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5 Courses That Put the Green Back in Golf

April 8th, 2017

Mossy Oak Golf Club; West Point, Miss. When the outfitters company Mossy Oak wanted to build a golf course not far from its headquarters, management chose architect Gil Hanse, a leading minimalist who also created the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic course. Mossy Oak wanted to represent a sustainable, mindful approach, leaving a gentle footprint on the habitat while delivering a world-class experience. Set in the Black Prairie region, the land had been a dairy farm with flowing hills and ponds. “We opened earlier than we expected, because we didn’t have to move dirt around,” says Chris Jester, the director of golf. The only major dirt moved was for a 7.5-acre irrigation lake. The goal was to restore the natural areas to the prairie grasses in a walkable format, with native grasses around the buildings. The course sports 103 bunkers, all using sand pulled from the local riverbed. Eco-practices “We reclaim a lot of the water through gravity,” Jester says. “The native areas are not irrigated — they are out of maintenance. We have a commitment to not overwatering. Our fertilizers are all organic, slow-release.”