The South Course at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, California, is a place where water is a premium. Which is to say, it is not unlike much of Southern California. John Fought, ASGCA, (John Fought Design) stepped forward with some unique remedies to assist the course, and the community.
The Desert Sun newspaper reports:
For golf course architect John Fought, taking two lakes out of the South Course at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert as part of a water-reduction project makes perfect sense.
“Water is an unnatural hazard in the desert,” said Fought, a noted architect who has contracted with Ironwood to oversee the turf removal project at the 36-hole facility in the hills of south Palm Desert.
Josh Tanner, general manager at Ironwood, believes the turf reduction and updated irrigation systems will propel Ironwood well past the mandated 25 percent reduction the state wants.
Fought, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour who has designed or renovated more than two dozen courses across the country, including the Players Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort, believes such turf reduction and water savings must be achieved without impacting the playability of the South Course, the home each spring of a U.S. Open local qualifying tournament. That’s a consideration in turf reduction that is important to golfers, though it might be lost on non-golfers.
“You are not a bull in a china closet. You don’t just blow everything up,” Fought said. “We are trying to do it in a way where, I think when they get everything done, it will be considerably better.”
“Landscape architects know more about plants, but they don’t really know where to take the turf out. They just see green and they figure it is all the same,” Fought said. “It’s not on a golf course. I have worked a lot in Arizona, and you’ve got to have turf where people hit the ball off line the most, which is in the tee shot landing zone. So those areas are a little bigger and other areas that are not played, those we can take out. And we can plant a lot more drought-tolerant plants or just go straight sand and decorate it with more native-type vegetation.”
The complete article can be seen here.