JACKSON, Mich. – With a deep appreciation for its almost 100 years of history, and a keen eye to the future, golf course architect Chris Wilczynski has developed a Golf Course Master Plan to revitalize the layout of the Pines and Woods courses at the Country Club of Jackson.
Wilczynski developed the plan for the club, which was established in 1926, as a long-term vision of enhancement which will make the more than 90-year-old golf course more playable for a greater number of members.
“This is a road map for the future,” Wilczynski said. “This plan can be passed from one leadership group to the next, thereby maintaining continuity. It provides a unified vision.”
The plan calls for additional tees to make the course shorter and more manageable for less skilled golfers and longer for some players. It also calls for the removal of trees that have grown so large to encroach and obstruct the original design intent and overall beauty of the property. The restoration of the greens to their original locations and conditions is also an integral part of the plan. “The golf course was aging and the infrastructure was aging,” Wilczynski said. “We have defined a vision of how each hole can be improved for the future, and the work on the greens will allow for a variety of strategic pin locations along edges and behind bunkers.”
Enhancements will be implemented when resources are available. “This is an ongoing commitment of the membership to better the golf course and club,” said Grant Brown, a member and president of Country Club of Jackson. “A master plan was something the board wanted to pursue because the improvements will make the golf course more playable for a wider group of people. Almost every hole will feature forward tees so that junior golfers up to senior golfers, can enjoy the game for a longer period of time.”
Ron Beurmann, the club’s PGA professional for the past 27 years, has seen the countless benefits of a master plan at other courses around the state. “The number of courses that have been doing things like this lately are enough that we started to get curious,” Beurmann said. “A lot of questions were being asked about things like the size of our greens and trees overhanging fairways.
“This Master Plan will benefit everyone,” Beurmann continued. “Chris has designed new tees to accommodate ladies and juniors, so maybe new people will be playing the golf course. “He also has plans for new tees that will make the course longer, too.”
Specifics of the Master Plan call for the par-72 golf course at Country Club of Jackson to eventually play between 4,785 yards, from the red tees, and 7,050 yards, from the blue tees. Three other sets of tees will provide a variety of options for members of all ages and abilities.
“I think the plan is wonderful,” Beurmann said. “It is exciting.”
Chris Wilczynski, ASGCA