Ireland based golf course designer Roger Jones of Roger Jones Golf Design has become the new ‘Indiana Jones’. Jones has been contracted to undertake the redesign and upgrading of the highly regarded 18 hole Hulman Links Golf Course in Terre Haute in the US state of Indiana. The consultation and design stages to upgrade the Indiana course, on a phased reconstruction programme, began back in May when all jokes about films and high action adventures were cast aside.
Having undertaken work in Ireland, UK, Europe and the Middle East to date, this is the first ever commission for Jones in the United States and one that he is really enjoying. Said Jones, “When I received the initial enquiry about this project I was very pleasantly surprised but never really expected that I would ever get the contract. However, after making my proposal and meeting the client, I was obviously delighted to get the go ahead. It’s another example of how we now operate within a global market. It shows that European-based designers can provide professional and cost effective services that compete favourably with more locally based designers.”
“So far I have made two visits, the first to familiarise myself with the existing layout, to carry out a detailed assessment of it and discuss the issues affecting the course with officials. On the second visit I presented my report and preliminary design proposals to the city mayor, city officials and the golf club officials.
“Both the city and the golf course officials are very pro-active and eager to get as much done as possible with the resources that they have available to them. What we are doing now is looking at the financial implications of the various recommendations, in order of need and benefit, and the logistics of carrying them out without closing the golf course. This current stage will allow us to plan for the first phase of the reconstruction work to begin next spring which is obviously very exciting for all concerned.”
Hulman Links is one of two 18 hole public courses owned by the City of Terre Haute. It was first opened for play in 1978 and over the years has hosted two Indiana Open PGA tournaments and the NCAA Division III National Championships. At par 72 and over 7,000 yards from the back tees the course is challenging and has been ranked as high as 5th for ‘affordable quality’ by leading golf magazine, Golf Digest. However, as highly regarded, popular and busy as the course is, it has ’stood still’ for the last few years with the result that it faces the same challenges as many other courses and is undertaking the current upgrading programme in order to improve standards, operational efficiency and profitability.
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