Phil Mickelson and his design company have started work on renovating and redesigning aspects of the Greenbrier Course at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia.
The course was one of several on the property seriously damaged in a historic flood on June 23. Mickelson took on the job in conjunction with entering into a sponsorship agreement with the Jim Justice-owned resort to become its PGA Tour Ambassador.
Mickelson will be working on a course originally designed by Seth Raynor and opened in 1929. Jack Nicklaus did renovation work on the course, too, in 1977 in anticipation of hosting the 1979 Ryder Cup, won by the United States in the first year continental Europe could compete in the biennial matches, and the 1994 Solheim Cup. The Greenbrier Course is the only course to host both events.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Seth Raynor’s work,” said Mickelson. “My goal is to stay true to his design concepts while updating the course to challenge and excite generations to come. By restoring the Greenbrier to its full glory we’ll help the town and region recover from the devastating flood damage.”
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Mickelson spent two days on the property in early October, surveying the property along with members of Mickelson's design team, including co-designer Rick Smith. The plan includes modifications to eight of the original holes, with 10 new Mickelson-design holes set in the forest through which the course partially winds.
“We have a tremendous piece of property that comes with a great history,” said Mickelson, “and we are going to make it great for the future of the resort and the region.”
The construction will begin in January 2017, with a plan to complete it by November 2017. The Greenbrier Course is expected to open in spring of 2018, potentially dovetailing with the new Oakhurst mountaintop course, which was co-designed by Jack Nicklaus, the late Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Greenbrier pro emeritus Lee Trevino.