Club at the Golden Nugget ranks as one of the Nation’s best

By |  March 10, 2016 0 Comments

Club-at-Golden-NuggetThe Country Club at the Golden Nugget, which opened for play in 2015, was as named as a 2015 Top-10 New Course by Golf Digest magazine, Todd Eckenrode – Origins Golf Design recently announced in a news release.

Designed by Todd Eckenrode of Origins Golf Design, the Club is located on the banks of Prien Lake and the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles, La., and maintained by Superintendent Reid Lefler.

Capitalizing on existing features, including extensive river frontage, groves of mature Loblolly Pines and isolated sandy knolls, the course offers variety on each hole. In various locations the site occupies what was once actual riverbed. Decades of dredging in the nearby Calcasieu River coupled with the deposit of sand and silt from shipping channels, slowly transformed the land into what would emerge as one of the nation’s top-ranked new golf courses. During the construction phase massive amounts of soil were imported, bringing the golf features above flood levels and accentuating the remnant features of the site.

“As we went up and up, the views just kept getting better and better,” said Golf Course Designer Todd Eckenrode. “It validated the routing of not only the riverfront holes but also the interior holes which now hold spectacular views across both course and water.”

The hub of the course revolves around a pine-studded sandy hill with four holes playing in and four holes playing out of sandy higher ground. Interior holes have large waste bunkers to navigate and the canal on these particular holes serves as a natural link to the river holes.

According to Eckenrode, one of the most distinct features of the golf course is the collection of waste bunkers.

“The waste bunker concept was functional in one sense, creating low areas outside of turf that could tolerate periodic flooding,” said Eckenrode. “It would have been easy to make these areas water or swampland but that would have made the course just like every other course in the lowlands. By creating vast, sweeping waste bunkering throughout, we were able to achieve a drainage solution by utilizing hazards strategically while also enhancing aesthetics.”

The nearly 7,000-yard course features Miniverde bermudagrass greens and Celebration bermudagrass tees, fairways and roughs. The waste bunkers are accented with surrounding Spartina and Muhly grasses.

Teaming with Todd Eckenrode and Origins’ Senior Designer Andy Frank were a talented crew of builders from HD Truck and Tractor, Eagle Golf and Yates Construction. Hand-picked by Eckenrode for their talent were independent shapers Joe Hancock and Doug Denoon.

“These may be some of our finest original greens to-date, and it is Joe Hancock that is to be commended. It’s a course golfers will never tire of, and one they’ll want to experience again, and again.”

Photo: Todd Eckenrode – Origins Golf Design

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