Construction has begun on Maridoe Golf Club in Carrolltown, Texas, with a target opening date of spring 2017. The design by ASGCA President Steve Smyers and Steve Smyers Golf Course Archtiects will feature a par-71 layout measuring more than 7,700 yards from its longest tees, with other tees set at approximately 7,200, 6,600, 6,000 and 5,300 yards.
Maridoe owners conceived the new club with a clear mission statement in mind. Unlike the overwhelming majority of courses built over the last 30 years, where real estate sales were the first priority, Maridoe will exist to provide a great test for the game’s most skilled and accomplished players.
Throughout his career, Smyers has worked diligently to create courses that provide intricate challenges, both physical and mental; courses that make players better simply by playing them. At Maridoe Golf Club, Smyers is creating a course for owners who share his passion for the game and insightful understanding of what makes it great.
More than simply design a stern challenge to Tour-quality professionals and world-class amateurs, Smyers was tasked with creating a course that remains negotiable for avid golfers, regardless of skill, while providing a memorable experience for all.
Smyers considers Maridoe an assignment for which he has been preparing his entire career. His passion for the game in its purest form is demonstrated in the body of work he has contributed to golf around the globe, clear evidence why ownership saw Smyers as the perfect architect to design Maridoe Golf Club.
“When they told me what they wanted for this club, I shared their vision immediately,” he said. “We are creating Maridoe to challenge not only the best players of today, but generations of elite players to come.”
Smyers’ use of the collective “we” is not without purpose. He is always quick to credit design partner Patrick Andrews’ contributions to his firm’s work. But at Maridoe, the “partnership” is even broader.
“Here, we are fortunate to be building a club for a group of owners who are avid golfers who have always wanted to build a golf course and be involved in the process,” Smyers said. “As architects, we embraced that opportunity, not only because of their passion for the game, but because of their knowledge and insight, as well.
“Here, we are working with owners who want to be involved with the design and construction of the course on a daily basis. And they are; they are involved and we welcome their involvement.”
In creating Maridoe, Smyers believes the “design team” – himself, Andrews and Maridoe’s owners – is employing the same forward-thinking golf’s Golden Age architects, like Donald Ross, Alister MacKenzie and others, demonstrated a century ago when they designed courses that are still considered among the best in the game, courses that remain demanding tests for today’s best players armed with the latest modern equipment.
“We hear and talk a lot about the traditions of the game, but arguably, golf’s greatest tradition is its ability to embrace innovation. Since its earliest days, golf has remained in a constant state of evolution as defined by innovations in equipment, agronomy and the athletes, themselves.
“At Maridoe, we are creating a golf club in that same spirit of innovation, respectful of the traditions and history of the game but always focused on its future,” Smyers added, repeating a credo that has characterized his Lakeland, Fla.-based design firm since its founding.