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Bunker project brightens look at Cedar Ridge by ken macleod

In its first major renovation since new greens were installed in 1994, Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow is getting a strategic nip and tuck. Led by architect Tripp Davis of Norman working closely with the Tulsa-based construction firm JonesPlan and superintendent Mike Wooten and his crew, Cedar Ridge now boasts all new fairway bunkers and green complexes. While the greens themselves have not been touched, all the greenside bunkers and surrounding chipping and pitching areas have been reworked and resodded. Bunkers are still stately, but lowered considerably. All include new drainage, the Better Billy Bunker linings and bright white sand. The course will emerge from the renovation with 16 fewer bunkers overall, but the

Jimmie Austin cont. from page 40 have a layout similar to a par-3 course. Four holes will be surrounded by multiple bunkers with each green will be built to varying forms. “This is validating us as a program, in my opinion,” Hybl said. Ransom graduated from OU in 1966 and played Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club as a student. As a long-time supporter of the program, Ransom was attending the Sooner Open a few years ago when he spoke with Hybl about the possibility of adding a short course. “I was enthused,” Ransom said. “I had been wanting to do something for the university for a long time. I just feel like it’s the right thing to do. Everybody I’ve talked to at the university… has been wonderful. It’s just confirmed what I’m doing is right.” The short-course project coincides with continued improvements to the OU course and will help insure the Sooners have one of the nation’s premier collegiate golf facilities. “People from all over the country are going to want to come here,” OU senior player Max McGreevy said. “It’s a down-to-earth place that maybe some people haven’t been able to experience before. The atmosphere here is just so good. It’s hard to not like it.” 42 •••••• www.golfoklahoma.org

All new bunkers and green surrounds at Cedar Ridge Country Club. many remaining will be more strategically placed to challenge the overwhelming power of today’s longest hitters while actually making it a slightly easier course for average golfer hitting drives of 220 to 240 yards. Although the Joe Finger design has long been noted as a difficult course characterized by testing uphill par-4s with limited roll, the ever-widening gap between the long drivers and the average golfer has made it a challenge for architects like Davis at not just Cedar Ridge but every course looking to update and

The 7,000-square-foot Charlie Coe Center, located at the south end of the driving range, is a state-of-the-art practice facility that was built as part of the course’s $5-million renovation project in 1996. Bob Cupp redesigned Perry and Press Maxwell’s original layout while Tripp Davis, a member of the Sooners’ 1989 NCAA championship team, developed the practice complex in conjunction with Cupp and former OU coach Gregg Grost. Through Davis, several improvements have been made to the Coe Center and are expected to continue in the future. “We have to maintain it and keep it fresh,” Hybl said. Davis also designed the Ransom Short Course, with some collaboration from Hybl. Castiglione said the short course is scheduled to be completed within a year. “It’s incredible,” OU women’s golf coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell said of the project. “To have an opportunity to have a facility on campus like this is huge.” Hannah Wood, a junior on the women’s team, said the short course “is a huge step for our program, especially because we’re going to be given so many different opportunities to learn different shots. It’s just going to be great.”

upgrade. Up through the 1970s, longer drivers might hit it 20 or 30 yards past their playing partners. Now that distance can easily be 80-100 yards as many top amateurs routinely drive the ball more than 300 yards. What that meant at Cedar Ridge is the longer hitters were routinely flying the ball over fairway bunkers that the medium hitters landed in with regularity. His solution is to push the fairway bunkers out into the 270-

See CEDAR RIDGE page 54

White Hawk cont. from page 40 play and decreased water and man hour costs once the new greens are installed. White Hawk is hoping for a similar result. The course had battled late summer issues with the bent grass greens frequently and expects much better playing conditions for the members. “This will be a huge part of creating a successful product year round,” Collins said. “It will give the golfers at White Hawk conditions equal to other upper echelon courses. And the nice thing about working with Champion is they are invested in the success of the greens and always available to consult. They give us a resource we really rely on.” Other courses in the Tulsa area that have converted from bent grass greens to Bermuda include all 36 holes at Page Belcher, 36 holes at Mohawk Park, 18 holes on the Lakes Course at The Club at Indian Springs and the West Nine at Southern Hills Country Club. In the Oklahoma City area, Winter Creek joins SilverHorn, Coffee Creek and Firelake in using Bermuda greens. “We’ve very excited,” Paquette said. “This will be great for the future of the course.”

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