Work Begins on New Course In Suburban Kansas City

Golf course architect Rick Jacobson has broken ground on the first phase of a 27-hole golf facility. The course will serve as the focal point of a new upscale residential community in suburban Kansas City, Mo.

Located in the southeast Kansas City suburb of Greenwood, The Wilds Golf Course will be the first original new course in Missouri for Jacobson, who has designed highly regarded courses in Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Wisconsin and Japan.

"The Wilds could become an instant classic," Jacobson said. "The property offers a rich variety of natural features around which we can design a golf course that is aesthetically compelling and strategically challenging for players of differing skill levels."

The course will feature rolling terrain, rock outcroppings, ravines, open fields, wooded areas, and a number of perennial and intermittent streams that run through the property. The layout will play mostly around the perimeter of the residential development, with homes located primarily on only one side of a golf hole.

"People who play The Wilds are going to think the course has been around for 50 years," Jacobson said. "It is one of the better development sites we have had to work with." The first nine holes are scheduled to open in 2006.

Laid out on a former piece of farmland and pasture, the par-72 course will have four sets of tees and measure 6,989 yards from the tips and 5,042 yards from the front tees. The multiple tee boxes will be positioned to provide various angles of approach to the fairways to challenge better players while making the course playable for higher handicappers, Jacobson said.

The land features elevation changes of up to 50 feet. The builders will excavate 200,000 cubic yards of dirt in order to construct an eight-acre reservoir that will capture rain water for irrigation. The pond will come in to play on two holes.

The project will restore wetlands and prairies to help improve the variety of vegetation on the property and create a natural habitat for birds and other wildlife. The irrigation pond will attract waterfowl.

A protégé of Jack Nicklaus, Jacobson founded Jacobson Golf Course Design, Inc. in 1991 as a full-service golf design firm specializing in new course designs as well as master plan renovations and additions to existing facilities.

Jacobson's first 18-hole project in North America – Augustine Golf Club in Stafford, Va. – has been ranked among the nation's Top 100 Public Golf Courses by Golf Magazine and was ranked among the best new upscale courses in 1996 by Golf Digest Magazine. Golf Magazine ranked Jacobson's Bull Run Country Club in Haymarket – approximately 35 miles west of Washington, D.C. – the top new public course in Virginia in 1999. Jacobson's Bear Trap Dunes opened to rave reviews and the 27-hole complex was honored by Golf Inc. Magazine as Development of the Year for 2002. In September 2004, Golf Magazine named Jacobson's Spirit Hollow Golf Club in Burlington, Iowa, one its "Thrifty Fifty" – i.e. one of the nation's top 50 courses costing less than $50 to play.