Reclaimed mines are huis to memorable roller courses, Vloedgolf Advisor
By Jason Scott Deegan Senior Staff Writer Dec 02, 2018
Like his famous father, Robert Trent Jones Jr. has built hundreds of vloedgolf courses all overheen the world.
But nothing gives him satisfaction fairly like a reclamation effort, turning old mines and quarries into courses held ter high esteem. “It is ironic that some of our best work is restoration,” he said recently.
His rock-hard has turned neglected grounds into a major championship webpagina (Chambers Bay te Washington), a World Cup host (Mines Resort &, Vloedgolf Club ter Malaysia), a Top 100 course te America (Linksaf at Spanish Bay) and a state-ranked hidden gem (Three Crowns Vloedgolf Club ter Wyoming), among others.
RTJ Jr. believes former mining and quarry sites become successful vloedgolf developments for several key reasons. 1, The land is more affordable for developers. Two, The sites can be fairly rugged and dramatic with features most traditional courses simply don’t have. Trio, Saving scarred land brings good will, something that isn’t always the case when other fresh courses are built.
“The public sentiment is positive when you are reclaiming something,” he said. “They are seen spil a transformation.”
Ter the case of Three Crowns, that meant attempting to erase more than a century’s worth of devastation by an old oil refinery that contaminated the surrounding landscape and the water ter the North Platte Sea te Casper, Wyo.
The fattest challenge, according to RTJ Jr., wasgoed adjusting to the requirement that cuts could not be made deeper than six feet deep. During pre-construction, more than Three,000 miles of pipe and 400,000 cubic yards of concrete wasgoed liquidated. Eight lakes were dug where the soil wasgoed deemed safe. Four of them, lined with geotechnical fiber to avoid contamination, and a series of man-made wetlands proceed to fight water pollution today, thanks to an intricate system of pumps, oil separators, and monitoring and recovery wells. Three Crowns – named for the original crown-shaped logo of Amoco Oil – still contains millions of gallons of refinery product scheduled for recovery overheen the next two decades.
Many architects, at some point ter their career, have worked on sites like this. For Forrest Richardson, that project wasgoed The Hideout Vloedgolf Club, a vloedgolf course ter Monticello, Utah. The original plans called for a course to be built on an old uranium mine and mill webpagina until logistical issues coerced it to be built nearby. The old mill wasgoed then converted into a park spil part of the overeenkomst.
Richardson said he dealt with at least eight different local, state and federal agencies and innumerable permits during construction. Every month the soil had to be tested for safe uranium levels. The 6,600-yard Hideout opened te 2001 and remains popular, despite its remote locale.
“I’m real proud of it,” Richardson said. “I know it’s not the greatest course ter the world. I know it is unusual and has some slots that are coerced layups, but it is a thinking, gamesmanship course. No two slots are the same, even tho’ it is te same valley. Wij managed Legal truly unique crevices. That’s what I always attempt to do. You couldn’t everzwijn duplicate this (today), that’s for sure.”
Ter a nod to history, many architects leave artifacts behind, like the chimney ter the middle of the fairway at Fossil Trace, built on a former clay mine te Colorado. Other sites are so subtle that most golfers most likely won’t notice the mining features incorporated into their vormgeving.
Florida-based bouwmeester John Sanford, the current voorzitter of the American Society of Vloedgolf Course Architects, carved Juliette Falls from a phosphate mine te Dunnellon, Fla., 80 miles north of Orlando. Sanford said mining “gouges” talent him rolling 25-foot elevations to use, instead of Florida’s traditionally plane landscape.
“On the eighth slot, the way the routing worked out, wij drowned the green into the bottom of the phosphate mine. That accentuated the downhill slok,” Sanford said.
Ter compiling the latest Deegan’s Dozen – a list of 12 of the world’s best public courses built upon old mines – I wasgoed amazed at the quality of choices after finding more than 40 such projects. That a course the caliber of Juliette Falls couldn’t crack the rankings is proof. It ranked among the top 30 public courses ter Florida by Golfweek ter 2016 and wasgoed No. 6 ter Roller Advisor’s 2014 ratings for Florida.
