Todd Quitno, ASGCA Associate, shared with “Golf Course Industry” readers a practical plan to design/fund/build a short course or practice area at a facility that may generate cash flow and attract new golfers.
LGD has worked extensively in recent years with Links Across America. “The Links Across America initiative creates new and affordable short courses (from 3 to 9 holes) to provide golfing opportunities to young people, families and adult beginners of all ethnic backgrounds, in addition to individuals with disabilities or injuries.
“Lohmann Golf Designs, has now participated in the construction of three of these projects (with half a dozen more in planning), the first one being The Links Learning Center at Randall Oaks that opened in Dundee Township, Illinois back in 2010. LGD was the course designer and The Bruce Co. the course builder. Following the LAA model, we both donated large portions of our services to the project’s realization.”
Quitno profiled a recent LAA/Lohmann project; the Short Course and Learning Center at Peninsula State Park Golf Course in Ephraim, Wis. THe entire project was completed for $600,000, though not one dime came from the owners of the course, the State of Wisconsin.
He wrote: “Peninsula State Park GC is a really neat, older golf course that sits just off Route 42, the feeder highway to the entire Door Peninsula in northern Wisconsin. Part of the back nine overlooks Eagle Harbor and the rest of the course plays through indigenous forest areas and along the natural bluffs. LGD was invited up there a few years back to discuss renovation of a par-3 hole on the back side — that’s when Jason and superintendent Matt Meacham alerted us to the triangular, 6-acre property that sat across Route 42 from the course. It was once home to a golf hole, as part of the original routing. But when we showed up, it was ‘just sitting there.’
“LGD created a 6-hole, par-3 routing with holes ranging from 65 to 110 yards. We tried to have fun with it, using famous holes as loose templates: there’s an homage to the 12th at Augusta National (without the creek), there’s a Redan, a Short. The 5th plays over a half-blinding mound to a punchbowl green. We tried to match the bunker styles to those on the original 18 across the street, but it was most important to remember the novice player. Accordingly, we called for planting the whole thing in bluegrass, with native grasses in outlying areas to provide accenting and separation. There are a few pods, but most tees are just extensions of the fairway so you can ‘pick your spot’ to tee from. We deployed generous green collars for ease of play and maintenance.”
Peninsula State Park GC handles 25,000 – 30,000 rounds per year. In a full year (2015 and beyond), the new Short Course and Learning Center is expected to accommodate 8,000 rounds.