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A Great Course Gets Even Better

December 20, 2016

In golf course design, as in everything else, there’s always room for improvement. Which is why Quivira Golf Club, in conjunction with course architect Jack Nicklaus and his team, is making changes to several holes to improve playability. A few of the tweaks are have already been completed. Others are scheduled to be finished in 2017.

For example, at the 13th hole, a dazzling par 3 set atop a massive pinnacle of granite that rises over 100 feet from the surging sea, the tiny, wafer-like green has been recontoured.  Per director of golf Antonio Reynante, “The main reason we changed the green at No. 13 was because it had more than 5% of slope in the middle of the putting surface. On such a small green, we needed more pin positions and more puttable surface area.”  The original DNA of the hole is still there, but the hole is not as severe as the original design, he said. The work was completed over the summer.

At the 15th hole, a grand-scale par 5 that plays over a hill toward distant mountain peaks at the highest point on the course (380 feet above sea level), a modification was made to the central hazard that divides the fairway into upper and lower landing areas. “We made a risk-reward type of change to the sandy native area with the long hitter in mind,” Reynante said. “The rear portion of the bunker has been smoothed out and grassed over, enabling bold players who hit a great drive to carry the hazard and find the fairway.” This subtle, simple refinement was completed in August.

At the fifth hole, a stunning oceanfront par 4 situated 275 feet above sea level, the fairway tiptoes along the edge of sheer granite bluffs on the left as it tumbles downhill to a rock-walled, cliff-hanging green. Nicklaus, in his final review of the course in December 2014, suggested that the “transition bunkers” on the downslope that leads to the green be removed “because the hole is already tough enough.”

Previously, golfers’ drives would crest the hill and tumble into trouble. As part of the renovation project, broken ground on the downslope has been sodded and will be kept at fairway height, enabling players to find their ball but still leave a challenging pitch shot to the green. The remedial work on one of the most talked-about holes at Quivira is expected to be completed in December.

Looking ahead to 2017, the ninth and 14th greens will be recontoured, while the central hazard at the 11th hole will be modified to improve playability.

Who says a spectacular, world-class course can’t achieve greater heights?

Learn more about Quivira Golf Club here: www.quiviragolfclub.com

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