Gainesville golfers can tee off at Chattahoochee Golf Club after extensive renovations that have helped restore the course to its original design.
The club will officially reopen on Saturday, October 9th, and club officials said the tee times on Saturday will be full until around 2pm
The renovations were below their expected budget, golf director Rodger Hogan said at the opening ceremony on Thursday, October 7th. The estimated cost, when planning began last November, was about $ 2.8 million, but the final cost was about $ 1.9 million, Hogan said.
Selling about eight acres of land that was previously part of the club paid for the renovations, councilor Zach Thompson said. The Gainesville Redevelopment Authority, which owns the club, was in charge of the sale of the land.
The last major renovation of the place was in 2006, Thompson said, and officials have long been considering further changes.
“One of the stumbling blocks was funding,” Thompson said. “We were all looking forward to these renovations and these greens.”
Hogan had a lot of preference for the design of the golf course before the changes in 2006, which he said were made to lengthen the course a little. Hogan first worked at the club in the 1990s and when he returned in 2009 he was disappointed.
“It was a masterpiece by Robert Trent Jones,” he said of the original 1960 design. “I was a little disappointed with how it was changed.”
According to the Robert Trent Jones Society, Jones has designed hundreds of golf courses in his 70-year career in the US and around the world, including Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta and many other courses used for professional tournaments.
Lackey said that when Hogan started as City Manager in 2015, he asked about a renovation of the square. In 2021, Hogan’s plan finally worked.
“Since the day I returned, my goal has been to bring the Chattahoochee Golf Course back as close as possible to the original Robert Trent Jones Sr. design,” said Hogan.
The renovation work included the softening and, for some holes, the complete reconstruction of the greens and the conversion of some holes to earlier designs. The renovations will allow the course to have multiple holes for all of the greens, he said, and they have installed new TifEagle Bermuda grass on the greens. Hole 17 is now a par 3 that matches the original design, with a pond in front of the green that “brings water back onto the course,” Hogan said.
As part of the redesign, holes seven and eight have been moved to allow for land sales.