Golf Course Management

OCT 2017

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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54 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.17 Fast forward The makeover of Iowa's Davenport Country Club offers a blueprint for renovating on an aggressive timeline as well as recapturing a storied course's original personality. Davenport Country Club is a private, member-owned club in Pleasant Valley, Iowa, which is part of the Quad Cities region in northwestern Illinois and southeastern Iowa. The golf course, opened in 1924, was designed by renowned golf course architects Henry Colt and Charles Hugh Alison, with Alison being the principal architect of the initial routing plan. The 18-hole layout makes dramatic use of the elevation and natural terrain, with two beautiful creeks coming into play on five holes. Davenport CC's reputation grew quickly in its early years, and it was soon regarded as one of the top courses in the Midwest. In the 1930s, the famed 16th hole twice garnered national recognition when it was named an "All-American Golf Hole" by Sports Illus - trated, and Golf Digest has consistently rated the course one of the best in Iowa. Davenport Country Club (DCC) was a two-time host of the Western Open during an era when the event was considered a major golf tournament. The first of those was in 1936 and was won by Ralph Guldahl. During the second, in 1951, George Fazio shot a 63, breaking the course record of 64 held by Guldahl and Gene Sarazen. The '51 contest was also when the 16th hole earned the nickname the "Hole of Grief," after Sam Snead lost his chance to win when he hit his tee shot into a creek. The ensuing penalty allowed Marty Furgol to become the champion. The 1951 Western Open also holds the distinction of being the first golf event ever fully televised. Dean Sparks AT THE TURN Dean Sparks (far right), director of agronomy at Davenport Country Club, led the way on the accelerated renovation of the 18-hole golf course in 2014. Pictured from left to right are Ted Allen, assistant superintendent; Dan Evans, assistant superintendent; Warren West, director of clubhouse facilities; John Panek, director of golf; Steve Brenner, equipment manager; and Bear, director of waterfowl management. Photos by Harry W. Walker III (renovation)

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