Reinvigorating History - The Restoration of Our Course
Originally designed by the legendary golf course architect, Donald Ross, in 1915, the golf course at Cedar Rapids Country Club remains the only Ross-designed course in the state of Iowa. Over time, trees and an expanded flood plain exacted a toll on the original course. The course had moved far afield from the original of the Ross design. Additionally, the population growth upstream and adjacent to CRCC had drastically changed the nature of the flood plain and watershed. The club needed to respond by making water management and infrastructure changes
Evolution of the CRCC Golf Course
The photo montage is illustrative of the CRCC course evolution. The 1930 photo shows an open prairie links once the routing descended into the Indian Creek watershed. Holes 16 and 17 also used one of Iowa oldest Cottonwood trees as an aiming feature (denoted by the red circle).
Over the years, tree planting and volunteer tree growth overshadowed fairways and greens, negatively effected the health of putting surfaces and altered many of the original routing’s open approaches. Additionally, the marquis cottonwood had become overgrown and obscured by the volunteer trees.
Hiring the Right Person
In 2011, the membership at CRCC recognized it was time to celebrate and reinvigorate the bones of our special course. The legacy value of our Donald Ross heritage, in concert with much needed infrastructure upgrades necessitated by flood issues, presented membership with an opportunity to recapture and revitalize the timeless and universal Donald Ross characteristics lost or obscured over time.
After a vigorous research period, the Club hired the industry-renowned "Ross Restorer" Ron Prichard to lead the re-invigoration and restoration project.
As Ross himself would have done, the restoration project at CRCC sought to reinvigorate appropriate Ross characteristics and features on the property while simultaneously delivering playability for the modern game.
After a series of extensive site visits, Ron Prichard's restoration design at CRCC set out to reclaim many of Ross’ open vistas, reestablishes original lines of play, delivers watershed driven infrastructure and green complex improvements and completes the Ross characteristic bunkering. And in a measure of authenticity, nearly all paved cart paths were removed from the course, marking a true golf-as-it-was-meant-to-be experience for the player.
By the Numbers
- 72 - Tee boxes realigned and laser-graded
- 59 - Redesigned and new bunkers
- 18 - Fairways and approaches expanded
- 12 - Green complexes expanded upon and re-contoured to original Ross specifications
- 3 - Completely redesigned and constructed new green complexes
- 1 - Pond Removed
The Work Continues
Tree management and course detailing continue through this winter and spring 2016. The Spring ’16 grand reopening promises reinvigorated vistas, improved arbor and agronomy and a “liberation” of the now magnificent CRCC Cottonwood framing tree. Additionally, work continues on "finishing" details throughout the course, including addition of new fescue grasses and other detail features.
Tour the Renovation