The University of Florida’s Mark Bostick Golf Course is a 1920’s Donald Ross design that was artfully rebuilt by Bobby Weed Golf Design in 2001.
Situated on the northwest corner of the UF campus, the Florida Gators men’s and women’s golf teams have won six NCAA national championships and 21 SEC titles since calling MBGC home in 1962 (formally Gainesville Country Club).
The original Ross routing was a 6-6-6 layout, with six par 3’s, six par 4’s and six par 5’s. Sports Illustrated chronicled Weed’s comprehensive renovation of the University of Florida Golf Course in a 17-part segment, the longest ever by the magazine.
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“The challenge in remodeling a golf course is to preserve those elements that charm the beholder and speak to tradition, while replacing other elements that are no longer functional.”
At just 6,205 yards, the par-70 layout was extremely cramped. MBGC’s longest par-3 was only 185 yards. Greens were so small that the superintendent had little room for hole variation. Many greens and tees received too much shade for consistent growth. Bunkers did not drain.
With countless issues to address across the 116-acre site, BWGD had to be extremely strategic and financially prudent.
Maintenance: Weed’s team equipped the flat, low-lying golf course with industry-leading drainage and irrigation systems.
Bunkers: Some were removed. All others were rebuilt to counter Florida’s strong thunderstorms with new sand and drains.
Fairways: The golf course is surprisingly hilly. A healthy and more resistant strain of bermudagrass was installed.
Greens: Extensively rebuilt and enlarged to provide consistency in maintenance and player experience.
Weed transformed this rolling landscape into a golf course that is physically and mentally challenging, yet extremely fun and memorable. Upon the successful completion of Weed’s work, golf course superintendent Mark Birdsell remarked, “We’ve been driving a Chevy for years. Now we get to drive a Cadillac!”
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