target, but the slope down to the lower shelf will funnel shots towards the hole if players can hit it. While this very short hole will yield its share of birdies and probably aces, it will also challenge players nerves with the audience and hazard considerations around the green.” 14   Golf Course Architecture The layout features a combination of sod-wall pot bunkers and larger, free-form bunkers, as seen here on the sixth hole > Photos: TPC Colorado