North Oaks Golf Club Course Renovation Preserves Tradition While Amplifying the Golf Experience
With a focus on strategic interest and visual beauty, Minnesota native Tom
Lehman updates Stanley Thompson’s original 1950 course design.
NORTH OAKS, MINN. – North Oaks Golf Club has completed a renovation of its 18-hole championship golf course. In progress since April 2007, the 58- year-old course is slated to be officially re-opened in June 2008.
North Oaks Golf Club contracted Lehman Design Group, and lead architect, Tom Lehman, for the redesign and Duininck Golf for the golf course construction. Through Tom Lehman’s vision and expertise, the updated Par 71 course preserves the traditional course architecture while providing challenges for golfers at all skill levels.
With a reputation for exceptional golf, tennis and social gatherings, the 300- member private golf club is located less than 10 miles from downtown St. Paul. Originally designed by legendary golf course architect Stanley Thompson in 1950, the 167-acre course was carved out of the James J. Hill homestead.
Renowned for preserving the natural beauty and community surrounding the golf course in his designs, Thompson courses include Banff Springs and Jasper Park in the Canadian Rockies.
“The two things that we always aim for in any design are strategic interest and visual beauty,” said Tom Lehman, lead architect at Lehman Design Group. “When the two are combined properly the result is generally pleasing to nearly everyone. At North Oaks, with the Stanley Thomson original design, we were already half way there. Our goal was to rekindle the strategy as it was originally intended, fix whatever issues that were requiring attention and do it all in a way that makes the course aesthetically pleasing to the eye.”
Lehman Design Group has designed several new Minnesota golf courses in recent years. Lehman was co-lead designer with John Fought for new courses Somerby Golf Club in Byron, Minn., and Windsong Farm Golf Club in Minneapolis. Lehman was co-lead designer with the Arnold Palmer Group for the TPC of the Twin Cities course.
“Tradition and heritage are two things that significantly contributed to the future of the North Oaks golf course,” said Dick Haugen, general manger at North Oaks Golf Club. “Throughout the project Tom and his team worked to enhance the original architecture of the course. The end result is a course that is pleasing to the eye but yet has surprises for any handicap.”
Significant renovations to the North Oaks Golf Course include new bunker strategies for nearly every hole, updated fairway lines, as well as several enlarged greens so angles to the holes are more scaleable. Lehman Design Group carefully planned fairways and bunkers around the existing, mature trees and landscaping. Understanding the history and integrity of the original Stanley Thompson design was always in the plan.
Duininck Golf worked closely with Lehman Design Group and North Oaks Golf Club to renovate the golf course. They have also recently completed projects for the Southview Country Club in St. Paul, Minn., Interlachen Country Club in Minneapolis, and River Ridge Golf Course in Oxnard, Calif.
Over the years, the North Oaks Golf Club has hosted golf legends including Sam Snead, Les Bolstad, Jimmy Demaret and Patty Berg, and has also hosted numerous USGA and MGA golf tournaments.
About Lehman Design Group: Designing golf courses came naturally to Tom
Lehman and Chris Brands, lead designers at Lehman Design Group. Based out
of Scottsdale, Ariz., Lehman Design Group has collaboratively designed more
than 25 golf courses since its inception in 1996. For more information about
Lehman Design Group, please visit www.lehmandesigngroup.com.
About Duininck Golf: Dominick Golf, founded under Duininck Companies in
1926, is a construction company that has a long history of grading and
construction projects in Minnesota. Its dedicated employees understand the
entire golf industry, not just the construction aspect. They own and manage the
daily operations of golf courses themselves. For more information about Duininck
Golf, please visit www.dbigolf.com.
About North Oaks Golf Club: Recognized as one of Minnesota’s premier
private golf institutions, North Oaks Golf Course was built in 1950 with famed golf
course architect, Stanley Thompson. Located in the city of North Oaks, Minn.,
North Oaks Golf Club boasts a championship golf course, along with tennis
courts and expanded clubhouse. For more information about North Oaks Golf
Club, please visit www.northoaksgolfclub.com.