Giants Ridge next winner for Brauer

By David R. Holland, Contributor

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jeff Brauer, architect of the award-winning Cowboys Golf Club, might have just opened another national award-winning golf course -- too bad it's in Minnesota.

The Quarry at Giants Ridge is in Biwabik, Minn., and could be destined for Golf Digest's Best New Upscale Course of 2004.

Located in an old sand quarry, the course is loaded with risk-reward options and multiple-styled tee shots, tough, memorable bunkers and reminders of the site's mining history. Brauer says a course in North Carolina named The Pit, reminds him somewhat of The Quarry.

"The course is very walkable," Brauer said. "The quarry is expansive with about 210 acres, but you have trees and sections of the quarry where you don't see other holes. The first course at Giants Ridge was a north woods style with lakes. We wanted the second course to be entirely different."

The Legend at Giants Ridge, that first of the two Giants Ridge 18s, has earned Golf Digest's 4.5-star ranking as it journeys through north woods terrain and lakes. See for more information.

Brauer has also designed The Wilderness at Fortune Bay in Tower, Minnesota, which is about 30 miles from Giants Ridge. It could open in July 2004. The Wilderness at Fortune Bay will measure 7,140 yards from the back tees, and is laid around Fortune Bay on the shores of Lake Vermilion. See more at

Back in Texas, Brauer's The Wilderness Lake Jackson project is struggling through a rainy season. "We are still trying to grass the last couple of holes and it is tough with all this rain," he said. August 2004 is a probable opening date for the course.

Hyatt Hill Country adds nine

Good news for those who crave the isolation of the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio. Arthur Hills has been hired to add another nine and Chris Wilczynski will serve as the lead architect.

"The real challenge here is to design nine more holes that retain the original characteristics of the first 18," said Wilczynski. "Our philosophy has changed somewhat in the 10 years since the first 18 opened."

The existing layout will be juggled in order to have three nines that radiate from the clubhouse area and return. The new nine is the result of a 288-unit timeshare resort situated on the east side of the hotel.

The existing back nine will remain much the same, and No. 1 will also remain the same, but golfers then will drive through a tunnel to the new area.

Attributes of the new nine? "There won't be as many oak trees, but the topography is similar," Wilczynski said. "Some holes are in a flood plain, and there's a run uphill and then downhill." Scheduled completion date is July 2004.

100 Best Golf Resorts of the World

Sonoma, California-based travel golf writer Karen Misuraca visited the Hyatt Hill Country Resort while compiling copy for her new book -- 100 Best Golf Resorts of the World. She includes a mention of it on the page that highlights the Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio. Barton Creek in Austin is also included.

The book highlights a dream list for every one who loves to travel and play golf -- Gleneagles in the Scottish Highlands, Turnberry, Pebble Beach in California, Punta Cana and Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. Check out The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, which mentions In Arizona you can read about seven resorts including The Boulders and the Four Seasons Troon North.

The book is full-color eye candy and includes descriptions, other courses in the vicinity of the featured resorts, nearby historic sights and outdoor recreation opportunities and all the contact info you need to plan the trip of a lifetime. You will find the book at major bookstores across the USA or

Champions Tour headed for Augusta Pines

The PGA Tour and Augusta Pines Golf Club announced a multi-year agreement making Augusta Pines the host of a Champions Tour event for the next three years beginning in 2004.

The first Augusta Pines Charity Classic will be held October 4-10, 2004. It will be unofficially hosted by Champions Tour winner and University of Houston alumni, John Mahaffey. Mahaffey is joined by a large group of former U of H golfers who also compete on the Champions Tour -- Rocky Thompson, Bobby Walzel, Ed Fiori, Bruce Lietzke, Tom Jenkins, Bill Rogers, Kermit Zarley and Fuzzy Zoeller.

The Golf Channel will televise the 54-hole event that has a purse of $1.6 million. It could have an economic impact of $30 million to the Houston area.

Business news

Nike Golf has opened a Texas research facility and Austin-based Golfsmith has bought into the California market.

Nike, which is based in Beaverton, Ore., has opened a 28,000-square-foot research and design facility in Fort Worth, mainly because its lead club guy is Tom Stites, who calls the area home.

Golfsmith, with national headquarters in Austin, has purchased Don Sherwood Golf & Tennis World, golf retail business based in the Bay Area of California. Golfsmith also opened three new stores in the Southern California.

Golfsmith will keep the Don Sherwood name for the near future. Golfsmith now has six stores in Northern California and 35 across the nation. Golfsmith has doubled its stores in the Los Angeles area to six.

This and that

Plantation Golf Club in Frisco becomes the 12th Evergreen Alliance managed club to sign-on to use the Cyber golf Broadcast and E-mail Marketing System.

David R. HollandDavid R. Holland, Contributor

David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Before launching a career as a travel/golf writer, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, serving during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras. Follow Dave on Twitter @David_R_Holland.

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