McConnell Golf took on an ambitious project earlier this year to create a new short game practice area at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. The major upgrade is slated for completion just in time for the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship August 13-15.
While the touring pros will certainly enjoy the new facility, it will also be a boon for the club’s members. Many of the pros would venture over to the Grandover Resort’s practice area in Greensboro to warm up because of the tiny 1,500 square foot practice area at Sedgefield. The new short game area will give the club about 15,000 square feet allowing for up to 15 players hitting shots from a variety of locations during normal times. While social distancing measures are implemented, the larger space will work in the club’s favor to enable a comfortable number of golfers to practice at a time. It will feature two greens that are about 3,600 square feet apiece and three bunkers that will give players the option to work on greenside bunker shots, as well as 30-40-yard bunker shots.
“The larger space will certainly accommodate more players practicing at the same time and offers many different types of shots,” says General Manager and PGA Professional Rocky Brooks. “The layout of the new area is also more representative of the shots players will be confronted with during the Championship. It will also allow spectators(next year) a better area to watch players prepare.” Brooks added. “This upgrade to our facility will definitely help us attract and retain new members. Anytime you give members excellent practice areas to improve their game, they are more likely to spend more time at the club and play more often.”
The club’s Head PGA Professional, Eric Ferguson concurred, “The membership is very excited about the finished project. It is another enhanced feature and definitely presents a ‘wow factor’ when arriving at Sedgefield. The folks with the Wyndham Championship and Tournament Director Mark Brazil had a real vision in suggesting the improvement.” Ferguson is excited to have the new amenity that will help grow the club’s teaching programs. “From beginners to advanced players, we will now be able to assist players execute about any shot they will see on the course. For our junior programs, we have our own two-hole golf course for them to learn on.”
Brooks added, “This new practice facility is a luxury most clubs do not have the space for and will be a tremendous asset for Sedgefield Country Club, as well as visiting members from the other 11 McConnell Golf properties.” Visit McConnellGolf.com for more information.
Green Tee Golf from Augusta, Georgia was chosen as the contractor. Steve Wenzloff, Vice President of the company’s Design Services and Player Liason for the PGA Tour, was the architect in charge of the project.
“Steve Wenzloff went out and looked at the greens on the course and focused on trying to mirror them, and decided to use the characteristics of holes 13 and 14 for the new short game area,” Ferguson explained. Being that these practice greens are smaller in scale, the slopes are not as exaggerated, but the features are still there. It will give players a chance to experience the situations we have on the course.”
“The new short game practice area will be a huge upgrade for the Tour pros and the Sedgefield members,” said Brazil. “The area becomes our new Wyndham Championship main entrance where fans will walk around the entire area as they enter the Championship with a view from above.”
The only hurdle the project faced was getting the permits done during the Covid-19 pandemic in a time frame that allowed the project to be started and finished before the tournament. A creek that runs through the short game area is a very sensitive place and additional steps were added to make sure the water is filtered before it feeds into the creek. Everything else has gone according to plan with the project. That is welcome good news for the professionals and members alike. For more information visit SedgefieldCC.com