Osceola Municipal Golf Course, Pensacola, Florida

Harrison Minchew Golf Course Architecture

New, Old Golf Course Reopens in Northwest Florida.

A local favorite since 1926, Osceola Municipal Golf Course received a $750,000 facelift courtesy of the City of Pensacola and the Parks and Recreation Department. Under the direction of longtime Arnold Palmer design protégé, Harrison Minchew and Lepanto Golf Construction.
   With an eye toward transforming the area’s only municipal golf course into a more profitable operation, Harrison Minchew was engaged to initiate a long overdue, "extreme makeover" to Osceola Municipal Golf Course. Its new marketing slogan is:

"Come Play Osceola Again For The First Time."

Harrison Minchew Golf Course Architecture

   The First Tee facility now includes a full-service, 40-person practice facility — complete with a massive, new putting and pitching green, and separate sand bunker — while golfers on the course will enjoy reconstructed green complexes with the finest putting surface available, concrete cart paths, more bunkers around the golf course and more trees.
   During the course of the six month project, Minchew and Lepanto constructed four new holes at Osceola, including a trio of new par-3s. The course remains approximately the same length — slightly more than 6,400 yards from the back tee boxes — but the former par-72 will reopen as a par-70. In addition, the new tee areas are squared and significantly larger, with separate tees for seniors and ladies, along with junior tee markers.
   A grand re-opening event was held on Oct. 7th with the annual Mayor’s Cup Tournament. A month earlier on Sept. 7th, former U.S. Open champion Jerry Pate, a native of Pensacola, conducted a golf clinic at the new practice facility. Other local PGA TOUR Pros with ties to Osceola include Joe Durant, Heath Slocum, and Boo Weekley.
   “I grew up playing Osceola,” said Durant. “I’ve probably played it a 1,000 times. It is very exciting to see the improvements. The new driving range and practice facility are great. The added length with the new tees, new bunkers, several new holes, and character designed into the greens will make the golf course enjoyable to all types of players.”
   “This place is near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts,” said Minchew. “The entire golf course will have a new look. The greens were nondescript and now they are strategically re-contoured and much more playable. The turf quality is going to be completely different as well. Now even the best golfers will have an enjoyable challenge from the new back tees. Everyone is very excited about it.”
   The other signature element of the Osceola project is its green complexes. The grass on the greens is now MiniVerde Bermuda, the same putting surface found at revered courses like the Bay Hill Golf Club in Orlando and the TPC Stadium Course at Sawgrass.
   “The greens now will have as good of turf grass as you will find anywhere and they will be able to maintain the greens at a much higher level now,” said Minchew.

Davie Golf & Country Club, Davie, Florida

Harrison Minchew Golf Course Architecture

The original Davie golf course was constructed in 1968.
   The new Davie Golf & Country Club (formerly Arrowhead Golf Course) had become very rundown when the Florida Department of Transportation decided it would need to impact several golf courses in the area because of the huge I-595 roadway expansion. For the $1.4 billion project, the FDOT manager and project lead Reynolds Smith & Hills determined it was most economical to place the needed I-595 storm water retention within the adjacent golf courses. Harrison Minchew was invited to join the project team to assist RS&H in determining the impacts and costs of placing up to 15-20 acres of storm water retention ponds in each of three adjacent courses. Harrison determined that the courses would need to be rebuilt to accommodate the fill generated from the additional ponds.
   It was late in the process and the 17 acres of ponds Harrison had proposed for the new Davie Golf & Country Club had to be online by November 2009. Harrison's team designed, assisted RS&H in obtaining all permits, and putting together bid documents to FDOT standards in six and one-half months. To ensure the course and most importantly the retention ponds were created on time, Harrison convinced the FDOT that the prequalification of bidders was necessary and only certified builders with the Golf Course Builders Association were accepted.
Harrison Minchew Golf Course Architecture    The storm drainage and ponds were completed on schedule in November 2009. Completion of irrigation installation, finish shaping, greens construction, bunker construction, land scraping and grassing is was constantly monitored weekly by Harrison. The course opened on schedule in 2010.
   The main feature of the course is a five acre filter marsh that initially accepts the runoff from I-595. It, along with more than seven more acres of aquatic plants, will add beauty and ensure good water quality. The par 70, 6350 yard golf course will have four tee areas; Celebration Hybrid Bermuda tees, fairways, and roughs, and ultra-dwarf Bermuda greens. The new ponds, tees, bunkers and greens were carefully placed to ensure that the course could be enjoyed by all golfers.
   Davie Golf & Country Club, along with the other two impacted golf courses, prove that golf courses provide valuable open space and recreation in urban areas.

Scotch Hall Preserve, Merry Hill, North Carolina

Harrison Minchew Golf Course Architecture

Harrison Minchew, served as project architect for the latest Arnold Palmer course design - noted by a Golf Digest award - as one of the top 10 Best New Private Course, 2009.
   Harrison used his 27 years of experience with the Arnold Palmer Design Company to not only design all aspects of the golf course but also land plan the entire community. He routed the course so it has views of or played along Albemarle Sound on 10 holes. Harrison also led the project management during the design and permitting phase and made many construction inspection visits to fine tune the features of the course.
   Scotch Hall Preserve is a 750 acre development located in Merry Hill, North Carolina on the expansive, pristine Albemarle Sound.
Harrison Minchew Golf Course Architecture

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