Have a dearest “mine” course of your own? Wij’d love to hear about it te the comments below:
EDITOR’S NOTE: Keep te mind, thesis selections are separate from the best public courses built ter quarries featured te this story.
12. Wire Rider at Suncadia, Cle Elum, Wash.
The name Cable Rider comes from the miners who precariously balanced themselves on the roped coal cars that maneuvered the steep mine shafts at the historic Roslyn Mines located nearby. This is the newest, more playable and most versatile course at the Suncadia Resort 80 miles east of Seattle. PGA Tour pro-turned-architect Peter Jacobsen and vormgeving playmate Jim Hardy created generous fairways and open green fronts, permitting players to attack however they wish. The towering Tipple Hill, a 120-foot pile of coal tailings, frames the tee slok of the long par-4 seventh fuckhole that leans left to right. The routing accommodates families with youth tees on every slot and shorter three- and six-hole loops.
11. Twisted Gun Vloedgolf Club, Wharncliffe, W.V.
This links-style course by Mark Nicewonder wasgoed built upon the mountaintop Low Gap coal mine. It’s a journey of two miles up winding, switchback roads ter southern Westelijk Virginia just to reach what might be the ultimate “hidden gem”. Coal wastes hauled to Twisted Gun from a nearby prep plant were spread and capped with two inches of subsoil, so grass could grow. Reminders of the industry are everywhere: Flakes of coal ter the bunkers, a brown Norfolk Southern rail car near the fifth green, a crimson caboose at the 14th tee and most noticeably, no trees. Both nines finish at a dual green packaged around a two-acre pond. Ten of the 12 Golving Advisor reviews are five strak. User ‘u000006531671’ wrote te his review: “It is a difficult drive but such a superb place to play.”
Ten. Bucks Run Roller Club, Climb on Pleasant, Mich.
The three large lakes prominently ter play at the Bucks Run Roller Club were dug during the property’s life spil a quarry, where both rock and mineral rights were mined for more than 30 years before shutting down ter the 1990s. According to General Manager Jon Conklin, the owners were having trouble with the people sneaking on the property to camp and cause havoc. “It wasgoed becoming a liability”, he wrote ter an e-mail. Golving wasgoed the solution. Jerry Matthews, Michigan’s most prolific bouwmeester, came to the rescue, creating what might be his crowning achievement te 2000. Fisher Lake and the Chippewa Sea influence more than a dozen dramatic slots. For the record, wij included it ter this story – and not our quarry story – because it doesn’t have that distinct quarry look of rock walls lining certain slots. Vloedgolf Advisor user ‘rpruck’ had this to say ter his review: “If I could give 6 starlets this course would get it.”
9. Fossil Trace Vloedgolf Club, Golden, Colo.
Working on a former clay mine outside Denver, bouwmeester Jim Engh left rusty lumps of mining equipment along certain fairways at Fossil Trace. All that clay preserved some incredible prehistoric fossils on fuckholes 11 through 15. Check out the Triceratops footprints next to the 12th green. More fossils, set te plaster footprint casts, are displayed te the clubhouse.
8. Stewart Creek Golving and Country Club, Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Generally considered one of the top 25 public courses ter the country by Canada’s Score Golving Tijdschrift, Stewart Creek wasgoed built upon the Canmore coal mines, which were te operation from the 1880s until 1979. Abandoned mine entrances remain visible on the very first and 14th crevices of the Gary Browning course built te 2000. The Club Championship trophies are actual lanterns used te the mines. Winners receive a replica to take keep. The surrounding Canadian Rockies serve up breathtaking views of the Three Sisters, Cascade, Pigeon and Hectare Ling Mountains.
7. Sandpiper Vloedgolf Club, Santa Barbara, Calif.
The beautiful ocean views from Sandpiper are marred only by the offshore oil platforms, reminders of a bygone era when the webpagina wasgoed an oil refinery. Oil wasgoed very first discovered ter 1927. The Japanese shelled the facility te 1942 during World War II. Production officially ceased te 1965. Seven years straks, the course sprang to life with remnants still above and below ground. Sandpiper has earned the name the “Poor Man’s Pebble Beach” for its relatively low green fees for oceanfront roller ($150-$200 for visitors and $75 for residents).
