Greensboro, Ga. (March 2, 2010) – Under the direction of the architectural staff from Nicklaus Design, the first substantial renovation project on the award-winning Great Waters course at Reynolds Plantation is complete. The result is a version that is better than ever and again ready for play this spring.
Great Waters, a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course that opened in 1992, is a dramatic layout that offers some of the most breathtaking golf scenery in the southeast. Consistently ranked among the Top 100 courses in the nation since it opened in 1992, Great Waters earned the distinction from Links Magazine as one of the “10 most significant and influential courses of the past two decades.”
To ensure Great Waters remains just as significant during the next two decades, Reynolds Plantation implemented a restoration plan for the greens and bunkering that has restored them to the shapes and sizes of Nicklaus’ original specifications.
Greenside bunkers have been slightly tweaked throughout the golf course, to incorporate new drainage and reinforce the faces. The modifications have not impacted the integrity of the design; rather, they enhance shot values.
The major alteration is the complete turf changeover on all 18 greens, from the original Penncross Bentgrass to Miniverde Bermudagrass, a unique variety that was not yet developed when Great Waters was built. The new product is a superior putting surface that will remain more consistent, year round.
“Great Waters’ reputation as a world-class golf experience plays a significant role in the Reynolds Plantation golf community,” said Mercer Reynolds, Chairman of Reynolds Plantation. “The course is credited for putting Reynolds Plantation on the map. It has a great history, and the renovation assures the golf course maintains its level of excellence in the future.”
Reynolds Plantation members will get the first look at the revitalized Great Waters layout starting March 15, with guest play to resume April 1. Nicklaus is schedule to make a personal inspection of the finished product and serve as special guest for a dedication ceremony on April 6.
The second golf course built at Reynolds Plantation, Great Waters is the only Nicklaus course on Lake Oconee. With nine holes lining the lake shores, Great Waters quickly gained a reputation for its scenic beauty, as well.
While the architectural staff from Nicklaus Design was assigned to the job from the outset, much of the Great Waters renovation project was carried out by the Reynolds golf course maintenance crew. Each phase was coordinated to maintain the design and strategic objectives Nicklaus intended in 1992. Original plans and drawings were referenced throughout the project, particularly to locate the original edges of the greens in order to return them to the exact same size they were on the day it opened.
As for the greenside bunkers, most of the changes won’t be visible to the golfer’s eye, since they involve modernization of drainage and irrigation systems underground. To prevent erosion on the faces of the bunkers, the new ones have grass growing lower down the sides, making the slopes slightly less dramatic, but the obstacle no less hazardous.
“By having Jack Nicklaus’ name on Great Waters, we are responsible for part of his legacy,” said Bob Mauragas, vice-president of golf operations at Reynolds Plantation. “By completing a project like this, it is satisfying for all of us at Reynolds Plantation to know we are being good caretakers of that legacy.”