Wednesday, November 14, 2007

San Antonio's Brackenridge Ready for Facelift

While the Brackenridge Tract in Austin has been getting a lot of attention lately, the Brackenridge Park Golf Course in San Antonio has quietly been moving closer to a long-awaited and much-needed renovation.

John Colligan, the course architect in charge of the renovation, unveiled his plans on Tuesday at the golf course. A total of $4.5 million has been allocated to course work, the San Antonio Express-News reported, and the course will be closed for approximately eight months, beginning in January, while the work takes place.

The front nine will remain as-in in terms of layout, but more bunkers will be added in the style favored by original architect A.W. Tillinghast (long, flat bunkers with steep faces).

The back nine at Brack, however, will look much different. Reporter Richard Oliver wrote:

The back nine, however, will be dramatically recast to match the original design, with No. 10 moved over to just off the No. 9 green and each hole re-routed in some way until No. 18. The latter will be a par-3 with a tee box close to where the 17th fairway is now, ending with a green tucked hard against the clubhouse.

The most dramatic addition, however, will be the re-introduction of water into the original path of the San Antonio River, flowing under stone bridges that for decades have stood above only ditches and grass.

At the par-3 10th, for instance, golfers will hit over two bends in the resurrected river to reach a green 190 yards away. The entire course will stretch 6,159 yards from the back tees, not much different than the current length.

Nearly $2 million more will be dedicated to ancillary - but still exciting - projects, such as the creation of "a new Texas Golf Museum, Texas Golf Walk of Fame and areas to honor the late Tillinghast and other influential headliners from the area's golf past." The studio of sculptor Gutzon Borghlum - creator of Mount Rushmore - sits on the Brackenridge grounds and will get a makeover. Hiking and biking trails will be added around the course's perimeter.

Full article

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