Ten years ago Jack Nicklaus was putting his magic touches on the Signature Course at Cordillera Ranch as he made final, subtle adjustments to fine grading of the tees, fairways and greens. The general construction of the course was about 2/3rd complete during the Summer of 2005, and the Zeon Zoysia fairway grass was rolling out like pristine carpet on the canvas he shaped into one of the most revered tracks in Texas. It is hard to believe it has been ten years since all of the craziness and excitement that comes with golf course construction of that magnitude and anticipation. It seems like just yesterday when Jack was driving the soon-to-be-fairways standing in the back of a pickup sketching his vision like Picasso with a paint brush.
One of the misconceptions about Jack Nicklaus’s design work is that he’s merely licensing his name to it and his designers really create the course; noth- ing could be further from the truth, particularly when it comes to his top-tier de- sign service of a Nicklaus Signature course. His involvement is extremely hands- on and his passion for the product was evident by how in-tune he was with every fine detail of each hole the moment he arrived at the property for site visits. Sure, Jack has some of the most elite and experienced design staff in the world to help craft his vision, but make no mistake about it, Jack’s skill with a pencil and drafting board would rank him among the greatest golf course designers even without his unmatched resume of 18 Major championships. Countless times he’d notice some seemingly obscure (and unbeknownst to Jack) field adjust- ment that had been made during the 6-week gap since his prior site visit. It kept everyone on their toes and was a constant reminder that Jack had a crystal clear vision for how he wanted each shot to look, and approached it with the same precise focus and expression that he had when staring down a victory-clenching 15-foot putt on the 18th hole of a Major Championship during his prime.
It’s fun to reflect back on where we were ten years ago and see where we are today. From the completion of grassing in January 2006, to the soft opening in June 2006, to official opening in May 2007 and then eight years of the course maturing into one of Texas’ most highly regarded golf courses, it’s been a fun ride and one that has been great to share with all of the supportive Club members. Scrolling back through some of the photos from ten years ago I came across this one of hole 16 and thought I’d share this progress photo alongside the completed photo of hole 16. Hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy some of Nicklaus’s finest work at Cordillera Ranch. If not, don’t let another ten years go by before checking it out.
Hole 16, Under Construction
Hole 16, Today