One of Florida's oldest golf courses is getting a facelift just before its 100th birthday. Fort Myers Country Club will benefit from $5.2 million in improvements.
Photographer: Dan Perry
Creative Commons 2.0
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- One of Florida's oldest golf courses is getting a facelift just before its 100th birthday.
Fort Myers Country Club was designed in 1917 by Donald Ross. The city council last month agreed to $5.2 million in improvements to the public course that charges just $12.50 for a player to walk 18 holes and $30 to use a cart.
"It's a fantastic treasure," said Forrest Banks, a city councilman who has played the course for 43 years. "We're trying to retain its character."
The course will be closed next year from April to October while the work is being done.
After a tournment in February 2012, fans complained that the course was starting to show its age.
The tees, fairways, bunkers and greens will be improved while two new detention basins will control storm water, limit flooding and standing water on the back nine, and limit the amount of debris and silt that goes into the canals as well as the Caloosahatchee River.
"We want to improve water quality as well as make drainage improvements," said Saeed Kazemi, public works director for Fort Myers.
Rich Lamb, Fort Myers Country Club's director of golf, said modest changes will be made to some holes, but the course won't be lengthened.
A total of 63,000 rounds of golf are played on the course year-round, including 8,500 rounds during the busiest month, March.
"I think it's great," professional golfer George McNeill told News-Press (http://newspr.es/1aWjnyf ). "The fairways have the same grass as when (Thomas) Edison walked the course, so needless to say, it's pretty old."
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