Warren Golf Course!
Course design by the architectural team of Coore and Crenshaw.
The coming of a new millennium also will usher in a new era in the history of Notre Dame golf, as the University is scheduled to unveil the championship-caliber William K. and Natalie O. Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame in the fall of 1999.
Through the generous donation of Notre Dame alumnus and Tulsa, Okla., resident Bill Warren (?56), the University is putting the finishing touches on the 18-hole golf course, located a stone?s throw away from the northeast corner of campus. The new facility?constructed in a heavily-wooded area?is bordered by Douglas Road to the south, Juniper Road to the west, Ironwood Drive to the east and the Indiana Toll Road to the north.
The course was designed by the architectural team of Coore and Crenshaw, which has created such noteworthy courses as the Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort in Maui, Hawaii, and the Sand Hills Golf Club in Mullen, Neb. Sand Hills was recognized by Golf Digest as the nation?s ?best new private course? when it opened and is now recognized as one of the nation?s 12 best private courses.
Coore and Crenshaw, co-owned by PGA professional golfing legend Ben Crenshaw, has undertaken several noteworthy course renovation projects, including the Southern Hills Country Club (in Tulsa, Okla.) and the Prairie Dunes Golf Club (located in Kansas).
The existing nine-hole Notre Dame golf course, located on the southwest side of campus, served as an 18-hole facility for the Notre Dame community until 1993, when the back nine was lost due to the addition of four campus dormitories and several athletic fields. The 68-year-old University course will remain a convenient nine-hole facility available to the campus community.
“After losing the back nine of the existing course, Mr. Warren came forward with an interest in developing a new 18-hole, championship golf course,” said Notre Dame executive vice president Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., who oversees the University?s athletic department. “It then became apparent that this was a project worth pursuing. Since Mr. Warren was familiar with the team of Coore and Crenshaw through their work at Southern Hills in Tulsa, it was a very natural fit.
“On behalf of the University, and particularly our golf programs, we are very grateful for Mr. Warren?s generosity,” said Beauchamp. “Such a championship-level golf course will allow our golf teams to be more competitive on a regional and national level. The course is intended to benefit the entire Notre Dame community?faculty, staff, students and alumni. This provides the University with a championship-caliber facility while still retaining the existing course as a nine-hole facility that is perfectly suited for instructional purposes.”
Course construction began on March 1, 1997, with the first actual phases of dirt movement beginning two months later. Many of the day-to-day tasks have been coordinated by the University?s department of facility engineering, under the ultimate supervision of associate vice president for business operations Jim Lyphout. The project also has been coordinated by associate athletic director Bubba Cunningham, who oversees athletic facilities and financial affairs.
Final construction will be overseen by Doug Marsh, an architect in the Notre Dame facilities office who also designed all of the course buildings. Assisting in this monumental task will be Butch Layman, a construction administrator in the facilities engineering office.
The South Bend-based company Rieth Reilly was contracted to handle the movement of approximately 100,000 yards of dirt. Another local company, Ziolkowski Construction Company, is handling the construction of the course?s buildings and other structures.
Final details of the course will be directed by Tom Beck, construction superintendent for Coore and Crenshaw, and his associate Jeff Bradley. Kim Hocker, the golf course superintendent of both the Warren Golf Course and the existing University golf course, and his dedicated staff will add their expertise and effort to the successful finish of the project.
The construction, to be completed in the spring and summer of 1999, will include final grading and seeding of the driving range, construction of the teeing areas around the new clubhouse, completion of the many strategically-placed bunkers, overseeding of the fairways, and the subsequent defining of the course during the “grow-in” period. Additionally, a number of trees and ornamental grasses will be planted to add finishing touches of the Coore and Crenshaw masterpiece.
Brian Godfrey was named general manager for the Notre Dame Golf Courses in October of 1998. Duties for the 37-year-old Godfrey, who served as the head pro at South Bend?s Blackthorn Golf Club since July of ?94, center on overseeing the operation of both golf courses, in addition to pro shop, club house and driving range management. He will coordinate course use to balance and meet the requirements of the varsity golf teams, course members, faculty, staff and students. Godfrey also will maintain the golf facility budget, develop membership plans and oversee staff training.
A native of Michigan City, Ind., Godfrey has completed three phases of the PGA Business School and is an A-1 member of the PGA. He helped oversee the opening of Blackthorn, which was cited as the “fourth best new public course in America” by Golf Digest Magazine in August of 1994 and has become known as a public course with the service of a top-100 private club.
The design of the Warren Golf Course is reminiscent of the classic, walkable Irish and American courses built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, with short distances between the greens and tees.
“Players will be impressed with the subtle design,” said Godfrey. “From the dramatic bunkering to the strategic designs of the greens, it will be challenging and enjoyable for golfers of all abilities.”
The course fairways and rough feature fescue grasses, a playing surface found at some of today?s top facilities. “Fescue adds to the individuality of the course and allows an option of playing either a bump-and-run approach or flying it to the flag,” said Godfrey. “The fescue also requires fewer chemical applications and less water than other surfaces, which will allow for an environmentally friendly course, as well as more distance off the tee.”
The designers received full permits to realign the existing creek that runs through the course. A new creek channel was opened, resulting in a complete created habitat. The creek winds through the finishing holes, which are noted for heavy woods and change of elevations?providing a beautiful and challenging completion to either nine. Constant monitoring of the creek will ensure that it remains a healthy and natural environment.
Two lakes add to the challenge of the course, with a smaller lake stationed between the third and fourth holes while a larger lake provides a challenging water hazard from the tee of the 17th hole.
The 7,000-square foot clubhouse ? designed in a French Country style ? will be completed by June of ?99. The building will match the period of the course (early 1900s), with a classic “clinker” style brick exterior. Copper dormers and trim, a slate roof and an enclosed porch complete the design. Brick fireplaces are located on both sides of the building, which will welcome the university community to venture over for lunch, meetings or shopping.
The clubhouse will be open to the public and will house some of the finest in men?s and women?s golf apparel, with both the new Warren Golf Course logo as well as traditional Notre Dame merchandise and souvenirs.
Tee Boxes/Greens Grass
7,000-square feet, with dining space for 80 people
Winding creek through final holes of front and back nine, lakes located on both nines
Target Opening Date
Fall of 1999
Coore and Crenshaw
Rieth Reilly Construction Company
Ziolkowski Construction Company
Jeff Bradley (Bunker Specialist)
Brian Godfrey, PGA Director of Golf
Course Head Golf Professional
Ken Fry, PGA
Warren Golf Course
Hole Yardage Par 1 372 4 2 462 4 3 393 4 4 143 3 5 518 5 6 436 4 7 398 4 8 414 4 9 185 3 Out 3321 35 Hole Yardage Par 10 495 5 11 216 3 12 443 4 13 433 4 14 197 3 15 380 4 16 345 4 17 480 5 18 434 4 In 3423 36 Total 6744 71