Aug. 7, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The task of renovating the Ohio State Scarlet golf course has been awarded to Nicklaus Design and former Buckeye and golf great Jack Nicklaus. The project, which is expected to begin this fall or in the early spring of 2005, will include direct involvement from Nicklaus himself, who won the 1961 NCAA Championship while at Ohio State, and his son Gary, another former Buckeye.
The renovations to Scarlet will cost an estimated $1.2 million and will include a redesign of all bunkers, including bunker drainage revisions, expansion of the driving range, a review of the existing greens for possible recontouring, a review of the tees for possible reconfiguration and the recommendation for the addition and/or removal of trees.
“We are delighted that The Ohio State University has chosen Nicklaus Design, including my son Gary and me, to be involved in the renovation of the Scarlet course,” Jack Nicklaus said. “Ohio State and the Scarlet course were very much a part of our collegiate careers and played a significant role in some of our fondest memories growing up and playing golf in Columbus. Because The Ohio State University provided me so much in my life, I hope this can serve as a token of my appreciation for allowing me to continue to be part of the OSU `Buckeye family.'”
“We are thrilled to have Nicklaus Design work with us to restore and renovate our treasured Scarlet Golf Course,” Andy Geiger, Ohio State director of athletics, said. “I know that Jack and Gary Nicklaus and their wonderful team of architects will apply their vast knowledge and expertise to lovingly retain the Alister MacKenzie design and yet modernize the course to make it a challenge for the modern golf era.”
Funding for the course renovations will come from a $10 million endowment gift from the Al and Martha Phipps Golf Course Fund. A 1936 graduate of the OSU College of Engineering, Al Phipps died in 1999, while his wife, Martha, who also was an Ohio State student, died last year. The Phippses previously funded a $500,000 scholarship endowment fund that annually helps pay the tuition for three Buckeye golfers. Over $5 million from their estate has already been contributed to the new fund, which, in addition to covering the expense of the renovation, will benefit the men’s and women’s golf teams and provide for future maintenance of Ohio State’s golf facility.
Renovations are expected to be complete by the time the NCAA women’s golf championship returns to the Scarlet course in 2006.
Based in North Palm Beach, Fla., Nicklaus Design is recognized as the world leader in golf course design. The firm has 275 courses open for play in 27 countries and 36 states. Jack Nicklaus has been involved in 230 of those projects. Nicklaus Design has 76 courses that have hosted a total of almost 500 professional tournaments worldwide or national amateur championships, and 36 Nicklaus designs have been named to various national and international Top-100 lists.
Senior Design Associate Greg Letsche, another Ohio State alumnus, will also be working on the Scarlet course.
“We at Nicklaus Design have been asked to restore and modernize a mid-1930s Alister MacKenzie design,” added Nicklaus, who won a record 18 professional major championships and more than 100 tournaments worldwide. “It will be fun and we are looking forward to doing just that.”