Work recently completed on year-long, $7 million-plus project
RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (November 10, 2014) – The $7 million-plus redesign of The Ford
Plantation’s Pete Dye-designed golf course was unveiled to national media during a Nov. 7 – 8
showcase at the 1,800–acre sporting club.
The year-long project at the Richmond Hill enclave wrapped in September and has been open
for member play since Oct. 1. Golf Digest has already named The Ford Plantation one of its Best
New Courses for 2014.
“I looked at The Ford Plantation as a unique chance and almost a blank slate,” Dye said of a
course he originally worked on nearly three decades ago. “We wanted to come back and make
the course better, and we’ve done that. The Ford Plantation golf course will stand among my
finest Southern designs.”
To Club members’ delight, Dye, the only living World Golf Hall of Fame architect, was hands-on
throughout the project, spending extended time on-site and hand drawing green complex
designs in the Coastal Georgia dirt.
Originally envisioned as a restoration necessitated by infrastructure upgrades, the updating
became transformational in its effects. Golf course architect Tim Liddy, a longtime Dye
collaborator and confidant, helped lead the redesign.
“Pete is always passionate about his work, but it’s obvious that he feels a special connection
with The Ford Plantation,” Liddy said. “It’s certainly among the largest redesigns of one his
courses that he’s ever undertaken.”
The 88-year-old Dye’s strong presence was viewed as a bonus by Club officials, were happy to
see a legend of the game at work up close.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE We’re thrilled with Mr. Dye’s work here and with Golf Digest’s acknowledgement of The Ford
Plantation Club,” said The Ford Plantation CEO and General Manager Nick Cassala. “The course
is the latest and most visible sign of the exciting progress being made at Ford.”
More than 1.7 million square feet of Celebration Bermuda sod were laid during the project, as
was a combined 58 miles of drainage and irrigation pipe. Green size has grown by 20 percent
and 16,000 gallons of water per minute can be moved into surrounding freshwater lakes via a
new high-powered storm water pump system.
The front nine at The Ford Plantation retained much of its former footprint and parkland feel,
though landscape changes were introduced to widen corridors and create long views, a favorite
technique of Dye’s.
The Lowcountry links-style back nine—site of a working rice fields for much of the 1800s—now
includes bunkering and natural waste areas as part of an updated “high dunes” look and feel.
Some 94,000 cubic yards of soil were moved during the project to achieve that result.
Dye was focused on making the course more playable for Ford members, and the new, more
open layout includes generous landing areas—while retaining signature intimidating Dye
elements such pot bunkers, switchback fairways and strong-side putting surfaces. Low
handicap players will also find a challenge, with tees that can now stretch to 7,409 yards.
“This project continues to be incredibly exciting for The Ford Plantation,” said Paul Wickes, The
Ford Plantation Club President. “Our members made the financial commitment, while taking on
no long-term debt, to ensure that The Ford Plantation continues as one of the nation’s leading
residential communities and private sporting clubs.”
The Ford Plantation partnered with MacCurrach Golf Construction to manage the redesign. It’s
the ninth time that the Jacksonville, Fla.-based firmed has worked with Dye on this type of
One of the nation’s leading residential communities and private sporting clubs, The Ford
Plantation features 400 home sites nestled on 1,800 breathtaking acres near Savannah, Ga.
Located on the site of a former antebellum rice plantation, this majestic waterfront location
once captivated the imagination of automobile magnate Henry Ford, who built a historic winter
retreat on this lush property in the 1930s.Today, this gated sporting community features a
challenging Pete Dye golf course, an on-site day spa, a deep-water marina, world-class
equestrian center, organic garden and state-of-the-art fitness center, as well as more than 10
miles of scenic horse, biking and hiking trails.