A multimillion-dollar renovation of the Mooresville Golf Course is steadily moving forward, with the redesigned links expected to reopen in the fall.
The scale of the several monthslong makeover is already visible, officials say, as the layout of the town-owned course undergoes a dramatic transformation, particularly on the first nine holes.
“From what it was to what it is now, it’s a completely different course,” said Jon Young, an engineer for the town who is the project manager. “There’s going to places that you have not seen before.”
Expected to finish as early as mid-August, the renovation entails lengthening fairways, redesigning greens and installing a new irrigation system and erosion control devices.
The most extensive changes are taking place on the front nine, including to its contours, greens and tees. The back nine will remain largely unchanged, though it will feature more bunkers and larger greens.
Among the additions are a new driving range that will encompass about 18 acres, more than four times the size of the previous one, and a practice area.
A temporary clubhouse will be housed in a modular building. Officials have yet to determine when they will build a permanent one, Young said, noting that it will use an existing building to house golf carts.
As for the length of the par-72 course, it will increase by about 300 yards, stretching over a total of as much as 6,900 yards. While much of that increase is on the front nine, the longest hole is on the back nine, the 18th, stretching more than 565 yards.
Since beginning in December, the project has made steady progress, encountering little to no delays.
“It’s gone smoothly,” Young said. Workers were expected to have finished putting down sod on the greens and bunkers throughout back nine over the past week, as well as replanting its fairways.
Located near the Mill Village historic neighborhood, the course was built for an old cotton mill there, opening in the late 1940s with only nine holes.
It was sold to the town in the mid-1970s, with the additional nine holes added later that decade. The mayor at the time used federal funds to pay for the expansion, which was drawn up by a different designer.
While the course has seen improvements over the years, this is the first time it has undergone such a transformation.
“There were things that needed to be fixed,” Young said. He noted that officials had discussed addressing issues over the years, such as irrigation and the conditions of fairways and greens.
Costing roughly $5 million, the project is the first investment the town will make with a $10 million bond for recreation improvements that voters passed last year.
As for whether the new course will have a positive economic impact, officials believe that it will attract more people to town, if only golfers.
“It’s really going to be a spectacular course,” said Dick Poore, director of cultural and recreation services for the town. More than 31,000 rounds were played at the course over the past year it was open, he noted. While that is significantly down from an average of 38,000 in recent years, officials hope that the new course will see as many as 40,000 each year.
Mooresville’s golf course is one of several in the region. But officials say its renovation could help distinguish it from other public courses.
“We are going to be very competitive,” said Jeremy Elliott, the golf professional at the course. He said that in preparing for the renovation project, the town studied some 20 public courses within a 30-mile radius of town.
Perhaps one of the main draws for golfers is that the new course will prove more difficult. For one, it will have nearly 70 bunkers, an increase from about 40, Elliott said.
“It’s going to be more challenging,” he said.
Beyond his preparations at the course – Elliott is responsible for hiring new workers – he is awaiting its reopening. “I’m hoping they’ll let me play on the first day,” he said.
Jake Flannick is a freelance writer. Have a story for Jake? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For info about the renovation project, go to http://ci.mooresville.nc.us/542/Golf-Course-Renovations.