Some thoughts from course designer Jim Engh on the Club at Pradera golf course:
The Vision: “You get two different looks on this course. It’s a blend of Irish and Modern. About a third of the holes out there I would consider bordering on true Irish. Other holes are more Modern and quasi-linksy. We tie the visual experience of the two together with elements like bunkers and terrain. There’s a lot we haven’t seen before. I like it. I’m trying to find a hole out there that I don’t really like. Normally you can pick these up pretty quickly, but I don’t see any here that disappoint me.”
Designing the Course to Fit the Land: “The land leads the course design. In fact there are many holes where we’re basically leaving the land as we found it. We sculpted a few features into this terrain and then left the rest natural. We worked hard to blend what nature gave us and what we fine tuned in spots. On other holes, we moved a lot of dirt and basically changed the shape of the land. This is where you get the Modern feel. With ponds, wetlands and cattails, nine and eighteen aren’t Irish any longer. They’re more modern, more Americanized, with just a hint of the Irish features. Pradera is a Modern-Irish-Colorado course. It respects and adapts to the land. It doesn’t destroy it with a pre-packaged course design.”
There’s More at Stake Here than Golf: “This course has about 72 landscaped, irrigated acres: 82 if you include the driving range. Now, if you take a typical, wall to wall landscaped, irrigated turf, as opposed to the 82 we have. This also lets us use a lot less water; maybe a thirst less than typical wall-to-wall landscaped courses need. Everything outside the turf stays soft, wispy native grass and doesn’t get watered, except naturally.”
A Signature Hole?: “I don’t especially care for the term, ‘signature hole.’ I want to be all over the spectrum, and not cram everything into one or two holes. Get enough different best holes and pretty soon it’s an outstanding course. That was my goal. There’s something for everyone – including ample amounts of humble pie: “The average weekend golfer is happy, or feels very challenged here. It all depends on which tees he or she chooses to play. Our distance goes from 7,200 yards from the back, down to 5,000 yards from the front. Choose the proper tees and you will have a fun golfing adventure. Bite off more than you can handle and, well, I’ll just bid you luck.”
For more information on the Club at Pradera, click here.