John Fought returns to Windsong Farm to design second course

John Fought is developing a second course at Windsong Farm Golf Club west of Minneapolis, Minnesota that will feature classic design cues inspired by Seth Raynor and Harry Colt.

Fought previously worked at Windsong and co-designed the club’s first pitch in 2003 with Tom Lehman. In 2015 he returned to renovate bunkers and tees.

The new layout includes six par 3s, 8 par 4s and 4 par 5s, with 13 holes overlooking Fox Lake. It is played as a par 70 of 6,477 yards from the back tees, a contrast to the 7,586 yards of the club’s first course. The new layout will be built on 125 acres of farmland, forests and wetlands.

“It’s a unique piece of land with lake views and hilly terrain, and we’re going to do what we can without having to move a lot of earth,” Fought said. “This is open, rolling country with natural, native fescue areas and gives us the opportunity to incorporate several old-style holes into the mix.”

Fought takes inspiration from the classic layouts of Seth Raynor and Harry Colt. A recent visit to Shoreacres near Chicago, an original Raynor design, gave Fought ideas to incorporate into Windsong’s new layout. These include a Biarritz green on the fourth, a double green shared by the thirteenth and sixteenth, and the Redan and Eden holes.

“I generally don’t like doing the same thing with my projects, so this one will really be different from all my other courses,” Fought said. “This will look like creating a course from the early 1900s, but with a modern infrastructure.”

The course, which will be completed in summer 2024, will feature bentgrass fairways, grassy bunkers and wide corridors.

“This second course is going to play harder than people might think because length isn’t the only factor in determining difficulty,” Fought said. “Playing strategies will come into play very strongly here. Also, the 18th hole will be a ‘Cape’ hole – a long, 483 meter par 4 that plays around the lake.”

Duininck Golf will undertake construction, having previously worked with Fought on the 2015 refurbishment. “John Fought brings both creativity and tremendous golf knowledge to a project with his previous professional playing experience,” said Judd Duininck, General Manager of Golf. “Our partnership on past projects is a key factor in the success of the project.”

Fought’s new course will make Windsong Farm the only 36-hole private golf course in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area.

“This is really exciting for our members because they get to play two very different, high quality golf courses,” said Jon Dailing, Superintendent at Windsong. “John knows this entire property so well and did a great job researching where the new course will be built. He is very creative and there will be a lot of history built into his design.”

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