Construction has started on the championship 18-hole golf course at Killearn Country Club, Tallahassee, Florida. The renovation from Chris Wilczynski, ASGCA (C.W. Golf Architecture) of the existing golf facility is part of a massive club revitalization project to provide the community with an elevated country club experience.
Wilczynski describes the golf course renovation as a “design/build collaboration” between his firm, MacCurrach Golf Construction, and their client. “The entire team met regularly throughout the master planning and design stages to stay aligned with our client’s goals and overall vision,” said Wilczynski. “We’re all working together to create a refined sense of place – we want every detail, on an off the course to be remarkable.
“The course revitalization will touch every inch of the property,” stated Wilczynski. “We will rebuild every aspect of the course infrastructure to enhance the challenge, interest, playability and beauty of the architecture.” One key characteristic will be the management of the existing vegetation to restore the scale of the holes while preserving and highlighting the large live oak and pine trees that frame each hole. “The existing oak trees and large pines are magical and certainly enhance the experience we are trying to create,” Wilczynski added.
The use of angles in Wilczynski’s design is another method used to achieve interest and challenge. “We focused on creating variety at each hole and incorporating angles that are strategic and more visually interesting. For example, the new 18th hole is a medium-length par 4 that will play uphill and slightly turn from right to left with several bunkers framing the inside and outside edges of the landing areas. The green complex at No. 18 will also offer a more impressive finale as it sits directly below the clubhouse where members will have a prime spot to watch golfers finish their rounds,” he said.
Additional improvements to the course include a ribbon tee system with six sets of tees ranging from 3,800-7,200 yards, greens set at a variety of elevations and angles that range from 4,500-10,000 square feet in size, and classic bunkering with steep grass faces and flat sand bottom floors. State-of-the-art practice facilities are a significant part of the upgrade as well, with 20,000 square feet putting green and putting course as well as a two-acre short game complex comprised of 3 greens and several bunkers to allow players to work on all aspects of their short game. The 10-acre driving range will feature Trackman technology to help enhance the practice experience; the large grass tee at the range will sit adjacent to the new golf learning center building. Off the course, the club will feature an entirely new clubhouse, new tennis and pickleball courts, a new pool complex and other lifestyle amenities.
Golf course construction is expected to be wrapped up by late 2023, with plans to open the new course in spring 2024.