You can sense the anticipation of golfers playing this fall at Avon, Ct.’s Blue Fox Run Golf Club as they anxiously eye work taking place off to the side of several holes on the front nine of the course.
Indeed, big things are going on at Blue Fox, considered one of the premier public facilities in the state of Connecticut. The layout is in fact undergoing a $4 million renovation that will add nine new holes and alter the routing of the first nine holes of the present 18-hole tract.
Hence, all the bulldozers, land movers and workmen digging, scrapping and sculpting new holes that will be located on the clubhouse side of the Farmington River, which presently divides the course in two parcels.
Barry Wilson, general manager of the facility, which has won numerous accolades for its welcoming atmosphere and parent-friendly amenities, such as a day care and play area for young children, said the new holes will upgrade Blue Fox and make it a contender with such splendid new Hartford-area tracts such as Gillette Ridge Golf Club and Wintonbury Hills Golf Course in Bloomfield.
“We felt we needed to alter the course to add a new luster to it and put more challenge into the existing holes. There have been some great new public courses come on line in the last few years in the area and we needed to upgrade our facility to appeal to more golfers.”
Noted golf course architect Stephen Kay is overseeing work on the new holes as well as the bunker changes on existing holes. Players will have the option of playing any combination of the three nine-hole tracks. Work is expected to be completed in spring of 2008.
Work has already taken place to the front side, and several holes, such as the island green 17th and the 18th (already a very good finishing hole) on the back side.
The improvement is very evident from the time you step onto the first tee box. In addition to the overall enhanced conditions of the entire course--from tee boxes to the greens--existing bunkers have been reshaped and some new ones added to give the course more character and challenge.
The present sixth hole, an already beefy 430-yard par four that sometimes plays into a strong head wind, will be lengthened even further to around 460 yards from the tips and will be the first hole on the “new” nine. Other holes will be lengthened, with the result being that when the present 18 holes (including three new holes) are played the track will stretch to around 7,000 yards and be a true championship test, said Wilson.
The new nine (six brand new holes and three taken from the existing front side) will be somewhat shorter in length, but there will be water on several holes and other difficulties in the form and bunkers and tight fairways.
“It’s going to be a totally new experience for our golfers and we think they will love the new holes,” said Wilson.
There are hopes that the new holes and lengthening of some of the existing ones will again attract interest from professional and major amateur tournament organizers. The course hosted a women’s Futures Tour event for several years before the tourney was moved to Gillette Ridge.