Best renovations in 2014 announced

Capital may be coming back to golf course renovation projects, as indicated by Golf Inc.’s Renovation of the Year competition. Of the 22 entries the magazine received, only a single entry had a cost under $1 million. All winning projects had a budget upwards of $1 million.

The six honorees are in alphabetical order: Atlantic Beach Country Club in Atlantic Beach, Fla.; Bali National Golf Club in Bali, Indonesia; Brentwood Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif.; Keller Golf Course in Maplewood, Minn.; Laguna Phuket Golf Club in Thalang Phuket, Thailand; Menlo Country Club in Woodside, Calif.; The Ford Plantation in Richmond Hill, Ga.; and Walt Disney World Palm Course in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. 

Golf Inc. will announce placement — first, second, third place and honorable mention — in both Public and Private categories in its July/August issue.

In the past, Golf Inc. has separated honorees into categories of projects exceeding $1 million in costs with those under $1 million. This year Golf Inc. will only honor courses in two categories: public and private. 

In its 11-year history, President and Editor in Chief Jack Crittenden had yet to see such a lavish crop of entries.

“It’s quite rare to have all but one entry come in at costs over $1 million,” Crittenden said. “Regardless of cost, all honorees produced stunning renovations that make you want to grab your clubs and play a round. At the end of the day, that’s what it is all about.” 

Golf course architect and five-time judge Forrest Richardson thinks inexpensive renovations still exist but speculates that they may just not be entering this and similar competitions due to the smaller scope of projects. But there may be another explanation.

“It does seem that more work is now being funded because courses have simply run out of time to keep deferring,” Richardson said. “It’s now or never. Either you’re in the golf business, or not.”

Golf course architect and judge Neal Meagher thinks the post-recession economy may be the cause. 

“[Some industry professionals] believe that the large amounts being spent to thoroughly remake some private courses are not solely a function of access to easier borrowing, although that is a part of it, but in the case of the clubs at the very high end it also stems from their response to the recent recession,” Meagher said. 

For the last decade, Golf Inc.’s contest has kept the same goals and values in mind: to highlight architects and contractors who have transformed aging courses, making them more playable, eye-catching and efficient.

Sign up for the free digital subscription of Golf Inc. Magazine here to read the full story in the July/August issue available mid-July.


How do I find details of the best renovations? Don't you traditionally provide details on each renovation project?

Hi James. Details including before and after photos, price points, quotes, the placement of winners and more will be featured in the July/August issue of Golf Inc. Magazine out July 14. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter at the link below to get an email as soon as the free digital magazine is available:

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