NORMAN, Okla. -- Long Cove, a new private residential community on Cedar Creek Lake near Dallas, announced the opening of The Proving Grounds, a golf short course and practice facility designed by Tripp Davis and Associates.
The Proving Grounds is an innovative blend between a high quality practice facility and a family-friendly short course that's perfect for players of varying ability levels who want to enjoy the game without the pressure of playing on a traditional 18-hole course. Davis, regarded as one of the leading restoration specialists in the U.S. and a former top amateur golfer, calls The Proving Grounds his "most unique design" because it presents multiple fun playing options.
"The goal in designing this course was to provide a kid-centric environment but also something that is challenging for an experienced golfer if played the right way," Davis explains. "Angles have been set up to play either very easily or very difficult, all depending on the way the ball is placed."
"At one end of the spectrum, we drew inspiration from professional practice facilities where players are able to re-create every shot they might encounter on a full course in the design of a practice facility that will test even the best shot makers," said Don McNamara, developer of Long Cove. "At the other end, we wanted a low-pressure environment where a father could actually enjoy teaching a daughter to play or a whole family could enjoy the game on a summer evening in bare feet. Tripp Davis delivered exactly what we wanted."
Hence, the 17-acre Proving Grounds is designed to allow tremendous flexibility in how it is set-up. The general plan is to operate as a practice facility in the morning and then convert to short course play in the afternoon and evening. The short course can be played either clockwise or counter clockwise in a 9-hole sequence with an average tee to green distance of 125 yards. Given the relatively small population of owners at Long Cove, it is also set-up to play anarchy-style with multiple alternative routings that include Par 4's and Par 5's.
The practice facility includes a 340-yard driving range, multiple greens, bunkers and a water hazard.
"At a time when the golf industry is looking for new ways to engage a broader audience, we think the Proving Grounds is a welcome addition to the contemporary golf landscape," said Long Cove President Christopher Kelsey. "We agonized over whether or not to include a full 18-hole course in our new resort community because Dallas is a golf-centric market, but we knew that the operational economics of a new club simply don't work in the long-term."
Designed as a walking-only course that follows the organic flow of the land, the compact short course makes it easy to carry a full bag but also invites taking only a handful of clubs in one hand and a cocktail in the other. The Proving Grounds features Bermuda fairways and Champion Bermuda grass greens and is surrounded by a forest of mature live oaks and pines.
About Tripp Davis and Associates
Tripp Davis and Associates (TDA) was founded in 1994 and has offices in Norman, Oklahoma, and Peoria, Arizona. TDA practices golf architecture with an unparalleled passion for craftsmanship of unique landscapes and strategic details. Tripp Davis, a decorated amateur golfer, was a member of the 1989 National Championship Golf Team and a NCAA All-American selection while at the University of Oklahoma. He continues to play in several prestigious amateur events each year. His abilities as a world-class player give him a unique insight into those subtle details in strategy that can make a golf course an interesting challenge for better players, while proving an enjoyable test for the average golfer. His knowledge of the game has also been incorporated into the development of innovative practice facilities that give players the opportunity to practice the right shots in the right way, thus expanding their golfing abilities and their appreciation for the game.
Davis earned a Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture from The University of Oklahoma and is a Member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects.
For more information about Tripp Davis and Associates, please visit the website at www.tdagolf.net or call 405-447-5259.
On Course Strategies
Jane Dally/Pat Norton