Friday, March 2, 2012

puerto rico Jones’ Western Initiative

Now that his 18-month nip-and-tuck of the East course at Dorado Beach Resort has been completed, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. will turn his attention to the property’s West course. The renovation of the 6,975-yard track, designed by Jones’ father in the mid 1960s, begins later this year.

Dorado Beach truly was a world-class vacation destination during the Age of Aquarius, when Puerto Rico was chic and exotic and courses designed by Jones Senior -- the resort has four of them -- could lure celebrities from all over the planet. Today, to snare globe-trotters who might otherwise be tempted to chill out in Ibiza, Montenegro, or Mallorca, the owners of the 1,400-acre waterfront property on the island’s northern coast are adding a top-of-the-line Ritz-Carlton hotel and Ritz-branded housing and smoothing the wrinkles off their aging golf courses.

If the work on the East course is any guide, the West layout will be lengthened, its greens will be rebuilt, regrassed, and restored to their original sizes and shapes, its bunkers will be rebuilt and relocated, and its irrigation system will be replaced. Our guess is that Jones also plans to erase some of the changes that Raymond Floyd made to the layout in the early 2000s.

Still to be revitalized, presumably, are the resort’s Sugarcane and Pineapple tracks, both of which opened in the early 1970s.

Some information in this post originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of the World Edition of the Golf Course Report.