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Renowned Architect Rees Jones Completes $1 Million Bunker Renovation at Griffin Gate Golf Course

Published: 07/08/2015

Lexington, Ky. - It's long been considered a gem of Central Kentucky, but thanks to renowned architect Rees Jones, the golf course at Griffin Gate Golf Club just received a new-look that is sure to please both local golfers, and players traveling into Kentucky Bluegrass Country. Today, officials at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa in Lexington, Kentucky, unveiled the newly renovated Griffin Gate Golf Course, backed by a $1 million bunker renovation project, under the direction of Rees Jones, who designed the original layout in 1981.

"It has been a rewarding experience upgrading Griffin Gate," said Rees Jones. "The Rees Jones team, led by Bryce Swanson, and Marriott Golf have brought the golf course into the 21st Century. The ‘refreshed,' more diversified layout enhances every level of player's golf experience by providing new challenges each round."

Highlighting the project, Jones utilized the highly successful Better Billy Bunker Method throughout the golf course. This innovative bunker system is also featured at a collection of the game's premier golf courses, including Valhalla in Louisville, Bethpage Black in New York and Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, site of the 2016 Ryder Cup. The bunker system is also popular among Marriott Golf facilities, having recently been installed at The Rookery at Marco, located at the Marco Island Marriott Resort. As part of this project phase, approximately 80 bunkers were replaced, reduced or reshaped, while overall the course now has reduced bunker coverage from 133,000 sq. ft. to 80,000 sq. ft.

"This bunker renovation allows us to create more consistent playing conditions for our members and guests," said Donald Hobbs, Director of Golf, Griffin Gate Golf Club. "As a result, we will greatly enhance a golf course already known for its competitive play, beauty and environmentally friendly appeal."

"Rees Jones has helped to define all that his great about this golf course, as his design vision appeals to golfers of all playing levels," said Theona Simbrat, General Manager, Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa. "Griffin Gate finished 2014 ranked #2 in the Marriott Golf portfolio based on overall golf course conditions, and that's pretty strong company. On the heels of this Rees Jones renovation, we're now in a position to take the next step in becoming the premier resort golf course destination in this region for years to come."

In addition to the bunkers and greens complex initiatives, the renovation project included refining the areas around the greens, the re-defining of fairway lines and creating chipping areas to give the course more varied challenges. The combined refinements are expected to further heighten the popularity that Griffin Gate has enjoyed for the last three decades. For more information on Griffin Gate Golf Club, visit