Ridgewood to shutter Saturday for almost a 12 months for renovation undertaking

Waco’s Ridgewood Nation Membership’s 18-hole golf course will shut down Saturday for almost a 12 months because the course undergoes a complete renovation from architect Tripp Davis, one thing members say is important to retain the premier non-public membership’s standing within the Waco space.

“It’s one thing we completely wanted to do,” stated 27-year Ridgewood member Jerry Miller. “I really like the greens right here, however they’ve reached the top of their life cycle.”

“We’re investing within the subsequent 30 years of Ridgewood with short-term ache for long-term acquire,” added present Ridgewood board member Taylor Bledsoe.

Whereas the clubhouse is closed to all golf, Ridgewood head professional Jimmy Cunningham and basic supervisor Invoice Horton has arrange low cost rounds for members at varied native programs across the Central Texas space, together with Cottonwood Creek. They’ve additionally arrange some longer golf journeys.

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Cunningham stated the funds for the renovation, which is able to embrace new bunkers, fairways, tee bins and fashionable Tift eagle greens, is roughly $5.2 million, with an anticipated completion date of late October or early November 2023, climate allowing.

To pay for the undertaking, the privately held course is assessing the lots of of members based mostly on age, with older members paying much less and youthful member paying extra. The clubhouse and different membership amenities will stay open in the course of the golf course renovation.

“We tried to be honest with all people the place younger members like me pay the total quantity and older members like my dad don’t pay as a lot,” stated Bledsoe, 38.

Waco’s Randy Mull has been round Ridgewood since 1973 when his dad and mom joined the membership. Mull stated that the redo will assist maintain the course and golf in Waco for a few years.

“We’ve an opportunity to redo some issues on the course which wanted to be mounted, like including a creek on the 9 and eleventh holes, taking away the lake on No. 3 and redoing the bunkers and fairways,” Mull stated. “As you become older, you get set in your methods, so this may enable us to play totally different programs within the space, after which we’ll have a brand new course at Ridgewood within the fall.”

To commemorate the pending course’s shutdown, Ridgewood is internet hosting a most unusual golf match on Saturday the place the 18-hole course can be transformed to a dozen par-3 holes for an occasion the place members and company play throughout the structure. The membership will award prizes on every gap, and the occasion will even characteristic meals vehicles and two giant barbecue pits.

“Then, when the match is completed, the gamers can have a free-for-all on the course — carts on the greens, use any membership within the inexperienced or bunkers, no matter,” stated Cunningham. “We’re not fixing any ball marks, they will take out their frustrations on the course.”

Ridgewood celebrated its seventy fifth anniversary this summer time and has had different course upgrades and fixes through the years, together with the set up of recent fairways and greens. However this is likely one of the largest scale initiatives within the membership’s historical past.

“We had been going to be shut down for six months for brand spanking new greens, so why not do 9 months and get virtually a very new course?” Bledsoe stated. “I believe we have now an important place right here, however I believe will probably be even higher when it’s completed.”

The method for Ridgewood has been a protracted one, because the membership authorised the renovation and the hiring of Oklahoma-based architect Davis almost 18 months in the past. Then they needed to negotiate with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, which controls the close by Lake Waco water. The lake comes into play on a number of of the holes. Ridgewood members additionally needed to vote on and approve a funds for the undertaking.

Ridgewood is a longtime beginner and faculty match host, together with the Texas State Senior Championship and the previous Southwest Convention Championship.

“Renovations like this are a obligatory evil for all golf equipment like ours. It could possibly be dangerous luck for the older members, however we are going to survive,” stated longtime Ridgewood member Johnny Bledsoe.

General, the sentiment amongst Ridgewood workers and members appears to be one among pleasure.

“I’m blissful to see what the brand new course will appear to be. We’re going to be blowing and going January 4th and maintain it going right through,” added Cunningham. “We’re ripping the bandage off the outdated course and developing with the brand new.”

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