DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke University Golf Club, consistently ranked among the best university courses in the country, is set to reopen at 7:30 am Monday, Sept. 2, after undergoing renovations over the summer. The half a million dollars worth of renovations, the first overhaul since 1993, was directed by Rees Jones, the son of famed golf course designer Robert Trent Jones.
A majority of the renovations centered on the greens and tee boxes. The greens now feature Champion Bermuda grass and have been expanded by roughly 33 percent, back to the size they were originally designed by Trent Jones, Sr. nearly 60 years ago. The approaches to all 18 greens were resurfaced and replanted with Tifgrand Bermuda to create a smooth playing surface. The improvements will also provide an ecological benefit as the new grasses use less water and chemicals to maintain, resulting in the economic benefit of lower operational costs.
The Duke University athletic department raised money privately to cover the restoration as well as the loss of revenue for having the course closed since June 3. The project received approval in April and work began two months later with course superintendent Billy Weeks overseeing the growing.
The Duke University Golf Club, on a 120-acre plot adjacent to the Washington Duke Inn, originally opened on Sept. 26, 1957. In 1993, under the guidance of Rees Jones, the course underwent a restoration to add length to the course to account for the advancement of modern golf.
The course is open to the public with tee times available by calling the golf shop at (919) 681-2288.
The Duke University Golf Club
The Duke University Golf Club, which served as the host of the 1962 and 2001 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships, is the home venue for the Blue Devil golf teams.
Construction of the course was planned to begin prior to World War II, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 put the plans on hold. After the war, the present site of 300 acres was selected. The property was carefully chosen for the unique elevation changes of its mildly rolling terrain. In 1955, Duke sought out Robert Trent Jones, whose golf course architecture was widely respected.
Finally, on September 26, 1957, Duke University Golf Club opened to the public. The Duke course was immediately labeled one of the top university golf facilities in the nation. The accolades were great enough to attract the 1962 NCAA Golf Championships. Ironically, there was a soon-to-be-famous golf course architect playing in that NCAA field from Yale University. His name was Rees Jones, eldest son of the Duke golf course designer.
The facility plays host to a number of annual events including the upcoming Rod Myers Invitational and the Duke Children’s Classic. In addition, the course frequently hosts U.S. Open qualifiers.