It takes a lot to renovate a public golf course that features up to 70,000 rounds per year, especially when the facility – Galloping Hill Golf Course – is in climate-challenged Union County, New Jersey. Golf Course Industry looked at finished product from Steve Weisser, ASGCA.
The publication reported on Galloping Hill, which in 2016 became the first public facility to host the New Jersey State Open:
The plan also involved transforming Galloping Hill into a course comforting regulars and testing elite players. Irrigating less reduced the daily damage inflicted on the course, but the county needed outside assistance to create a championship course. Led by architect Steve Weisser, New Jersey-based Rees Jones Inc. started developing a long-term plan in 2011.
Renovations, especially when public money is involved, are always tense. And this one proved demanding because a builder would be forced to work around hundreds of golfers each day. “We were absolutely not closing,” said Armando Sanchez, director of golf operations.
Galloping Hill, which was New Jersey’s eighth public golf facility when it opened in 1927, has been modified multiple times, including in the 1990s. Willard Wilkinson, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Alfred Tull, Stephen Kay, Rees Jones and Weisser are among the architects to work at the course.
“We weren’t just taking a public golf course and redoing it for a tournament,” Weisser says. “Everything was done to make the whole thing work – just basically reclaiming the golf course that was there, taking out trees, expanding the turf areas. We sort of added in the challenge for the state open, but realistically it’s for getting golfers through here day after day and taking care of it whether it’s things that people don’t really see like drainage. Now they have the rewards of it. Now we have something that they can use day after day.”
The complete Golf Course Industry article can be seen here.