November 7, 2014

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Sally J. Sportsman

Reconstruction of the Heron Course at The Oaks Club

DUBLIN, Ohio (November 7, 2014) – Course construction during renovation of the Heron Course at The Oaks Club in Osprey, Fla., is underway and proceeding well. The renovated golf course is being designed on behalf of Hurdzan/Fry Environmental Golf Design. The reconstruction, directed by Jason Straka, a principal of Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design, is designed to enhance playability and improve infrastructure, including significant upgrades in surface and subsurface drainage, irrigation and improved turfgrasses. The Eagle Course at The Oaks Club will remain open for play throughout the Heron renovation.

One major objective, according to Straka, is to make the Heron Course more welcoming to a diverse spectrum of golfers’ skill sets and ages, including beginners, women, seniors, families and highly-skilled players. Six sets of tees will be set in place to accommodate this range of players. The new Heron Course will be 6,705 yards in length from the farthest tees, slightly longer than the previous 6,695-yard length. The length of the course from the shortest tees will be 4,027 yards.

“Golf is now stretched out over generations,” said Straka, “which is good for the game.All players on the generational and skills spectrum need to get around the course successfully and enjoy themselves, and the vibrant membership and guests at this club now will be able to do just that.”

One feature that intrigued Straka as he contemplated the renovation design was the nice width of the playing corridors at the Heron Course, in contrast to many other Florida courses. He found this feature to be a benefit from a design perspective, allowing for more artistically-conceived shaping components.

The year-long environmentally-friendly renovation project will create a memorable new golfing experience for members and guests. The revitalized course will have new contours, better bunkers and interesting greens complexes. Traffic patterns on the course will be improved due to the new contours and the removal of some overgrown trees and shrubbery. A significant investment is being made in maintaining the longevity of the club with an HDPE fused irrigation system, significant amounts of subsurface drainage, new greens construction, state-of-the-art bunker liner, wall-to-wall concrete paths with curbing, and cutting-edge disease and shade-resistant turfgrasses. In addition, new storm-water control structures will be installed to improve drainage of the golf course and the surrounding development.

A ground game is being introduced to the Heron Course. Most of the approaches to the old green complexes were blocked by sand bunkers and water hazards. The renovation utilizes significant chipping areas around the greens to allow for run-up shots and a variety of recovery shots not permitted on either of the two Oaks courses before. The goal is to enhance playability while still providing confounding recovery shots for the more skilled golfer.

During the reconstruction of the Heron Course, members are being provided with a well-received communication tool in the form of weekly member updates and video links. Of special interest is drone footage, recording the renovation’s progression.

“The drone footage is an exciting aspect of the reconstruction,” said Nick Kearns, director of green and grounds at The Oaks Club, “providing a fascinating archival and historical record of the entire process. Both current and future members will enjoy seeing the newly-designed Heron Course unfold before their very eyes.”

An example of recent drone footage of the Heron Course renovation can be viewed here: Click here to view the Drone Progress Video

About The Oaks Club

The Oaks Club is a private country club community developed on more than 1,000 acres situated on the east and west sides of U.S. 41 in Osprey, Fla., just twelve miles south of downtown Sarasota. It recently was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Gold Club of the World Award by The BoardRoom Magazine, one of the most respected trade publications serving private clubs. Club amenities include the Heron and Eagle championship golf courses, a 40,000-square-foot Georgian-style clubhouse with three restaurants, 12 Har-Tru tennis courts, a pool complex, croquet, a guest lodge and an active social calendar. This year The Oaks Club is celebrating its Pearl (30th) Anniversary.

For more information, see

About Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design

Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design is a partnership with worldwide reach in award-winning golf course design. Golf course architects Dana Fry and Jason Straka, having worked together for nearly 20 years, continue to bring their collective design experience, talent and renowned client dedication to their venture.

Although the pair collaborates on all projects, it is not uncommon for the partners to betraveling on opposite sides of the world so they can serve their global clients with ease, efficiency and the utmost in professional dedication. In addition, the company has a diversified staff of associates – speaking a combined six languages – based in Lisbon, Portugal; Milan, Italy; Beijing, China; Porto Alegre, Brazil; and dispersed around the U.S. Thus Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design can service any job, anywhere in the world, with the highest of standards and a consummate commitment to excellence.

For more information, see