Valley of the Sun: From Scottsdale to Surprise, Nicklaus Design Continues Building its Expansive Influence in Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona — The Renegade course at Desert Mountain is primed to re-open with a bang. The 18-hole golf course boasts an incredible amount of variety to the club members at Desert Mountain, and it just got better. With five sets of tees, every golfer regardless of skill level will be able to enjoy the course when they come out to play. The back tees stretch to 8,100 yards and the forward tees play as short as 4,930 yards with no forced carries. As you can see, variety, playability, and fun are the themes for the newly renovated Renegade Golf Course.
Although new greens and tees have been added to the original course layout, the new design was able to eliminate nearly 20 acres of maintained and irrigated turf. In addition to turf removal, the new golf course is being grassed with all cool-season grasses — completely eliminating the requirement of the overseeding process. This will further lead to annual water savings estimated at 20%, as well as reduce fertilizer applications by about 20%. The final grassing and seeding at Renegade was completed on February 15, and a soft opening of the back nine is slated for late March.
Stimulated by the course improvements, Desert Mountain has seen great success over the last two years, welcoming a total of 247 new members. This is a remarkable increase in new memberships, up approximately 15% from 2016, serving as a prime example of the return produced by reinvesting in a golf course enhancement.
Surprise, Arizona — Nicklaus Design and Heritage Links broke ground on the new Sterling Grove project in Surprise on January 7, officially kicking off the development. Our design team is hard at work on our foundational processes, including the important step of shaping the course and installing drainage. The concept for this site is to showcase features from the golden age of golf architecture.
This will be the second Nicklaus Design golf course with Toll Brothers. The first was Hampton Pointe near Hilton Head, South Carolina. At Sterling Grove, we are designing a very playable and enjoyable golf course for the residents at this new master-planned community just west of Phoenix.
“Nicklaus Design has enjoyed a longstanding and successful relationship with the Toll Brothers team,” said Executive Vice President of Nicklaus Design, Paul Stringer. “We look forward to delivering an exceptional course and experience at Sterling Grove.”
A Bird’s-Eye View of Nicklaus Design Properties
Golf’s philanthropic journeyman, Patrick Koenig, captured incredible drone imagery of Nicklaus Design courses along his nationwide “RGV Tour” to raise money for The First Tee
Writing in a recent feature for GOLF Magazine, Patrick Koenig described the circumstances that led to his life-altering decision to quit his job and begin a year-long golf adventure that would take him around the country, raising more than $20,000 for The First Tee of Greater Seattle along the way. His well-publicized journey, an almost-fantasy tale for the average golfer becoming Koenig’s reality, took him to 405 courses in 47 states as he logged more than 35,000 miles on his Recreational Golf Vehicle (RGV, for short.)
A talented and imaginative photographer, Koenig chronicled his year-long golfing quest with two different cameras, one of which (a drone) he used to take to the skies and capture some incredible imagery of the expansive and diverse landscape of golf courses in the U.S. Fortunately for us, Koenig visited and played many Nicklaus Design courses during his travels, taking dozens of unique and beautiful images of our courses from dramatic angles we hadn’t previously captured.
We are pleased to share some of Patrick’s spectacular bird’s-eye view photography in this week’s Nicklaus News.
Behind the Scenes: CEO John Reese on Relationships
Reese elaborates on the Nicklaus technique that has expanded the lifestyle brand to 12 global markets and growing!
In this week’s Nicklaus News video spotlight, listen as Nicklaus Companies CEO John Reese discusses our existing relationships and a plan for the bright future of Jack Nicklaus.
Partner Spotlight: Southwest Greens President Kyle Ehman
Nothing Artificial About the Longstanding and Thriving Partnership Between Nicklaus Design and Southwest Greens
One of the longest-standing partnerships in the Nicklaus Design portfolio is shared with Southwest Greens, who first became the official provider and producer of premium synthetic golf greens for the firm’s residential customers back in 2004, some eight years after the company’s founding in Scottsdale, Arizona. Today considered to be the global leader in designing and installing state-of-the-art synthetic turf and lawns for residential and commercial use, Southwest Greens now has a multi-million dollar network of 75+ franchisees in 19 countries, and the organization is the preferred backyard putting green provider for more than 35 professional golfers including Jack Nicklaus.
Just as Southwest Green’s business has grown substantially and across borders in the last two decades, the partnership with Nicklaus Design has emerged to produce some truly unique and exciting golf developments and experiences. The most recent standout examples include the collaborative design of the Golden Cub Miniature Golf Course in Downtown Abacoa, Florida, and the Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy in Hong Kong. A hugely influential catalyst in the growth and flourishment of the relationship has been Southwest Greens President, Kyle Ehman, who’s taken their business to new and innovative heights during his 13 years with the company. As water conservation efforts continue to gain momentum, Nicklaus and Southwest Greens are currently pursuing several golf course projects for Golden Bear Turf both domestically and internationally.
“Kyle’s helped us push the envelope since day one of our partnership,” said Nicklaus Design Associate, Chad Goetz. “One of their mottos at Southwest Greens is ‘Less Work, More Play’ and certainly, they’ve been an inspiring, thoughtful and hassle-free partner for our team. It’s exciting to look towards the future and think about the projects we can make possible together for golfers around the world.”
Led by Goetz, the Golden Cub is anything but a cookie-cutter miniature golf experience. Using the best artificial turf in the business, Nicklaus looked to its partner Southwest Greens to construct the course in its Golden Bear Turf. The new course, located in Downtown Abacoa and just minutes from the Nicklaus Companies headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, features holes inspired by iconic golf settings.
From miniature golf greens to residential installations and multi-faceted implementations in the Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy facilities, Southwest Greens continues to find its way into highly inspired and highly functional Nicklaus Design projects, a trend that promises to continue on the upswing under Ehman’s watch.