Morris Williams Rennovation Project Update

The Morris Williams renovation project is moving along.  The design changes are in place and players are likely to enjoy the new features.  This photo, taken from #7 fairway looking back at #6 green, shows the green was moved back and to the right and reshaped.  Although it is not visible in this photo, there was a bunker added in front of the green.   Along with a championship tee that was added, this hole will play longer by approximately 40 yards for big events.  The green is now further away from #7 tee box, which is now a multi-level set of tees. Click on the photo to enlarge it and enjoy the view.

Another design feature that players will enjoy is the split fairway on hole #13.  Players will now have the choice of playing to the right, where the old fairway was located, or to the left to a raised landing area.  In making this design change, the springs that were always seeping moisture from the top of the hill have been channeled into the water hazard in front of #13 green and will add to the water supply for the course.  It's a creative solution to what has always been an awkward hole design. 

Recent rains were a mixed blessing in that they washed away any salt deposits that might have accumulated in the grass due to use of affluent water on the fairways.  However, the rain also washed away some of the sprigging on a few of the fairways resulting in about six fairways that have thin growth in terms of grass coverage.  Since we are nearing the end of the growing season, it appears that it may be mid summer of next year before all the fairways are completely grown in.  Kevin Gomillion indicated that they may be able to add more sod but that is budget dependent.   We're gratefully for the rain but it impedes progress on a project like this renovation. 

The upside is that 12 of the fairways have good coverage although six others will have some thin spots.  Here is the view from #2 green looking back down the fairway and up #17 fairway.  If appears there is a lot of grass on these fairways.   

There is good news on the progress of the putting surfaces.  Various players that have seen the greens indicate that they would be happy to putt on them in their current condition.  Beth Cleckler, who visited the course recently, was very excited about the greens and indicated that they are in excellent condition.   By the time the course opens somewhere between mid-December and mid-January, they should be wonderful surfaces.  

The clubhouse is moving along but running a couple of weeks behind it's original schedule due to rains and typical construction delays.  Completion of the clubhouse will be the determining factor on when the course opens.   Gomillion indicated that there players will enjoy nice views from the second story.  They will be able to watch golfers finishing their rounds or players on the driving range.

Speaking of the driving range, golfers will be pleased to discover that it has been reworked.  There have been target greens added and the tee box has been widened to accommodate several more hitting spots.  There is also a teaching area that has been added.   

All in all, it looks like it the renovation is on target to create a wonderful facility with a few sparse fairways to deal with until the grass can grow. Personally, I am very excited about the project and really looking forward to the Morris Williams golf course coming back on line.  I just have to remind myself that these things take time and that patience is a virtue.

For those of you who would like to view more photos of the project, they are available on the Austin Parks and Recreation Facebook page.


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