The renovation—scheduled for completion before the course’s 20th anniversary celebration Oct. 8—will not interrupt play on the 7,172-yard, par 72 layout. The Reserve’s North Course will not be affected by the construction.
“I care a great deal about the South Course and its wonderful heritage,” said Fought, who helped find the property and was involved in the original permitting process. “It’s really exciting for me to return to be part of this renovation. We’ll be making the course much more sustainable as well as more interesting and fun from a golfer’s standpoint.”
Most of the work will be to the course’s 110 white-sand bunkers. Fifty bunkers will be eliminated, while the remaining 60 bunkers will be re-constructed with Better Billy Bunker technology, the first time the method has been used in the Pacific Northwest. Originally designed by Billy Fuller, Better Billy Bunker technology minimizes sand erosion and contamination from native soils during heavy rainstorms.
“When we built The Reserve 20 years ago, bunkers didn’t have liners like they do today,” Fought said. “Liners are a huge improvement as they allow you to create incredibly beautiful bunkers that are a lot more sustainable and help drive down maintenance costs.”
Chris Rogers, who has been The Reserve’s director of golf since 2003, said he and founding owner Jin Park are thrilled to again be working with Fought.
“We are very fortunate John is a key part of this renovation since he was the original designer,” Rogers said. “It gives the project so much more credibility. Credit also goes to John for allowing his design philosophies to keep maturing as evidenced by his recommendation to dramatically reduce the number of bunkers and enhance playability.”
Fought will work on the renovation with Duininck Golf, which in 2014 rebuilt the bunkers at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., host of the 2016 Ryder Cup.
From 1998 to 2002, The Reserve’s South Course hosted Jacobsen’s Fred Meyer Challenge, the country’s largest non-sanctioned PGA Tour event, which lured Palmer, Nicklaus, Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, and many others. From 2003 to 2006, the JELD-WEN Tradition, a major on the PGA Tour Champions, was played on the South Course.
The South Course at The Reserve is just one of six Fought original designs in Oregon. The others are: Langdon Farms in Canby, Crosswater in Sunriver, Pumpkin Ridge in North Plains (both Ghost Creek and Witch Hollow courses), and Centennial in Medford. Fought co-designed Langdon Farms, Crosswater, and the Pumpkin Ridge courses with the ASGCA past President Bob Cupp.