Golfers itching to play SentryWorld after the destination course in Stevens Point was closed for all of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic will have to wait a while longer.
SentryWorld will remain closed until mid-August as the course undergoes modifications in preparation for the 2023 U.S. Senior Open.
“We’re going to do whatever it takes to create a championship venue for this event and for the best players in the world ages 50 and over,” said Mike James, general manager of SentryWorld and vice president of Sentry Services. “In order to do that, we had to make some modifications to the course.
“We’re going to keep the course closed until mid-August, until everything is completely done. And when we reopen, our guests will be able to enjoy the course fully, without playing temporary greens and things like that.”
James said the modifications included narrowing the fairways on most of the par-4 and par-5 holes, moving some fairway bunkers, modifying three greens (on Nos. 4, 5 and 18) and adding some new back tees. The course, which currently measures 7,150 yards from the tips, will measure about 7,350 for the U.S. Senior Open.
“SentryWorld’s fairways were pretty generous for the average player,” James said. “For this level of player, the best in the world, we need to challenge them off the tee.”
The modifications are being overseen by original course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. and associate Bruce Charlton.
In the spring of 2020, SentryWorld installed a sub-air system under all 18 greens and the practice green. The sub-air system allows the greens to dry faster after rain events; also, cool air can be blown through the system on hot summer days, when the grass would otherwise be stressed.