The World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida has completed an extensive bunker renovation project on both the Slammer & Squire and King & Bear golf courses, managed by Honours Golf. Two different design companies worked on the courses.
The Slammer & Squire golf course opened in 1998 and was designed by Bobby Weed in consultation with golf legends Sam ‘the Slammer’ Snead and Gene ‘the Squire’ Sarazen, for whom the design was named. The recent bunker renovation project was performed by MacCurrach Golf of Jacksonville, Florida under the direction of Weed, and focused on enhancing the aesthetics and playability while easing maintenance requirements. A number of bunkers were reduced in size, resulting in increased visibility allowing for more forgiving and larger landing areas. The 6939 yard layout is known for its low-profile design which showcases the surrounding wetlands and wooded areas.
” It was a great pleasure to be back working at the Slammer & Squire , nearly twenty years after its opening,” said Weed. The course opened adjacent to the World Golf Hall of Fame, which can be seen from many of the holes you enjoy playing this well groomed and great track. The PGA TOUR Academy is also located near the course.
“We appreciate Bobby Weed’s support, dedication and outstanding work in overseeing this project,” said Bob Barrett, CEO of Honours Golf. “He took one of the great designs from the late 90s and made it more player and maintenance friendly while improving its aesthetic beauty.”
The King & Bear opened in 2000 and is the only golf course design collaboration by Arnold Palmer, the undisputed ‘King,’ and golf’s greatest, Jack Nicklaus, the ‘Golden Bear.’ Both Jack and Arnold were in the inaugural class of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
The 7200 yard championship golf course plays out of its own magnificent clubhouse less than a mile from the Hall of Fame and is set among pristine lakes and stands of pines and oaks.
The renovation at the King & Bear was led by Nicklaus Design, recognized around the world as the premier golf design company with 410 open for play in over 45 countries and 57 under more under construction. Jack Nicklaus II said, “I grew up watching my father and Mr. Palmer compete, but more important, I witnessed one of the greatest friendships you might ever find in any sport. It has been an honor and pleasure for our team to oversee the renovation of this course for future golfers and generations to enjoy.”
The bunkers at the King & Bear have been lined with Capillary Concrete to virtually eliminate wash-outs, soil contamination, plugged ball lies and other bunker problems. The Concrete, a sports base drainage and hydrating material was laid under the sand. Again MacCurrach was used as the contractor.
All of the bunkers have been filled with G-angle sand which provides greater wind resistance, and excellent drainage. The manufacturing process of the sand cracks, crushes and grinds course silica sand into angular particles, which interlock to create firmer and more playable bunkers. Using these processes in the long run reduce the cost of bunker maintenance.
“Overall the work that has been done will enhance the playability for our guest golfers while easing maintenance requirements for our staff. We are thrilled about the work that has been completed and couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming season,” said Honours Golf CEO Bartlett. Honours Golf, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, manages a collection of resort and private facilities mostly in the Southeast and is a division of Troon Golf.
Of their storied rivalry and friendship, Jack explained, “We spent of lot of time together, but we loved beating each other. That was what, you might say, ‘wound our watches’. But Arnold, who passed away last year, was always my friend. He always had my back and I had his. He was a great guy. He did so much for so many that I am just happy I was one of them.”
Palmer was so enamored with the course they did together, he selected the King & Bear’s hole 15 as one of his “Dream 18” in Sports Illustrated’s Preview to the 2006 Ryder Cup. The co-design garnered a spot in Golf Digest’s ‘Top Public Courses in 2015’ followed by Golf Magazine’s 2016-2017 list of the Best Courses You Can Play in Florida.
To book tee times or learn more go to GolfWGV.com or call 904-940-6088.