Client Case Studies
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In early 2015, Colonial Williamsburg retained Golf Business Advisors to begin the analysis and planning of a possible renovation of the famed Golden Horseshoe Gold Course. One of the greatest golf course layouts in America, the Gold course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and opened in 1963 and included the par three 16th hole—which was indeed the first island green in America (pictured at the top of the Newsletter). A partial renovation was done in 1998 by Rees Jones (the son of Robert Trent Jones Sr.), but the course conditions deteriorated over time with old common bermuda grass fairways, outdated bent grass on the greens, a few greens that had too much slope and outdated bunkers.
After more than a year of analysis and planning while working with Glen Byrnes, the Golden Horseshoe Director of Golf and others from the Colonial Williamsburg staff, Rees Jones and Greg Muirhead (golf course architects) and Landscapes Unlimited (the successful bidder on the renovation project), the renovation finally started in May, 2016.
Our Project Management role during the renovation included:
- Representing the owner (Colonial Williamsburg) to review the construction progress on almost a daily basis
- Coordinating with Colonial Williamsburg staff, course architects, contractors, golf maintenance staff and other consultants on work status
- Coordinating actual expenses of the project to the budget and helping determine change order priorities
- Documenting the progress with photographs and writing monthly Newsletters to the Golden Horseshoe Members
- Developing “punch list” items not completed and following progress through completion
- Planning for Clubhouse renovation (including assisting in selection of Design Firm)
- Developing concept for the Golf Museum
The existing grass was exterminated and the new fairways, tees and roughs began getting Northbridge bermuda sprigs in mid-July while the greens were getting cored out (six were completely renovated and the others just removed 4 inches with a renovation from that point). The bermuda sprigging continued into mid September along with lots of new sod throughout the Fall. New forward tees were created on ten holes and all of the par threes had new “drop areas” created. The greens were seeded with 007 bentgrass beginning in late September and the bunkers were completely renovated using the Better Billy Bunker program throughout the Fall.
A new “short game area” was constructed and the driving range was renovated with new and improved artificial mats. The Winter and Spring were used for additional sodding, cart path repairs, course clean up and the “grow in” by the golf maintenance staff.
While all of this golf course activity was going on, the Clubhouse was also renovated with repairs to the exterior, new flooring, wall covering, furniture, lighting, completely renovated locker rooms with new wooden lockers, a new bar—and much more. In addition, a bit of a Golf Museum showcasing the history of Golf at the Golden Horseshoe and more has been added in the lobby area.
The final result is simply spectacular and the course enjoyed an extremely positive opening for Members and resort guests. And this project came in on budget and on time!