Major Revamp Underway at Camelback's Indian Bend Course

One of the two 18-hole courses at Camelback Golf Club - Indian Bend - is in the beginning of a major remodel. The layout at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Scottsdale Resort & Spa is undergoing a complete reconstruction; the work is being handled by the Ohio-based Michael Hurdzan/Dana Fry design firm.

"When it reopens, the course will be unrecognizable," said Camelback's Rob Bartley director of golf. "Twelve of the course's 18 holes don't even exist today. Golfers familiar with Indian Bend will be pleasantly surprised."

The course was closed this summer for the project, which will be Hurdzan-Fry's first in Arizona. If all goes well, it will reopen in fall 2013.

Indian Bend's renovation is focused on rebuilding a desert wash that runs through the property, which is located in a flood plain. Over the years, the wash has flattened and its control of the water from valley flash floods has diminished. The reconstruction of the wash will restore the area's flood control, while unneeded soil will be used to build new fairway contours, which until now have been predominantly flat.

Hurdzan and Fry will eliminate more than 100 of the course's 250 acres of maintainable turf and reintroduce native desert areas, resulting in a transformation of the course's appearance and considerably less water needed to irrigate it. Another benefit is that these areas will become nesting grounds and food sources for local bird life.

Playability will also be improved. Before, Indian Bend had just three sets of tees and the women's set was a longer-than-normal 5,800 yards. While the renovation will extend the course's championship yardage to 7,238, the tee boxes will be increased to five per hole. New forward tees will play less than 5,000 yards.

Located in the town of Paradise Valley between Phoenix and Scottsdale, Indian Bend opened in 1970 and was designed by Jack Snyder. Traditionally, the course has played second fiddle to the neighboring Padre Course, especially after Padre (which will remain open during Indian Bend's remodel) was renovated in 1999 by Arthur Hills. Camelback's goal with the renovation is to create two equally good golf experiences for JW Marriott resort guests and area golfers.

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