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Furyk Debuts As Designer Of Saint Annes
Development of the Saint Anne’s Club in Middletown, Del., marks another milestone in the career of 2003 U.S. Open champion, Jim Furyk, who makes his debut as a golf course designer of this private club.
Furyk flew into nearby Wilmington on Monday, August 30th to make the announcement. The following day be visited the site to unveil the design, fly over by helicopter, and walk the proposed layout of the course with his new colleagues and local dignitaries.
For his first course, Furyk has chosen to tackle a very ambitious project. Saint Annes plans to evoke images of great British countryside courses, with particular inspiration for the design coming from the legendary Open site, Royal Lytham and St Annes, hence the name for this new Delaware course.
Cutting his golf architect teeth at Saint Annes is a collaborative effort for Furyk. He is working alongside Delaware’s own Allen Liddicoat, designer of the No. 1-ranked public course in the state, Back Creek, and the heralded Frog Hollow. By their side is golf course developer, Ron Coruzzi, designer of newly opened River Crest Golf Club and development director of Applebrook Golf Club, who has the overall responsibility for bringing the project to fruition.
“Like most touring PGA pros, I have been intrigued and fascinated by golf course design and architecture for years,” Furyk said. “I've come to the realization that I want to turn my visions into reality. I now have the opportunity not only to collaborate with two of the top designers in the business, but to work alongside my father on a landmark project.”
He added: “To start this new aspect of my career by emulating the finest of British inland courses is an incredible challenge. I have strong views on how the construction of any hole should be approached from a golfer's perspective. Meanwhile Allen and Ron have an equally powerful mindset as to how this can all be accomplished. Together, I know that in Saint Annes we're going to create something groundbreaking, and ultimately monumental.”
“Obviously I'm proud of my team's accomplishments to date,” Liddicoat said. “But this is going to be a totally new experience. I can't wait to get started on the next phase with Jim seeing how this course will shape up through his eyes.”
The team intends transforming the 194 acres of Delaware farmland into a private, one-of-a-kind English countryside experience, unique for the region. Of the project, Coruzzi said, “We have been working for over four years to develop a unique private club south of the canal in Delaware. We have a great many people to thank for making this happen, and are especially fortunate to have Jim and his father as an integral part of the design team.”
A classic element of Saint Annes will be the broad vistas of isolated hedgerows combining shrubs and evergreens with species of firethorn, blackthorn and English laurel, set against a backdrop of natural grasses, wetlands, streams and ponds. Maintained and lean fescue roughs will sit aside the bent grass tees, greens and fairways.
The course will feature plateau greens protected by grass-faced bunkers. Large aprons and chipping areas provide both a physical and mental test for both a golfer's aerial and ground game skill. The six tee boxes give lengths varying from 4,845 yards to 7,241 yards.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held on August 31. In attendance was Middletown Mayor, Ken Branner. Major construction will commence in October, with the course opening for play in late summer 2006
In addition to the layout, the project will include a practice facility with a golf teaching academy, a double-ended driving range, a learning center, practice areas, and three practice holes.
The residential development around the course, called the Estates of Saint Annes, will contain 437 single-family homes in a number of secluded areas. The homes will be integrated into the course without impinging on the golfing experience.
The cornerstone of the property will be the 30,000-square-foot clubhouse designed and built in the style of a traditional English country Manor house.
Golf membership at the Saint Annes Club will enable play on the new championship 18-hole Furyk course at the Saint Annes Village and the existing Back Creek Golf Course, which is located within minutes of the development. The Back Creek clubhouse site will be remodeled and expanded to include tennis.
While Saint Annes is due to open in two years, the club is offering full membership privileges to new members at two nearby courses, Back Creek – ranked “No. 1 in Public Access” by Golfweek 2004 – and Frog Hollow, designated “Best in State” by Golf Digest.