Gypsum Creek Golf Course, Villas at Cotton Ranch team up for layout solution | VailDaily.com

Gypsum Creek Golf Course, Villas at Cotton Ranch team up for layout solution

Crews begin excavation for the Gypsum Creek Golf Course hole No. 8 tee box relocation. Villas at Cotton Ranch developer/builder J.T. Landreth and town officials agreed to the change, saying it will benefit both residents and golfters. Landreth is financing the project, estimated to cost in excess of $50,000

GYPSUM — It's a project that could have gone a cease-and-desist route, but instead, the parties involved with the latest construction at the Gypsum Creek Golf Course took a "discuss and fix" approach to a shared problem.

Said problem is almost as old as the game of golf. Since the advent of the sport, people have found they enjoy living next to rolling links. The downside of such home placement is that errant golf shots can break windows, smack siding and disturb outdoor gatherings. The elevated tee box at hole No. 8 on the Gypsum Creek course and the Villas at Cotton Ranch project now under construction is a prime example of a potential golf/residence conflict.

"You sit up on the tee, and if you play golf like me, you are bearing down on the residences," said J.T. Landreth, developer and builder of the Villas at Cotton Ranch.

While his 72-unit townhome project has been a part of the Cotton Ranch plan since its inception, the issue became more apparent as actual construction commenced. As he looked at the layout of the course and the residences, Landreth figured there had to be a better plan.

Turns out, there was.

Good for golf

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Last fall, Landreth approached Gypsum Creek Golf Course Director Tom Buzbee with a proposal to relocated the No. 8 tee box about 40 to 50 feet to the south. Along with the move, Landreth proposed planting some more trees and creating some berms.

"The whole idea is to have a better interface," Landreth said.

Buzbee agreed there was room for improvement.

"We realized things were pretty cozy over there," he said.

After walking the course and discussing the plan in detail, Landreth and town officials came up a plan.

"The golf hole looks better and will play a little better," Buzbee said. "We are creating a better golf experience and a better experience for the people who are going to be enjoying the course from their back decks."

Buzbee noted golf course/residential impacts at Gypsum Creek have increased as the number of rounds played at the course have quadrupled. He supports the villas solution as a proactive attempt to derail future conflict.

"Golfers can still hit the ball all over, and there is no perfect solution," Buzbee said. "We are willing to alter the course a little and improve the boundary between the two properties. This helps everybody, and it's hard to do that some times."

But the best part of the deal, from the town's perspective, is the financing.

"The town doesn't have to pay for anything. This is a really good deal," Buzbee said.

Landreth confirmed that he is picking up the tab, estimated in excess of $50,000, for the project.

"I have all my machinery right next door, I have great top soil right next door. I have all the stuff that it takes to do this, right next door," Landreth said.

Work underway

Landreth has already started some of the excavation for the project. Crews hope to lay sod as early as April and have the new tee boxes operational by June. Buzbee said the existing tee box will remain in play until the project is completed.

"Nothing else on the course is bothered by this, really," Buzbee said. "All of the sudden, one day, we will must make the switch."

Landreth said he appreciates the opportunity to work with the town toward this solution.

"We really thought about how we could make this a win for the residents, as well as the people who are playing," Landreth said. "This will be better than it was before."

Over at Gypsum Town Hall, the golf course deal received enthusiastic approval.

"I do appreciate the fact we had a chance to collaborate, to put our heads together and come up with a solution, rather than have homeowners and golfers battle it out," Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll said.