RENOVATED FOREST CREEK GOLF CLUB TO REOPEN OCT. 1 B2
After nearly a year of closure for renovations, the city of Round Rock’s Forest Creek Golf Club is set to reopen Oct. 1.
The 18-hole public course was closed in December to allow for construction involving $5.1 million in upgrades. Among changes were completely reworking the greens on all 18 holes, transforming the clubhouse to put more emphasis on dining services, and clearing trees to make a more playable course.
The city contracted with KemperSports in January 2017 to operate the course before the planned renovations were to begin, partly because Kemper has a construction arm that specializes in golf course improvement plans.
Jerrod Wittman, regional sales and marketing director with KemperSports, said a key idea behind many of the course upgrades — such as trimming the tree canopies in areas that were difficult to hit from for most golfers — was to make the course more accessible to casual and expert players alike.
“Beyond improving the overall playing conditions of the course, we wanted to make it more playable for more people,” he said.
Wittman said that goal was achieved primarily through trimming and clearing trees in the rough areas of the course. By clearing out many of the ashe juniper trees throughout the course, players will have a better chance of finding their ball — and playing it — if they hit into the woods.
He also pointed out some “unseen” course improvements that were just as important in the renovation effort. By replacing the course’s aging irrigation system, he said, the course’s operators will be able to maintain a lush lawn while more efficiently using water.
Wittman said improvements to course play — such as adding new tee boxes closer to the hole and planting native grass in the wooded areas of the course to create more playable space — were ways in which Forest Creek could appeal to players intimidated by the game’s steep learning curve.
The course’s driving range was also a focal point of the renovation plan, Wittman said. Along with replacing the sand traps, the target greens and the tee area, KemperSports also installed LED lights to make the range usable at night.
“With the range open at night, more people will be able to come in during the summer when it’s hot, or in the fall when the sun goes down earlier,” he said.
Forest Creek Golf Club General Manager Jeff Dayton said the evening hours are another aspect of the club’s plan to bring players outside of the traditional golf demographic. He said the driving range — along with the redesigned club restaurant, which will remain open until the range closes — was key to that strategy.
But he also stressed that renovations aimed at spurring new membership were balanced by upgrades to the course that have long been needed.
“Our goal is to be a traditional golf course by day,” Dayton said, “but something a little different by night.”
Various tournaments and events, generally closed to non-members, will be held the week preceding the course’s grand reopening in October.
For information on rates to play at Forest Creek, visit forestcreek.com.
The 10 months of renovations at Round Rock’s Forest Creek Golf Club included new tee boxes close to the hole, trimmed tree canopies and the planting of native grass in the wooded areas to create more playable space.