Countryside Golf & Country Club members, staff and the board of directors gathered at a cup cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the renovation to club’s 56-acre Arthur Hills-designed golf course.
The eight-month, $5.5 million project added USGA greens and a new irrigation system to the private 18-hole course in Naples, Florida.
“Countryside Golf & Country Club continues to enhance its member experience,” COO and general manager Joe Smith said. “We’re planning on a grand reopening event in January to welcome back our seasonal residents and introduce them to our beautiful new course.”
The renovation was led by golf course architecture firm Kipp Schulties Golf Designof Jupiter and general contractor Ryangolf Corporation of Deerfield Beach, along with Ragan Technical Solutions of North Palm Beach for irrigation design and Flynn Engineering of Fort Lauderdale for permitting.
The course was re-grassed with Bimini Bermudagrass and TifEagle Bermudagrass on the greens. The renovation also took advantage of technology that improved since the origination of the course, such as better subsurface irrigation.
Schulties said the renovation of the par-70 course went well beyond a facelift.
“Not only did we improve the overall playability, we designed it for the long term,” he said. “The club and its board wanted to do it the right way, and Countryside will be reaping the benefits for the next 20 to 30 years.”
Schulties predicated returning players will be surprised at how much bigger parts of the course now feel.
“Countryside’s course had skinnier fairways and smaller roughs,” he said. “Now, the fairways are 20 to 25 percent larger, and we increased the size of the greens by 30 percent and added collection areas so players won’t be penalized for missing their target.”
The renovation reconstructed sand bunkers, thinned overgrown trees and installed new stacked rock retaining walls. Plans also modified the lake and relocated the practice area closer to the first tee, away from the clubhouse, and expanded the short game area and putting green.
Countryside board President Larry Franzen said the club’s members are eager to play the newly renovated course that added more teeing options and flexibility for different skill sets.
“It will not only be visually very appealing, but also a joy to play. This was a major revisioning of the course,” he said. “We are excited about the future of Countryside. and can't wait for our first rounds of golf.”
The course renovation continues the momentum of the club’s more than $5 million investment in its new lifestyle, tennis and bocce complex. The recently completed master planned improvement project added a wellness center with cardio and strength training equipment, member recreation areas and locker rooms, as well as two Har-Tru bocce courts and four lighted Har-Tru tennis courts.
Countryside is a resident-owned gated golf community with 1,133 residential units, including 221 detached single- family homes. The private community rests among hundreds of tropical Florida trees and a Hills-designed golf course with attractive lakes and beautiful landscaping to provide members with a variety of competitive levels.