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The Blessings Golf Club

Blessings Golf Club is an exciting 18 hole championship course located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. From the back tees it plays 7,527 yards with a par of 72. The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., ASGCA and opened in 2004. The course contact is Tom Jones, General Manager/Director of Golf, and Stan Wright, Head Professional.

The Razorback Golf team moved into their home course at Blessings during the summer of 2004. The course is both challenging to players and was a challenge to create. Robert Trent Jones II and owner John Tyson (Chairman of Tyson Foods) had a number of goals in mind when designing Blessings.

A very hands-on client, Tyson wanted a flexible golf course where every shot required careful thought and precise execution. He also wanted a course sufficiently demanding to host major collegiate tournaments. To meet the dual goals of toughness and flexibility, RTJ II created a unique golf course with three adjustable holes-eight, nine and sixteen-which can be configured to play to different pars, depending on course setup.
Another challenge in designing Blessings was to route the golf course so that the clubhouse could be located outside of the floodplain of Clear Creek, the major topographical and strategic feature of the site. After considering a number of possibilities, a continuous eighteen-hole routing was recommended rather than a pair of returning nines.

A third challenge arose as the architect designed the short, par-three tenth hole, which plays to a green located on an exposed platform at the edge of a vertical rock quarry. The green site was shaded by a grove of hardwoods that designers wished to save, but needed to thin out to provide sunlight to the green. To solve this dilemma, they generated computer models that showed sunlight angles to the green at various times of day and season, and figured out how to save the greatest number of trees while allowing for enough light to grow grass on the green. This is a good example of how RTJ II delivers environmentally sensitive solutions to golf course design challenges-something we’ve been doing for more than 30 years.

Blessings stretches to nearly 7,500 yards from the back tees and plays through two distinct landforms-the Clear Creek floodplain and a plateau that rises to 65 feet above the floodplain where it’s bisected by a series of ravines. Both the outward and inward nines climb up and down between the two topographies, creating drama and variety on a course where golfers will surely feel both tested and blessed by the glory of their surroundings.

Practice Facilities
The Razorbacks took a giant leap forward in the spring of 2004 with the dedication of the Fred W. and Mary B. Smith Razorback Golf Training Facility at Blessings.

Located on the practice tee of Blessings, the facility is home to six indoor-outdoor practice bays, an indoor video swing analysis station, office space and men’s and women’s locker room facilities for the Arkansas golf teams.

The long-time CEO of the Donrey Media Group, Fred Smith, is the chairman of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

When the facility and golf course were just a couple years old, an expansion was added. The addition included more driving range tee space that allows the team to practice from many different angles, a new wedge tee, and a state-of-the-art video lab. Several finishing touches were also added to the interior including the completion of a trophy case housing replicas of John Daly’s British Open trophy and Stacy Lewis’ NCAA Tournament trophy.

Progress continued in 2014 when a new indoor putting facility, coaches offices and a redesign of locker room and team room space took place. The expansion of the Razorbacks Training facility, the Fred and Mary Smith Center, includes an indoor putting facility with surface that allows the Razorbacks to hone their short game skills in all areas. The space also includes expanded locker rooms, as well as a weight room that will allow each team to do golf-specific training on site at the golf course.

The Blessings Clubhouse, is a luxury clubhouse designed by architect Marlon Blackwell. A stand-alone structure set at the base of the hill, with its footprint minimally contacting the land, the Blessings Clubhouse acts as a type of covered bridge. This bridging creates an entry portal that operates as a breezeway framing the eighteenth green, acts as a threshold to the golf course beyond, and is an event space for golf tournaments. Conceived as an animate form, the building receives the visitor beneath its cool and shaded underbelly, not unlike the clefts and caves found in the nearby hills. The Blessings Golf Clubhouse attempts to demonstrate that a conventional commercial building system can be transfigured into a contemporary design solution that recalls a traditional lineage, that of the traditions of the game of golf. For detail visit Blessings Golf Clubhouse by Marlon Blackwell Architect.