Dr. Marvin Ferguson is largely unknown in the world of golf course architecture but he played an important part in in developing the USGA’s method for green construction. A graduate of Texas A&M University, he received a PhD degree from the University of Maryland before spending the next thirty years working on turf grass research for the USGA Green Section and the Texas A&M. In 1969, he started out on a career in golf course design, with the course at Wolf Creek as one of his first projects.
The waters of Wolf Creek come into play at half a dozen holes on the course, starting at the 589-yard 3rd, a long, right doglegged par five. The creek also looms large at the par three 5th and signature par three 11th holes, both of which have been recently renovated in-house with the help of one of the members (Jack Stockdale, the owner of a hazardous material response company) and the advice of Tom Watson (who now considers Wolf Creek as his home club and treats the staff like family).
A retaining wall was deteriorating in front of the green at the 5th and erosion was causing the embankment to crumble in front of the putting surface on the 11th so Stockdale brought in three of his employees and some heavy equipment to sort out the problems. The remedial work on the 11th went pretty smoothly but the removal of the wall at the 5th proved a lot more difficult, not helped by a burst dam during construction. All told, it took five weeks to complete the undertaking but the course is once again fully fit for purpose.
An intriguing round (if you're lucky enough to get on), the design of the course can't figure out if it wants to be a new-modern design or a classic layout. Conditioning absolutely superb.