Flashback to summer 2013 at SentryWorld golf course. The sounds of a round of golf on a pleasant summer day were replaced by the roar of heavy machinery.
SentryWorld, Wisconsin’s first destination golf course—a position proudly held since opening in 1982, closed completely at the end of 2012 to undergo extensive renovation and remodeling. And by summer 2013, the renovation was in full swing.
Architects assembled a long list of items needing attention—bunkers, drainage, the irrigation system, tee boxes, greens. The building and surrounding facilities were also up for improvement. The choice was either to take on projects one by one over several years, or close the course and complete all projects at once.
In the end, closing the course wasn’t a difficult decision.
Closing completely afforded another opportunity—not only to maintain and repair, but also to renovate and improve the course and facilities. Robert Trent Jones Jr., the original course architect, was welcomed back to oversee the project.
Under Jones’ supervision, and in collaboration with Bruce Charleton and Jay Blasi, new tees, bunkers and USGA greens were built. All turf was removed from the fairways; the fairways were graded and seeded. Additionally, several holes were reconfigured, the course was rerouted and two completely new par-three holes were created—holes 3 and 12. No detail was overlooked.
The result is a beautiful parkland golf course that honors its history and tradition while offering an experience that today’s golfers want and expect. And the golf world has taken note.
SentryWorld’s reimagined course received numerous accolades, with highlights including being part of Golf Digest’s Best New and Newly Remodeled Courses of 2014—chosen as number 15 in an elite group of 25 new or newly remodeled public and private courses throughout the nation, as well as earning the number two position in Golf Magazine’s Most Anticipated New Courses of 2015—joining eight other elite courses worldwide. Although not technically a new course, SentryWorld’s complete renovation made enough of an impression to be included in the esteemed list, ranking above courses from around the globe, including Australia, France, the Bahamas and Brazil.
Golf Digest and Golfweek have also taken note. SentryWorld claimed the number five spot in both publications’ current best in state rankings.
“We’re extremely proud of what we’ve created here at SentryWorld and are honored to have received these accolades,” noted SentryWorld General Manager Mike James. “We look forward to welcoming all golfers to experience first-hand what we truly believe is one of the finest parkland golf courses not only in the region, but in the world. SentryWorld is a place of openness and community, so whether you’re a Central Wisconsin resident or a destination golfer, we invite everyone to visit us for a round.”