A man who’s often called in to “doctor” the golf courses used for the PGA championship was in Iowa Wednesday, outlining his plans for construction of a new course in southeast Iowa. Golf course designer Reece Jones has agreed to design a golf course for a gambling casino complex planned for Riverside, which is just south of Iowa City in Washington County. “I intend to build a world-class golf course, something that’s really never been done, hopefully, in this region, yet it can be played by the best in the game…but it can be enjoyed by all and I think that’s why it is going to attract so many people to drive afar to come to this golf course and casino,” Jones says. Jones has earned the nickname the “Open Doctor” because he’s often asked to redesign the layout of courses used for the US Open. “I came into this business through my father, Robert Trent Jones. It’s a family business,” Jones says. “I’m the ‘Open Doctor’ now. He was the first…He became famous redesigning golf courses to host our national championship. I’ve been very fortunate to have that mantle passed to me.” Jones has designed a handfull of golf courses situated next to gambling casinos, including Jackson Junction in southern Minnesota. He calls the layout for the proposed southeast Iowa course “very diversified.” “They’ve given me 300 acres, which is more than I normally get which gives me a lot of flexibility, a lot of freedom to build different types of golf holes,” Jones says. The course would run along the Iowa River, and includes both forested areas and open ground. Jones says casino golf resorts give him a chance to help take golf to a new plane as there’s a “new age of golf” in which more high-quality, public courses are being built. “Public golfers are now part of our national heritage,” Jones says. State regulators will decide in May whether to grant a license for the gambling complex in Riverside which would feature the Jones-designed golf course. During his remarks to state regulators yesterday, Jones told a couple of stories about his dad and the PGA tour and you can hear his remarks on-line at www.radioiowa.com.
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