Landscape Management has signed a five-year contract to manage Fox Hills Golf Course in Watford City, North Dakota. The semi-private club is in the process of adding 12 holes to the existing nine. Landscapes Unlimited, the parent company for Landscape Management, is handling the construction. Kevin Norby designed the new holes, which are expected to open for play in spring 2018.
Watford City has seen impressive growth thanks to the oil industry, with its population expanding from 1,200 to more than 7,000 in less than ten years. It is expected to continue to grow.
"The oil industry is still adding 1,000 wells a year to this area," said Fox Hills Board member Dave Johnson.
Phase II of the project will see the closure of the original nine, the creation of six more championship holes, plus an expansive practice facility, to complete the on-course transformation.
"Landscapes Management Co. [LMC] has been hired to manage the off-course transformation, in addition to all operations going forward," said Tom Everett, Landscapes Management president. "What's happening here is pretty extraordinary, but there are a lot of moving parts. The Board has entrusted us with making them all work together, and that's exactly what we're going to do."
Most everything about the Fox Hills project is unique. It started out as a privately organized, 9-hole, daily-fee loop with sand greens. In the 1980s, Watford City provided a re-use water supply that enabled a transition to grass putting surfaces. In return, the local golfers who administered Fox Hills donated the course to Watford City, which then deputized a volunteer Board of Directors to run Fox Hills on a non-profit basis, though not a 501C-3
Everett said Landscapes will widen the marketing effort once the new holes are playable.
"There's a real strong local customer base here, but the Board feels (and we agree) that it's feasible to market Fox Hills to golfers within a 200-mile radius of Watford City," Everett said.
"When we're finished with the new 18 holes, this is easily going to be a top 5 course in the state. The oil boom has resulted in the development of hotels here, good restaurants... We think Fox Hills is well positioned to serve both the local market and a short-stay destination golf market."