With earth-moving machinery crawling across acres of brown sand, it looks more like a moonscape than Madison’s brand new golf course, but the Cherokee Country Club is undergoing a makeover that will transform one of the oldest courses in the region in the first PGA Tournament Players Club of the State.
The TPC Network has announced that it will license the club, which will be renamed TPC Wisconsin when it reopens next year under the management of professional golfer Steve Stricker.
This will be the 30th course to receive the designation and the first in Wisconsin.
The redesigned course will have new tees, fairways and greens with features designed to reflect the evolution of the game in the nearly six decades since the course opened: players in better shape using better equipment can now hit the ball much further and with more precision.
Stricker, from Edgerton and son-in-law of club owner Dennis Tiziani, said the opportunity to design a course where he spent most of his 30-year career and raised his family is “a dream project” .
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“It’s a course that I’m very proud of designing what I believe will be a course that will test the best players in the world, but also offer playability at all levels,” Stricker said. “It will capture every ounce of my energy and attention to be the best golf course and the best golf experience ever, and I look forward to playing a part in making it happen.”
Jim Triola, chief operating officer of PGA Tour Golf Course Properties, said the decision to license the Madison club was “unanimous from the start” and the redesign “will be sure to result in an elevated experience.” .
The $15 million project includes a complete overhaul of the 18-hole course as well as renovations to the clubhouse, which houses tennis, pickleball and racquetball courts as well as banquet halls.
Renovations to the clubhouse began in February and are expected to be completed before the course reopens in August 2023. The clubhouse is open during construction.
Citing deteriorating conditions at the 58-year-old course, Tiziani last year proposed an overhaul to attract top players and spectators from across the region.
“In order to get in the game or get out of the game, we had to figure out what needed to be done on the course,” Tiziani said.
The state’s Department of Natural Resources has approved modified plans to dredge waterways and use the sediment – as well as offsite fill – to raise playing surfaces and improve turf conditions while improving drainage on the course and in the adjacent neighborhoods.
The reconstruction will disturb approximately 3 acres of wetlands, although the club plans to restore more than 30 acres of existing wetlands, primarily by removing invasive species, and convert 1.6 acres of upland into new wetlands.
“Long term and in the end – very, very beneficial,” Tiziani said of the environmental impact. “The quality of the water coming out of here today is much better than it was in 1968.”
Cherokee consultants said the economic impact of the construction alone would be about $39 million and the renovations would result in about $8.6 million in additional expenses each year as thousands of members, d guests, professional players and spectators flock to the club.
Dave Olesczuk, who played the course from 1989 to 1994 as a member of the UW-Madison golf team and is now vice president of operations, said the changes would make the course more challenging, although five sets of tees will provide players with opportunities. of different capacities.
“With the greens and some sand traps and things like that, it’s going to be a lot tougher than it has been,” Olesczuk said. “Although I thought it was a tough course at first.”