- There’s a lot of golf buzz surrounding Bocaire Country Club, what is Kipp Schulties Golf Design doing there?
The members at Bocaire Country Club wanted a brand-new golf course that rivaled any other course in Boca Raton. This will be achieved because the membership there was committed to excellence and approved the $8 million redesign of their golf course. They knew they had a world-class community and wanted a golf course that would set them apart. With tremendous input from the members, we will roll-out a world-class golf course at the beginning of 2019 that will ultimately generate national buzz. The members have spared no expense to get the best grasses, incredible elevation and stunning landscaping.
- What will be the biggest changes with this brand-new course?
When we first visited the site, we were so excited about the possibilities to build a topnotch golf facility. Unlike most communities in Boca, Bocaire was built higher, which allowed us to move tremendous amounts of dirt. This has resulted in elevation changes that are rarely seen in South Florida. There will be uphill and downhill par threes. There will be a drivable par four. We’ve lengthened the course so even the professionals will be tested, but very playable and enjoyable for the members. With all the new landscaping, vegetation, and rock outcroppings, this new Bocaire golf course will have an amazing Carolina feel.
- You’ve become known as a master at redesigning golf courses, how does this process work?
We’ve gotten lucky and have been hired to work on the redesign of some incredible golf courses including High Ridge CC, Adios Golf Club, Boca Raton Resort, Admiral’s Cove, Gleneagles CC, Lost Tree Club and the Falls CC. Our firm is very detail oriented, which the members of the golf clubs really like. Every golf hole that we build starts with drainage. There’s no point in building a golf course that doesn’t drain well, because the members know how important that the golf course needs to be open for play. We design bunkers that don’t get washed out, as ordering new sand is expensive. We meet constantly with the members to understand what their wishes are. They want to be proud of their new course and we work hard to deliver this to them.
- How did you get started in golf course design?
Back when I was in engineering school, I was a one handicap. Now I’d be lucky to break 90 due to my busy work schedule and family. I find that this is ideal for my golf hole designs because I understand both the needs of shot-making and why a course needs to be fun to play. Besides my golf engineering insight, I received my MBA in finance, which allows me to understand how to come in on budget… which the members also like. I got my start in the business when I worked for Hall of Fame golfer Fred Couples and golf course architect Gene Bates for seven years and fell in love with golf course design.
- What’s next for Kipp Schulties Golf Design?
I am a hands-on architect, so I am completely involved in every project we take on from the focus group sessions with the members to picking the landscaping. Because of this, we like to work on about four projects a year and are almost booked through 2021. Our focus will remain in Florida, as its important that our whole team be on site throughout the process. There’s a misconception that the golf course industry is in decline, but really, most course closings are simply a market correction from overbuilding. We are finding communities that are so passionate about their golf courses that their members simply want to be proud of their prized golf course… and that’s where we come in and makes their dreams a reality. For more information please visit www.ksgolfdesign.com.