Headed by project manager Ron Despain from Troon, the renovation kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring Jones and Bryce Swanson of Rees Jones, Inc. along with club dignitaries and the key team from Total Golf, the contractor completing the work.
Originally built in 1964 and designed by Joe Lee and Dick Wilson, BallenIsles Country Club’s South Course is a challenging 6,827-yard, par-72 layout. The South Course renovation will include a complete tee-to-green makeover, including a new irrigation system, cart paths, bunkering and a Rees Jones look at refined strategy.
"We are creating a classic style," Jones said. "The original architect laid out the course well and provided us ample playing corridor to build a thought-provoking course. The remodeled layout will have an ebb and flow throughout the round, and I believe the members are going to enjoy the changes.”
As part of the South Course renovation, a new set of tees will be added, measuring approximately 4,000 yards, to provide a shorter course playing option, allowing for five to six various tee settings and angles to challenge different levels of players.
“The South Course’s routing and layout are solid,” the club's director of golf, Jeff Fitzherbert, said. “This renovation project will create a much more attractive course visually, while maintaining and enhancing existing integrity. When complete, members will enjoy a dramatically improved golf experience and have additional shot options during their rounds. We’re excited to have Rees Jones leading the renovation project.”
When complete, BallenIsles will offer three modern championship golf courses, including the North Course and the famed East Course, to accommodate its vibrant and active membership.
“Embarking on this renovation on the heels of opening our new 115,000 Lifestyle Club” – a $35 million clubhouse renovation completed in November 2018 – “says a lot about our membership and quality we expect,” GM and COO Ryan Walls said. “We have a vision for our community and club and Rees will most certainly help form a key piece of the experience we provide our members.”