Rees Jones Talks BallenIsles South Course Redesign with Golf Course Architecture Magazine

BallenIsles Country Club’s famed South Course reopened on January 12th following an eight month, $7.5 million golf course renovation project led by renowned golf course architect Rees Jones. Golf Course Architecture Magazine caught up with Rees Jones about the redesign published in their recent issue.

Jones discussed how the state of Florida had many of golf courses built in the 1950s through 1980s that need to be upgraded to today’s improved construction materials and to take advantage of technological advances. The South Course being a prime candidate in this category.

“BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is a forward thinking community that has had the vision to continually improve all their facilities over the years,” he told GCAM.

The South Course was originally built in 1964 and designed by Joe Lee and Dick Wilson. Throughout its 55-year history the course has been modified twice; first in 1967 to accommodate the construction of BallenIsles’ North Course; and again in 1999 which included re-grassing and numerous bunker additions. The new 2020 version will maintain the historically popular routing, while bringing a new strategic approach by Mr. Jones and modernizing the playability and conditions to what is expected in today’s private club environment.

“The objective was to go ‘back to the future’ with the implementation of a classic style design while at the same time updating each hole with an individualistic challenge,” he added.

Jones discussed how the course has now changed with everything from the conditions, details around different aspects of the game and hazards they worked with and around along the way.

“Our design team changed the look and playing characteristics of the entire layout,” he explained. “The greens now vary in size, elevation and contouring. The approaches provide more shot options for the ground game and the introduction of greenside chipping areas allows for a variety of recovery shots that can be played. There is now more flexibility with the addition of new tees.”

“It took several years from start to finish, but all the planning ultimately paid off with the result being an improved golf course that is now universally approved by the membership,” he concluded.

Check out the full in-depth Q&A conducted by Golf Course Architecture Magazine by CLICKING HERE!