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Rees Jones to begin renovations on Rio Secco in Las Vegas

By |  May 22, 2017 0 Comments
Eric Dutt, Rio Secco Vice president of golf operations, and designer Rees Jones plan the renovations at Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nevada.

Eric Dutt, Rio Secco Vice president of golf operations, and designer Rees Jones plan the renovations at Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nevada.

On May 23, Rio Secco Golf Club will close for renovations to its award-winning golf course, which will be completed by renowned golf course architect Rees Jones, the course’s original designer. The $2 million project is expected to be completed by September and the course will reopen for play in October 2017. Special VIP festivities and other events are planned for the reopening on an official date to be determined.

The purpose of the renovation is to update the golf course features and practice facilities to today’s playing standards with a focus on increasing playability and sustainability. Rio Secco Golf Club, which opened in 1997, has been featured as a top 100 golf course in the United States and hosted professional golf tournaments such as the Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge, collegiate events such as the Western Athletic Conference Golf Championships and national charity events such as the Natalie Gulbis Charity Golf Classic and Tiger Jam, a major fundraiser for the Tiger Woods Foundation.

Renovations include:

  • Putting Surfaces: All putting surfaces are being replaced with new Dominant X-treme sod, with several of the green complexes being recontoured.
  • Greenside bunkers: All greenside bunkers will undergo major overhaul including new bunker sand throughout. Rees Jones’ team will also be reconfiguring and modernizing select bunkers on more than 10 holes.
  • Practice areas: The practice range will be lengthened and widened with a fresh natural hitting surface. Gone will be the existing artificial line from daily play. Also, a new putting green is going in near the snack bar facility, and closer to the first & tenth tees. Lastly, the existing chipping green will be recontoured with the addition of a practice bunker.
  • Tees: New forward tee complexes are going in on select holes, to increase the enjoyment of the player who struggles with forced carries.
  • Minor renovations: Projects will include sod replacements on approaches and green complexes with the goal of eradicating poa annua; cart path repair and replacement; desert landscape maintenance targeting trees and bush overgrowth.

Jones, known as “The Open Doctor” for his redesign of 23 courses in preparation for major championships (33 events), including Bethpage State Park’s Black Course, Baltusrol Golf Club’s Lower Course and Hazeltine National Golf Club, is fully engaged in every aspect of the improvements.

“I am excited to be back working at Rio Secco,” said Jones. “This is an amazing natural site for golf. When I first saw it, I thought it was the best piece of land in Las Vegas. The golf course reflects the beauty that surrounds it which is why it continues to be regarded as one of the best layouts in the west. This is a big bold site, which has matured substantially in twenty years. We are going to resurface, regrass and expand the greens back to their original sizes to recapture lost pin positions and also make changes to create a different character on some. Several bunkers will be eliminated or rebuilt to bring them up to today’s standards and to enhance the playing experiences for golfers of all skill levels.”

“For Rees to return two decades later and share his expertise is very meaningful,” said Rio Secco Vice President of Golf Operations, Eric Dutt. “Not a lot of other courses are investing in projects like this during these challenging times for the golf industry. Rees and his team are committed to helping us restore Rio Secco back to its rightful place as a top 100 golf course in America, and that’s our goal. Jones is a legend, and we believe Rio Secco is also a legend. The new changes are necessary to deliver the best experience to our guests.”

While the course is closed, golfers will be able to play the top 100 Cascata, also a Rees Jones design and a sister course to Rio Secco. Cascata is located just a few miles from the Rio Secco facility.

Photo: Rio Secco Golf Club

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