Arizona Biltmore Golf Club
Scope: Master Planning; Restoration & Remodeling Plans; Construction Documents; and Construction Coordination
Budget: $6 Million
Builder: Landscapes Unlimited LLC
Awards: Silver Medalist Golf Resort (Golf Magazine)
News & Press:
Adobe Course Finally Gets Attention (8-12-03) >>
The Adobe Course was originally built in 1928 by William P. "Billy" Bell, known for his wild and free formed bunkers. Bell worked with George Thomas, often focusing on the bunkers that so defined the work of both architects. The course serves as the "Central Park" of The Arizona Biltmore Resort and its grand architecture inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. William Wrigley of Chicago persuaded Bell to bring golf to the grounds in 1926.
Having endured the Great Depression, WWII, and the rough economic times of the 1980s, the course had fallen into disrepair and had all but lost its strategic value. What had once been exciting holes with wicked bunkering had become lame holes lined with a dense canopy of well too many trees. There were no fairway bunkers left as of the late 1970s.
A land use dispute erupted in the 1990s. The primary argument was whether the course could legally be developed into single family homes — essentially destroying the course in its entirety. The final solution, arrived at after more than a decade of hearings and meetings, was a plan to save the golf course, and at the same time restore its grandeur and legacy.
The solution: Re-route portions of the course and range to facilitate a small area for the development of luxury golf cottages. The historic "Golden Age" course was preserved and, at the same time, brought back to life.
Forrest Richardson's work at The Biltmore began with an overall master plan. The first phases of construction were remodeling of holes to allow for development and a relocated practice facility. At the conclusion of legal issues, he went to work implementing the plan on the historic Adobe Course, restoring many of Bell's famous bunkers and bringing back the classic style of the course that had been lost to time.