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Golf Outside Florida: Pete Dye Unveils Redesigned Course at Ford Plantation
Written & Published in 2015 by Joe Stine, Editor, Florida Golf Magazine11/7/14 World renowned golf course designers, Alice, Pete and Perry Dye attended the unveiling ceremony of Pete’s newly redesigned golf course at Ford Plantation.
Pete Dye at Ford Plantation Opening Ceremony
On Nov. 7th 2014, Florida Golf Magazine followed Pete Dye almost 100 miles past the Florida state border to Richmond Hill Georgia – where the $7 million-plus redesign of The Ford Plantation’s Pete Dye-designed golf course was unveiled to national media during a Nov. 7 – 8, showcase at the 1,800–acre sporting club.The 18th green and clubhouse at Ford Plantation.
“I looked at The Ford Plantation as a unique chance and almost a blank slate,” Dye said of the course he originally built nearly 30 years ago. “We wanted to come back and make the course better, and we’ve done that. And now the Ford Plantation golf course will stand among my finest Southern designs.”
To Club members’ delight, Dye, the only living World Golf Hall of Fame architect, was hands-on throughout the year-long project, spending extended time on-site.Pete Dye spoke at the opening ceremony of the newly redesigned golf course at Ford Plantation.
Originally envisioned as a restoration necessitated by infrastructure upgrades, the updating became transformational in its effects. More than 1.7 million square feet of Celebration Bermuda sod was laid during the project, as was a combined 58 miles of drainage and irrigation pipe. Green size has grown by 20 percent and 16,000 gallons of water per minute can now be moved into Ford Plantation’s surrounding freshwater lakes via a new high-powered storm water pump system.
The front nine retained much of its former footprint and parkland feel, though landscape changes were introduced to widen corridors and create long views, a favorite technique of Dye’s.
The Lowcountry links-style back nine—site of a working rice fields for much of the 1800s—now includes bunkering and natural waste areas as part of an updated “high dunes” look and feel. Some 94,000 cubic yards of soil was moved during the project to achieve that result.
Dye was focused on making the course more playable for Ford members, and the new, more open layout includes generous landing areas—while retaining signature intimidating Dye elements such as pot bunkers, switchback fairways and strong-side putting surfaces. Low handicap players will also find a challenge, with tees that can now stretch to 7,409 yards.
The Ford Plantation also partnered with MacCurrach Golf Construction to manage the redesign. It’s the ninth time that the Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm has worked with Dye on this type of project.The beautiful 17th green designed by Pete Dye at Ford Plantation.
For more info see www.fordplantation.com