Even as brand-new golf course development accelerates after a long lull, the golf course renovation cycle remains as strong as ever.
Two annual PGA Tour stops, a PGA Tour Champions host venue, a future Presidents Cup host and the newest site of the NCAA Championships will all sport fresh looks in 2024, each having undergone significant - and in some cases utterly transformative - renovation and restoration projects in the previous year-plus. And in the latter case, not only will architecture-savvy golfers enjoy seeing the course on TV, they'll have the chance to visit its home resort and play it, too.
Noteworthy renovation efforts are happening throughout the United States at courses that may not be TV stars, but rather serve as home bases for thousands of golfers whose favorite playing fields will look better in 2024 than they have in recent memory. The better the golf courses available to millions of golfers, the healthier the game becomes. Even in cases where the renovations are relatively modest, a fresh set of greens or reimagined bunch of bunkers can make a big difference in everyday golfers' enjoyment of a course.
Is your favorite golf course opening after a renovation project in 2024? Please share the good news with your fellow golfers in the comments section.
These 18 golf course renovations will open up in 2024
East Lake Golf Club
The Donald Ross-designed home of the FedEx Cup's finale is in the midst of a to-the-studs restoration led by Andrew Green, whose work at Ross courses like Oak Hill East in New York, Inverness in Ohio and Wannamoisett in Rhode Island has earned him widespread acclaim.
Colonial Country Club
Fort Worth, Texas
Colonial wasted no time after Emiliano Grillo won the 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge, beginning the project the day after the tournament. Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner set about updating the famous John Bredemus design that is forever associated with the great Ben Hogan. It will reopen in time for the 2024 tournament in late May.
Medinah Country Club (No. 3)
The five-time major championship and 2012 Ryder Cup host has grown long, narrow and linear over the years. The firm of OCM - Geoff Ovilvy, Mike Cocking, Ashley Mead - has engaged in a multi-year hybrid restoration/renovation project that has added some flair, strategy and intrigue. The new-look course will host the 2026 Presidents Cup.
Des Moines, Iowa
Classic-era architects William Langford & Theodore Moreau have gained notoriety in recent years as Wisconsin-bound golfers have discovered their terrific Links course at Lawsonia. At Wakonda, which hosts the PGA Tour Champions' Principal Charities Classic, the pair's work will shine as never before, thanks to a restoration by architect Tyler Rae.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa (Champions Course)
The home of the NCAA Championships in golf for the next few years is Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner's latest commission, updating a course originally laid out by Dick Wilson. Expect to see plenty of holes set up to encourage the twists and turns of match play on a course that will tip out around 7,500 yards.
Pasatiempo Golf Club
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Year 2 of a complete restoration of Alister MacKenzie's gem is underway, with Jim Urbina focusing on the MacKenzie masterpiece's legendary putting surfaces. Once the Western Intercollegiate finishes up in April, Urbina will attend to the back nine. The whole golf course restoration is expected to be finished in the latter stages of 2024.
Karsten Creek Golf Club
When the T. Boone Pickens Foundation made a donation of $120 million to the late billionaire's alma mater, Oklahoma State University last year, $31 million of it was earmarked for investment in its golf course, which has reared numerous national championship-caliber teams since opening in 1994. The course closed in October for a massive renovation led by architect Andrew Green that will include six new holes and brand-new team practice facilities as well. The project may spill over into 2025 but the bulk of the work appears to be happening in '24. Future Cowboys and Cowgirls rejoice.
Osprey Meadows at Tamarack Golf Resort
This resort course, closed since 2015, will begin its next chapter in 2024 as it fully reopens from a years-long restoration/renovation project led by Robert Trent Jones, II, who originally laid out the course in 2005. Jones' recent work has focused on enhancing playability at a course that occupies both lowland meadow and upland pine forest terrain.
Seagate Golf Club
Delray Beach, Fla.
Joe Lee was Florida golf's Johnny Appleseed, scattering dozens of functional but straightforward layouts across the state in the latter half of the 20th century. His course at this club, which offers playing opportunities for overnight guests of its associated hotel, is finishing up a renovation project by Drew Rogers. Nine of the holes are finished, while the rest should come back online in February 2024.
St. John's Resort (Cardinal)
This resort just west of Detroit is finishing up a $50 million renovation project, which includes a new-look 18-hole golf course courtesy of architect Raymond Hearn.
The Preserve at Beacon Hill
Count this renovation as a D.C.-area golf course resurrection. Architect Tom Clark is reviving 18 of 27 holes shuttered since 2006 with an eye toward reopening it in late 2024. The other nine are set to become a par-3 course eventually.
Golden Gate Park Golf Course
San Francisco, Calif.
This tired, short city course received a $2.5 million infusion in 2023, with architect Jay Blasi turning up the fun factor on the greens and letting the native cypress trees breathe. GolfPass Managing Editor Jason Deegan got a sneak peek recently.
Wakulla Sands Golf Course
Wakulla County took over an existing course about 25 miles south of Tallahassee, which has been significantly redesigned by architect Dan Schlegel to the point of being fairly considered a new golf course, with a total of 10 holes rerouted. In addition to serving local golfers, the new-look, 6,800-yard layout will hold, filter and ultimately recharge an underlying aquifer by distributing effluent treated by a nearby wastewater plant via a series of rapid infiltration basins (RIBs) placed throughout the course. It is expected to reopen in June 2024.
Lake Oswego Golf Course
Lake Oswego, Ore.
Oregon-native architect Dan Hixson has reconfigured what was originally an 18-hole par-3 course into a 9-hole, minimally-bunkered executive-length layout for this town just south of Portland.
Tony Butler Golf Course
This 94-year-old course is currently undergoing a $5.5-million renovation project that will replace its outdated irrigation system and expand the greens, doubling them in size to an average of about 6,000 square feet. Texas-based architect and past ASGCA president Jeff Blume is overseeing the work.
The Patriot Golf Club
This club, co-founded in 2010 by Lt. Col. Dan Rooney of the Folds of Honor Foundation, came due for some renovation work by original architect Robert Trent Jones, II, and will reopen in the spring.
Hudson National Golf Club
This club on the northern end of Westchester County will see its highly-ranked Tom Fazio course reworked by longtime Fazio collaborators Tom Marzolf, Rick Phelps and Jeff Lawrence rebuilding all greens to USGA specs, upgrading all bunkers and putting in new irrigation at the longtime Golf Digest top-100 layout.
Killearn Country Club
In addition to the public-access Wakulla Sands project, Tallahassee-area golf will benefit from this project, where Chris Wilczynski is converting a mid-century 27-hole private club into discrete 18- and 9-hole loops for members. Killearn's new big Championship Course will reopen this summer, while the 9-hole Clover loop, a par-31, will follow on later.