Escalante Golf has partnered with golf course architectural firm Tripp Davis & Associates for renovation work on the Oaks Course at The International. Scheduled to begin this spring and be completed by this summer, the project is the first step in Escalante’s plans for club enhancements as part of its vision to reimagine The International.
The revitalization project will consist of improving the tees and bunkers on the Tom Fazio-designed Oaks Course, as well as the property’s expansive practice areas. In addition to re-turfing and leveling existing tees, Davis will add tee boxes, both on the forward and back ends of the current tee complexes, for strategic improvement. The approach to the bunkers will be similar, with slight adjustments that will create more specific strategic intent for lower handicap players. Other bunkers that typically impacted average to higher-handicap players will be removed. Davis will also make aesthetic enhancements to improve visual quality, along with structural improvements that will allow the bunkers to last longer and be more easily and frequently maintained.
“When I first arrived at The International, I was struck not only by how interesting the topography is, but also by the amazing job Tom Fazio did routing the golf course to fit and complement that topography,” Davis said. “If I’ve learned anything renovating golf courses, it is that when you are given good bones to work with, it is easier to get the job done and done well. Good bones are what we have with the Oaks Course so our intent is not to redesign, but to enhance.”
Fazio originally designed and built the Oaks Course in 2000, and it opened the following year to much fanfare and acclaim. His personal touches can be found throughout the course, including distinctive waste bunkers, significant elevation changes and greens averaging 6,100 square feet. The signature par-3, fourth hole features 100 feet of elevation and beautiful views of Mount Wachusett and the Nashoba Valley.
For The International's large practice facility, Davis plans to re-turf and level the tee decks on both sides of the range, add range targets for better distance control practice and enhance the short game practice areas.
A seasoned golf course architect whose career spans 20 years, Davis specializes in original design work, along with restorations and renovations. His portfolio ranges from original designs like Old American Golf Club in Texas and Turtle Dunes Country Club in Acapulco, Mexico; to renovations like Burning Tree Country Club in Connecticut; to restorations like Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club and The Powelton Club in New York.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Escalante Golf, and believe in their vision and goals for The International,” Davis said. “It’s always exciting to have the opportunity to leave a mark on a golf course as special as the Oaks Course. But to play a role in the reimagining and relaunching of the only 36-hole private club in Greater Boston – one that I believe will quickly become iconic with an impact that extends beyond the boundaries of the golf course and resonates with the membership and surrounding community – now that’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”
“We aim to celebrate golf in its purest form while honoring the 120-year heritage of The International,” adds David McDonald, President of Escalante Golf. “With Tripp at the helm, we have every degree of confidence that the Oaks Course will swiftly return to the quality and status it enjoyed just after Mr. Fazio completed his brilliant and elegant routing.”