ASGCA Past President Jeff Brauer (Jeffrey D. Brauer)has completed work on a $3 million renovation to Tuckaway Country Club in Franklin, Wisconsin, home to the former PGA Tour event, the Greater Milwaukee Open. The club reopened in August.

Golf Course Architecture reports:

Brauer prepared a long-term master plan for Tuckaway in 2016-17, with the focus on new irrigation, drainage, tees and bunkers, continuous cart paths, practice ranges and practice putting green expansion, plus some tree removal.

“The plan was for a long-term renovation, up to nine years,” said Brauer. “The club spent 2018 implementing phase one, where they actually combined a few additional phases. As sometimes happens, we found that it made more sense to combine certain items. One example is adding drainage to irrigation, since drain lines must be laid to strict grade and putting them in later would probably entail damaging some new irrigation.”

The new Toro irrigation system, designed by EC Design, was installed by Leibold Irrigation. The irrigation lake was also dredged and enlarged, with a well added to increase capacity.

Tee distances were a primary focus of the project, with the total range expanded significantly to 4,587-7,218 yards. “With the new back tees, Tuckaway is primed to add to its tournament history,” said Brauer [the course was the long-time home of the Greater Milwaukee Open]. In total, 29 new tee boxes were added to the course.

Brauer also said that the new forward tees were an immediate hit at the opening day tournament. “As an early proponent of shorter forward tees, the enthusiastic response from female players was pleasing. I am working with a few others who are really struggling politically to get those installed. And, with the female participation rate in Wisconsin — and at Tuckaway — being so high, I think it will really enhance golf enjoyment for so many.”

All bunkers were lined with Better Billy Bunker while the design reduced the overall sand from over 110,000 square feet to 75,000, without loss of design character.

“The construction quality was excellent and for me the highlights include doing more projects up front, despite having to raise more money,” said Brauer. “All the decisions they made in that regard made the most sense technically, but too many clients think only about minimising upfront costs, sometimes costing themselves much more in the long run.”