Windsor in Vero Beach, Florida, has unveiled and announced the reopening of its 18-hole, links-style golf course following a complete renovation that began in April. Refreshed by architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. and his team at Robert Trent Jones II, who originally designed the course, the reopening heralds a new era for Windsor as the community commences its milestone 30th anniversary season this fall.
Windsor’s director of golf Jeff Steele and superintendent Jason Schoonover oversaw the project, which also addressed Windsor’s commitment to sustainability.
Referred to as “Windsor’s Serengeti” for its undulating panorama of native trees bordering gentle, rolling fairways, the par-72, 120-acre course has been enhanced with a complete re-grassing of all playing surfaces, including the tee boxes, fairways, and greens, as well as the practice areas. Tee surfaces have been enlarged and reoriented throughout the course, while original hole locations and bunker shapes have been recaptured to create more dynamic playing conditions for Members. More tightly mown fairway areas around the green complexes enhance the playability and challenge for players.
The short game practice area and putting and chipping greens have also been re-envisioned to create enhanced practice conditions. Greater variety in length and angle of approach shots to be practiced were added, alongside additional target green areas. Putting and chipping green areas have extended surfaces for more diverse practice scenarios.
As part of sustainability measures undertaken by Windsor, Jones and his team added a new Rain Bird irrigation system with a computerized smart pump system, which offers better coverage while reducing overall water consumption. A new SubAir system installed under all greens provides the ability to remove water from putting surfaces after weather events. The course now features over 30,000 linear feet of pc drainage technology installed under all fairways and green approaches and surrounds.
The team has also undertaken a considerable reestablishment of the vegetation diversity around the natural planting areas, especially in the littoral shelf areas located in the water hazards throughout the course. Additional sustainability measures include the introduction of a more drought tolerant variety of Bermudagrass in the fairways and rough, a reduction of areas required to be mowed that will reduce the overall carbon footprint of the course, and thinning out of overgrown underbrush in the heavily treed areas to promote easier movement of wildlife across the property, among other measures.
“We are beyond thrilled to debut our upgraded golf course to our members as they return for the new season,” Steele said. “It has been a privilege to work alongside Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Bruce Charlton, president and chief design officer, to breathe new life into our cherished course, which has served as a cornerstone amenity and social facilitator in the community for many years. We look forward to seeing members and their guests create new memories as they master the course in the years to come.”
“We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to return to Windsor, where I have many fond memories, and ‘polish the gem’ and refresh this prized golf course,” Jones said. “As the original architect, we kept true to the course’s original design while enhancing the fun factor throughout. The golf hole strategy and overall design theme remains ecologically sensitive with dramatic undulations unique to Florida.”