Squaw Creek Golf Course is about to unveil its new look. The course in Willow Park will have its grand re-opening Friday at 11 a.m.
"We had two goals with this renovation, make the course harder for the better player, make the course easier for everyone else," said course professional Lynn Vaughan.
The public is invited to the event, Vaughan said. It will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony with city of Willow Park officials, along with architect John Colligan of Colligan Golf Course Design. There will also be free refreshments and some golf companies will be on hand for demonstrations.
The course closed in January. The first phase of the makeover was a $900,000 renovation of the practice area, which included tripling the size of the practice tee and adding four greens with bunkers. Vaughan labeled this as an "amazing short-game practice facility."
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Vaughan said the second phase is a nearly $4 million renovation of the course. It includes new greens, new tee boxes, new fairways, new bunkers and a new irrigation system.
The greens feature MiniVerde grassgreens and 419 Bermuda tees and fairways. MiniVerde is arguably the most popular ultra dwarf Bermuda grass in the industry, and can be found on championship courses around the globe. It is known for its fast putting surfaces. The fairways will feature the popular deep green Bermuda grass with a fine texture and known for its weed and disease resistance.
"We had to be able to attract tournaments such as collegiate events and USGA (United States Golf Association) qualifiers," Vaughan said. "But we also needed to attract more women and kids."
Now, from the back tees, the course measures 6,958 yards but from the forward tees it measures 4,800 yards.
"Two thousand yards difference from front to back means everyone can find a set of tees that fits their skill level," Vaughan said.
A comment on the course's Facebook page reads "The layout is exactly the same but every hole is different."
The interior of the clubhouse was also renovated.
Vaughan said the course will be open six days a week and closed on Mondays. However, the practice facility will be open seven days.
He also said since the course is new and not fully grown, they will be offering preview rounds at a promotional rate. Actual rates will be determined soon.
The course is also home to a Parker County branch of the First Tee of Fort Worth. Since March, Vaughan said they have been averaging 200-300 youngsters per month in the program designed for introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to young people.
The current session ends in early November. However, another session of classes will begin in January.
Cost to participate in the program is $65, but no youngster will be turned away and scholarships are available, said Kevin Long, executive director, First Tee of Fort Worth. Also, each participant gets a free set of clubs.
For more information on the First Tee program, contact the course at 817-441-8185.
BEN HOGAN LEARNING CENTER FINALIST
Squaw Creek is also a finalist for a Ben Hogan Learning Center like the one at Rockwood Golf Course in Fort Worth. It is home of First Tee in Fort Worth and is supported by the Ben Hogan Foundation, among others.
The Ben Hogan Learning Center in Fort Worth, which opened in 2011, is a state-of-the-art $1.5 million, 5,800-foot facility. It has offices and classrooms, a library, computer room, swing room, club repair home, teen hangout and a Ben Hogan museum.
"It would be a plume in Parker County's hat," Vaughan said.
The First Tee of Fort Worth has been labeled the fastest growing chapter in the world among the organization.