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Wayzata Country Club Receives Major Remodel
Wayzata Country Club, located in a western suburb of the Twin Cities near Lake Minnetonka and long considered one of the finest family clubs in Minnesota, will open with a completely refurbished golf course and a new practice facility this season.
Duininck Golf was brought in last summer to carry out the club's plans to improve the golf course and build an entirely new practice. While work began on the practice complex and its new six-hole short course in June, the company's golf construction crews could not touch the existing layout until August 1, 2008. Operating under a deadline mandated by the short duration of a typical Midwest summer, Duininck Golf completed its remedial work on the club's 18-hole course in less than three months.
Wayzata, a Robert Bruce Harris creation circa 1958, was redesigned by John Fought, the prominent Scottsdale, Ariz.-based architect who redesigned tees, refashioned bunkers and realigned several fairways. In addition, hundreds of trees that had overgrown their original purpose and had begun to pinch landing areas were removed.
Robert J. Distel, Wayzata's superintendent, said Duininck Golf took the seemingly impossible and made it a reality. "With a tight timeline on a very large project encompassing the renovation of existing bunkers and tees as well as the construction of a state-of-the-art practice facility, Duininck Golf answered the call with an on-time completion, a talented staff and crew, and clear communication."
The bunker work in particular was significant. The upswept, sand-faced bunkers of old were converted to rolled-down, grass-faced bunkers designed to facilitate maintenance and keep the course playable in inclement weather.
Jeffrey Kreafle, who was Wayzata's General Manager and COO during the entire reconstruction period (he is now at Bellerive in St. Louis), said, "My experience with Duininck Golf was very positive. They were easy to work with, very accommodating, and they established and maintained unit pricing throughout the project as changes were made. I think the final product exceeded everyone's expectations. I can't say enough great things about the company."
According to Fought, "We usually don't like to use construction companies we haven't worked with before, but Duininck Golf exceeded our expectations by a very wide margin. They have the ability to put more men and equipment on the job than anyone else. With 75 to 80 qualified personnel on site, we were able to work on five to six holes at a time and complete the job by mid-October. I've never worked with a contractor that did such high-quality work in such a short span of time."
Prized as a championship venue through the years, Wayzata has hosted two national USGA events (1984 Junior Amateur, 1994 Mid-Amateur along with Hazeltine National) as well as numerous USGA qualifying tournaments and more than 20 state championships. The club's goal of presenting a championship-caliber test for highly skilled players while making the course playable for golfers at all skill levels was achieved through Duininck Golf's careful attention to detail.
After plowing under the club's old driving range, Dave Munkvold, General Manager of Duininck Golf, explained that the firm brought to life Wayzata's dream of a new practice center with a large double-ended range and a sporty six-hole par-three course.
Peter E. Eckerline, the club's greens committee chairman, noted that the new 35-acre facility sets Wayzata apart from all other clubs in the region that do not have a dedicated practice complex.
Eckerline gave Duininck Golf high marks for their efforts. "We were very happy with the work Duininck did on our course renovation project," he said. "They got the job done on time and did very good work."
For more information about Duininck Golf, visit www.duininckgolf.com.
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