<span style=”font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: normal;”>John Fought is a terrific golf course architect. His Gallery GC near Tucson is a joy to play. Its rumpled fairways and heavily guarded greens make you fight for a good score but reward careful play.
Now he’s going to attack “the Cage,” where golfers worry that their errant tee shot might escape the tiny acreage and strike a Bentley traveling on Preston Road. I think Fought is a good choice, and he’s probably up the task.
Here’s what his press people have to say:
When John Fought completes the course renovation at the prestigious Dallas Country Club this fall, the 18-hole layout will possess the character and charm of a vintage Donald Ross design.
“The goal is to re-establish a classic architectural look to historically match the course that is reminiscent of Ross,” Fought said.
The Dallas CC course has no previous ties to Ross and was, in fact, a Tom Bendalow design from 1912. Nicknamed “The Johnny Appleseed of American Golf,” Bendalow was a Scottish-American golf course architect who designed nearly 600 courses in a 35-year span, including Medinah Country Club No. 3.
Located in the Dallas suburb of Highland Park, the country club was established in 1896. The significant, ongoing renovation of the Dallas CC’s clubhouse necessitated the adjustment of a number of holes along the golf course.
Last year, Fought was recruited by the Dallas CC board of directors to develop a Master Improvement Plan, as well as rebuild the property’s practice facilities. Fought has now been entrusted with the renovation of the course, which, he said, is practically “new construction,” since the redesign will be comprehensive to include the conversion of the high sand-face bunkers to grass-face bunkers, with slightly elevated greens and rectangular tees – all design elements of classic Ross architecture.
Fought explained the Dallas CC course has undergone several modifications since it formally opened in 1912, the most recent performed by Jay Morrish. When the current renovation is complete, Fought said the 18-hole layout will remain as a par 70, but will be lengthened modestly to approximately 6,600 yards. It currently measures at 6,266 yards.
Work is scheduled to begin in May and the course will be closed throughout the renovation project.
In 2005, Fought completed a widely-acclaimed renovation of Pine Needles in Southern Pines, N.C. near Pinehurst, one of Donald Ross’ most popular golf course designs from 1928. Fought’s long-held admiration for Ross’ work is even more compelling considering he captured the 1977 U.S. Amateur Championship title on a Ross course, Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia.
Among Fought’s recent award-winning designs include The Player’s Course at Indian Wells (Calif.) Golf Resort; The Gallery in Marana, Ariz.; and The Championship Course at Sand Hollow Resort, Hurricane, Utah.