Opens to members in early June
By Jim Obert
Although construction continues, it is far enough along to give members, currently about 125, and visitors a good idea of what to expect when Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau opens for members in early June and to the general public in late June.
The first 18 holes of the 27-hole layout, which is being built by Nicklaus Design (a company founded by Jack Nicklaus) is complete, with an additional nine holes scheduled to be ready by the fall. A 15-acre practice facility to include a driving range, putting and chipping greens will complement the course.
Construction of a 22,000-square-foot clubhouse will soon begin. It is the final phase of the golf course project that began in August 2000.
The 900-acre tract, located off Bloomfield Road, will also include 730 home sites in a gated community called Prestwick Plantation.
Jack Connell is director of golf, and Rusty Fuller is course curator (superintendent).
The course derives its Scottish name from the Earl of Dalhousie, William Ramsay. Ramsay's sister Rebecca emigrated to Southeast Missouri and married Alexander Giboney, who attained the property through Spanish land grants in 1798. The golf course property was purchased from descendants of the Ramsay-Giboney-Houck family.
Dalhousie, which marries into the natural landscape, features canting fairways with fescue rough and fescue/broomsedge native areas. The course features about 60 grass and sand bunkers with water hazards on eight of the existing 18 holes, all of which capture the Scottish links atmosphere. Bunkering patterns are those used by George Thomas who designed the bunkers for The Riviera, Los Angeles and Belair country clubs, among others.
Old-growth trees lining the zoysia fairways is a slight departure from the typical Scottish course. Tee boxes have been seeded with Princeville bent grass, while the greens are G-2 bent grass.
From the back tees the course plays 7,300 yards, while alternate tee locations put the yardage at 6,900, 6,500, 6,200 and 5,500. From the back tees, the golf course will be long enough to hold tour events while the alternate tees accommodate all skill levels.
Fuller, who has worked as an assistant superintendent at Bellerive Country Club and Boone Valley Golf Club in the St. Louis area, directs a crew of about 40 workers and is responsible for day-to-day course maintenance.
"We are striving to be an Audubon-certified golf course, which means our maintenance and improvement programs are driven by sensitivity to the native environment of the course," said Fuller.
"We see the potential to be a top-100 course over time," he said, speaking of the national rankings several golf publications produce.
One notable highlight of the course, as seen from the 15th green, is a resplendent valley view of part of the course surrounding three lakes created from a creek.
The 17,000-square-foot 18th green is also noteworthy. The massive green measures about 90 yards in depth and should present intriguing putting challenges for golfers.