Eagle Creek Golf Course reopens
Major renovation project was further delayed by Irma
Eagle Creek Golf & Country Club is proud to announce the reopening of its golf course. The course was closed over the summer for scheduled renovations, with Hurricane Irma delaying its original reopening date.
“We started the summer in renovation mode, then a few months later we were in full recovery mode once Irma hit,” Jimmy Alston, the golf course’s superintendent, said. Eagle Creek’s major renovation project, spearheaded by notable Naples golf course architect Gordy Lewis, started on May 15 with a projected opening date of mid-October. The eye of Irma passed over the course on Sept. 10.
“We had over 1,500 trees down on the golf course and opening was pushed back to Nov. 15,” Alston said.
Nestled within 300 wooded acres of cypress, pine and palm trees, there was no question that Eagle Creek would have damage, but how extensive the damage was going to be was unclear.
“We had contractor GCID onsite during the renovation and with their expertise they immediately went from golf course construction to major disaster cleanup and recovery mode,” Alston said. “Because of their expertise, headed by project manager Dave Carter, we were able to recover faster than most courses, bringing Eagle Creek back to top level conditions.”
In addition to GDIC Inc., dedicated Eagle Creek staff members from other departments, including food and beverage, joined in the disaster cleanup, making it a true team effort to get the course reopened.
“In the worst of times, everyone came together to help on the course,” Alston said. “It is a true testament to the culture of being an Eagle Creek employee. Just looking at the greens and fairways now, you’d never know a high Category 3 came through.”
The renovations included multiple turf grass species – which is a unique and rarely-utilized approach to turf grass management – the installation of major drainage systems, renovation of bunkers and a focus of high impact areas, with reshaping of landing areas on the fairways and approaches before the greens were done.
“For the national attention and destruction brought on by Irma, you would think interest in joining a private golf club would have slowed,” marketing director Laura Hill said. “We are gearing into high season with three properties and one non-resident membership sold this month and a wait list of 22 renters for this season. What buyers and renters are seeing here has not stopped them from making financial decisions requiring them to commit months ahead for a rental. In fact, they appreciate the unique atmosphere that Eagle Creek offers along with Ken Venturi’s legacy and our famous four finishing holes. You can’t replicate our unique environment anywhere else.”
Eagle Creek has an established history, and staying true to the original design is of utmost importance when integrating design features.
“It was our goal when making the enhancements that we stayed true to Packard’s original design,” Alston said. “The gradual approach to the renovation process ensured that we kept the integrity and maturity of the original design.”
This summer’s completed renovation is in addition to gradual work done in 2015 and 2016, resulting in $2 million in course enhancements over a 3-year period.
“Recent demand is showing us that buyers and renters are embracing the design and beautification enhancements on the course.,” Hill said.
“It’s been a summer we will never forget,” Alston added, “but what is rewarding is finally hearing our members say how they can’t believe how good the course is looking and playing.”
Eagle Creek Golf & Country Club is a small, intimate, private gated community centrally located midway between Naples and Marco Island. Resident and nonresident memberships are available. For more information, visit joineaglecreek.com or call Laura Hill at 239-417-6111.
Eagle Creek Golf Course is open after a summer of renovation and recovery. SUBMITTED