Round Rock’s Forest Creek Golf Club is undergoing a multifaceted renovation project that entails closing the 18-hole public course until late summer.
The $5.1 million in projects slated for the city-owned course include rebuilding all 18 greens to United States Golf Association standards, creating an optional 19th hole, renovating the driving range, reconstructing all bunkers and installing a new irrigation system.
Brian Stillman, city sports facilities and operations manager, said the need for reinstalling the course’s irrigation system and the playability of putting greens was the impetus in adding the other projects. Once finished, he said, the renovations will offer an overall improved golfing experience.
“It was time something needed to be done to bring it back to its glory status,” he said of the course, which in the past has received accolades from national gulf publications.
Forest Creek Golf Club General Manager Jeff Dayton said renovations began at the course in mid-December. While the front nine holes are available for play, he said, work could begin any day. He recommended golfers calling ahead to check for availability through mid-January.
Once completed, Dayton said, the renovations will offer a vastly improved golf course including completely “cored out” greens.
“By coring them out and doing it from scratch, you’re getting clean, good-quality soil without any disease,” he said.
Stillman said rebuilding the greens entails digging as far as 30 inches underground to replace soil and sod.
Renovations also include removing trees — mostly ashe junipers — along the fairway to provide a more forgiving course. Additional tee boxes will also be installed for different levels of play.
“What (golfers) will really experience here is quality playing,” Stillman said. “It will almost be like a brand-new course.”
Dayton said alterations to the course reflect the PGA’s “Tee it Forward” initiative to have golfers play within their abilities. And with fewer trees blocking shots, he said, golfers will not feel like they’re “in jail” when they don’t reach the fairway.
Stillman said the new 19th hole will offer opportunities for both 19-hole tournaments and an option to play 18 holes after heavy rains. Stillman said hole No. 9 often floods after it rains. In that case, the course would be reworked to have par 3 and par 4 holes at hole No. 3 to provide an 18-hole course.
Overall, Stillman said golfers will enjoy a higher-quality course with the same competitive pricing.
“It has come down in quality over the past several years,” he said of the course. “They’ll be excited to see that high level of quality will be back.”
The renovations come a year after the city contracted with KemperSports to operate the golf course. The Illinois-based company — which builds, owns and manages golf courses, resorts and other venues throughout the United States, Caribbean and Central America — receives an annual payment from the city to manage the golf course.
The Round Rock City Council has approved setting aside $5.8 million for the golf course over the past three annual city budget cycles. Stillman said a portion of that money has been used for operating the course, with the rest slated for renovation costs.
Forest Creek Golf Club renovations
More than $5 million in renovations are slated for the city-owned Forest Creek Golf Club. To receive updates on the course’s progression, visit forestcreek.com/-renovation.
• Rebuilding all 18 greens to USGA specifications.
• Creating an optional 19th hole.
• Adding LED lighting, a new tee area, new netting, target greens and sand traps to the driving range.
• Reconstructing bunkers throughout the course.
• Installing a new irrigation system.
• Replacing seven bridges and renovating two others.
• Clearing trees and planting native grasses for beautification and better quality of play.
— City of Round Rock