By Richard Humphreys Thu 07 Jan, 2021
Lemon Bay Golf Club in southwest Florida has appointed Drew Rogers to develop a master plan of golf course renovations.
“It became evident to me, shortly after my appointment in 2019, that the irrigation system and the greens on the golf course were quickly reaching the end of their life expectancy,” said Tom O’Shane, the club’s treasurer and greens committee chairperson. “In consultation with club manager Chip Copeman and golf course superintendent Bob Wagner, it was clear that there was an opportunity to make improvements or major changes to the course and to get it right.”
O’Shane, Copeman and Wagner conducted extensive research into finding an architect to assist with the development of a master plan, with a taskforce also formed of both board and non-board members.
“It was quite evident to the taskforce that Drew Rogers was the architect of choice,” said O’Shane. “After his two-day assessment of the golf course, Drew captured the essence of what Lemon Bay is all about. Its small property and compact golf experience are attributes not deficiencies. The warm and welcoming ways are unlike those of the competition.
“As we move forward, there was an opportunity to elevate the course identity, provide greater variety and heighten memorability in the golf experience.”
The first phase of Rogers’ plan focuses on renovating greens, bunkers and irrigation.
“The sense of place at Lemon Bay is quite strong and evident,” said Rogers. “It is comfortable and pure, warm and welcoming. The golf course needs to become a stronger extension of these qualities but in a way that presents greater distinction and golf identity. It needs to become a much better version of itself.
“Infrastructure replacements were already in order, but our vision is to take those elements to another level, using what the site inherently provides, along with an overall cleaner presentation of the landscape and preservation of habitat.
“It’s rare to find a property in Florida like Lemon Bay – a core layout with no real estate where a relatively high number of players shun golf carts in preference of walking. That alone gives the course an older, traditional feel.”