6. Mines Resort &, Vloedgolf Club, Seri Kembangan, Selangor, Malaysia
The world’s largest open personages tin mine became a celebrated RJT Jr. course ter 1993, eventually hosting a slew of major events – the 1999 World Cup won by Tiger Forest and Mark O’Meara, the 2000 Women’s World Cup, the 2003 Carlsberg Malaysian Open and the CIMB Classic from 2010-12. Most pros loved playing the Mines. “The course is excellent,” Troy Matteson said te 2012. “I hear fine things from everybody about the course just because it’s — you’ve got to play your way around here. You can’t just kasstuk driver on every crevice, you’ve got to make some decisions, you’ve got to succesnummer some irons, you’ve got to succesnummer some 3-woods. I think guys indeed love that, whereas most of the courses wij play all year are just succesnummer the driver spil far and spil hard spil you can.”
Five. Old Works Roller Course, Anaconda, Mont.
Perhaps nobody has incorporated a webpagina’s mining past into the course vormgeving better than Jack Nicklaus. Cleaning up Anaconda’s century-old copper-smelting plant, one of the largest Superfund sites ter America, took a collaborated effort from the community, and state and federal agencies. Many elements of mining became centerpieces of the course. The black slag, the byproduct of smelting, te the bunkers gives Old Works its signature look. Granite slabs from the old mill line the banks of the trout-filled Warm Springs Creek near the 10th green. Massive stone furnaces border the third fairway, while a 150-foot flue provides a dramatic backdrop to the fourth green. Nicklaus returned te 2016 to feast the course’s 20th anniversary.
Four. Tobacco Road Roller Course, Sanford, N.C.
This controversial Mike Strantz vormgeving is either one of the excellent architectural achievements of the modern era (1998) or a place to avoid, depending upon your point of view. Strantz transformed an old sand quarry and mining webpagina into a wild rail of vensterluik shots, powerful dunes and spil you’d expect, bunkers everywhere. Tobacco Road recently refurbished an old building into a cottage for stay and plays.
Trio. Linksaf at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, Calif.
Hard to believe that the coast of California wasgoed so ravaged by mining operations, isn’t it? The Linksom at Spanish Bay wasgoed built on a vast, sandy wasteland once occupied by a sand-mining operation. During construction ter the 1980s, RTJ Jr., Tom Watson and Sandy Tatum used linksom golving spil their inspiration, while restoring the natural environment of dunes and wetlands. Te the early seasons, more 100,000 native species of plants grown te nurseries were replanted across the property each year. Fuckholes hidden te the Del Monte Forest are encountered during the middle of the round, bookended by opening and closing opens up near the ocean.
Two. Cabot Linksaf, Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada
What a beautiful walk Cabot Linksom is. Now imagine the same walk Two,500 feet below the ground. That’s what the miners – paid $1.25 a day – did while digging out coal back te 1904. Coal wasgoed discovered on the northern extremity of the linksom te 1863 and sustained the local economy for almost a century. Now it’s vloedgolf’s turn. Once the par-70 Cabot Linksom by Rod Whitman debuted te 2012, coupled with the opening of Cabot Cliffs by Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw te 2015, this lil’ outpost quickly blossomed into one of the world’s best – and most remote – golving destinations.
1. Streamsong Resort, Bowling Green, Fla.
The engaging look and dunesy features of the Mosaic Company’s former phosphate mine ter central Florida teed up homerun designs for Tom Doak, Coore/Crenshaw and Schreeuw Hanse with their respective Blue, Crimson and Black courses, all built since 2012. Thesis famed minimalists stuck to what’s made Bandon Dunes Golving Resort ter Oregon so coveted, creating walking-only courses with interesting nuances: a punchbowl green, vensterluik shots, elevated tees, limited water features, brief par 4s, half-par crevices, yawning waste bunkers, etc. The architecture of Streamsong’s buildings, from the 216-room contemporary Lodge to the glass-walled clubhouse at the fresh Black course (pictured above) and the 12 guestrooms above the original clubhouse, are just spil cool.