Austin Country Club Undergoing Transition for Dell World Golf Championship

Austin Country Club is being transformed into a tournament site for the Dell World Match Play Championship and the changes are happening on a daily basis.  Beginning in early January, PGA tour staff appeared on site to begin supervising a series of construction projects.

There is a virtual city of corporate hospitality tents being erected.  These include the 1899 club, the beginnings of which are show in the photo below, along with nine other structures scattered along holes 3-7.

The most visible changes to the course are taking place on what is now the front nine.  This will be the back nine during the tournament.  Reversing the nines provides a number of advantages. First this nine comes out of the hills and runs along the Lake Austin in a links style layout.  The views of Lake Austin are spectacular and there is more room for spectators.

Secondly, it will provide the spectators with better viewing opportunities because the other nine holes wind through a hilly residential area that would not accommodate similar construction.

In addition, the boating public will have the opportunity watch some of the action from the water.  Rumor has it that even some of the media will take advantage of that viewing perspective.  It should be an interesting scene given the opportunities for Austinites to “keep it wierd”

The title sponsor, Dell Corporation, along with other Austin area businesses has purchased portions of various hospitality tents.  They will no doubt enjoy the views and the golf as well as entertain clients, family, and friends.

Another modification that has taken place is an extension of the netting on the back of the practice range.  Some of the players in the field can drive a ball extraordinary distances.   The net had to be raised to avoid launching balls over the net and into the 15th fairway.

The net was raised approximately 50 feet and the top of the net is now some 120 feet high.  From the back of the range the base of the net is 250 yards and slightly uphill.

The construction took several weeks and is now complete. It appears to be a job well done.  All the poles are aligned properly and netting is tight.  It looks better than many feared it might.  Whether the modification will be effective in terms of containing the bombers in the field, remains to be seen.

There are a number of interesting logistical challenges that are yet to come, including parking and spectator access to the course.   We will keep you posted as things progress.




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