Rolling over lively contours, The Orchard at The Olde Farm can be played clockwise, counterclockwise or “cross-country.” This allows members to call their own shots while enjoying a delightfully different short course experience from the main eighteen.
The native landscapes of the big course – orchards, fence rows, berry bushes, etc. – were expanded upon. Every detail, down to the burlap flags, ties into this theme.
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When The Olde Farm opened in 2000, the driving range was limited in size. Years later, owner Jim McGlothlin had an opportunity to purchase more property to create a world-class practice facility.
“We had a driving range that was no longer in use, but was still being maintained,” said golf course architect Bobby Weed. “It seemed to me that it should not lie fallow. Once Jim and I discussed it, we agreed that a short course on that land would be a fine complement to the 18-hole course.”
Whether on a golf course, rural farm or big city, drainage is king. The Olde Farm and The Orchard were both designed and constructed so that maintenance would be turnkey in all types of weather.
With sharp slopes and deep valleys, The Orchard’s topography is well-suited for an exciting short course. Eight greens range in size from 1,800 sq. ft. to one 6,000 sq. ft. double green. Seventeen bunkers provide playing and visual interest, but allow maintenance to quickly remedy any issue caused by summer storms.
The Orchard’s special routing allows for hundreds, if not thousands of playing options. With no formal tee boxes, members are not limited to holes that can be imagined or played. There is a structured clockwise routing, yet players can just as easily “free-range” it. Bold contours, sideboards and backboards further stimulate the shot-making creativity.
Constructed on an economical 10 acres which opened in fall 2013, The Orchard is a tremendous asset for The Olde Farm.
“Short courses have a place. They simply need to be better maintained and shake the stigma that they are somehow inferior. Today we live in a less formal society, have less disposable income and less disposable time. This may well be the answer going forward,” said Bobby Weed.
“The current marketplace offers designers an opportunity to devote the full extent of their talents and attention to these types of courses. We gave The Orchard and its green complexes as much attention as any new course or renovation we’ve ever done.”
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