Bunker work with mountain views

Golf Course Industry  |  
May 22, 2024

In the shadows of the Tetons, The Tributary unveils golf course renovations guided by David McLay-Kidd.

The Tributary, a 1,500-acre private residential community on the west side of the Teton mountain range in Driggs, Idaho, unveiled renovations to its 18-hole championship course guided by David McLay-Kidd of DMK Golf Designs. The private course, formerly known as Huntsman Springs and opened in 2008, underwent a strategic overhaul and bunker reconstruction to create a more refined golf experience for Tributary’s homeowners.

“Surrounded by multiple mountain ranges, Tributary experiences all four seasons, making it important for our team to monitor the course’s condition and reinvest in the game,” said Jeff Heilbrun, director of real estate. “This renovation has enhanced playability for all levels of players, providing a new experience as Tributary continues to grow.”

McLay-Kidd worked alongside the Tributary team, which includes superintendent Guy Johnson, to take a fresh look at the course’s bunkers, which had experienced natural erosion and sand loss due to the area’s weather changes. With the course originally supporting 150 bunkers, McLay-Kidd reanalyzed the strategic purpose around each bunker, correcting those that had changed shape and removing over 35 to help improve shots and make sight lines off the tee more inviting. Contractor Ridgetop Golf also installed Profile Flexterra solution for erosion control in all existing bunkers.

“Our ideal course is one that works naturally with the land’s terrain while remaining a perfect blend of playable and challenging,” McLay-Kidd said. “We wanted to ensure this renovation had every golfer in mind and was the perfect middle ground for modest and experienced golfers to play the game together. It is, now, as it has been since its conception, one of the country’s best-kept secrets.”

The 18-hole, par-72 championship course plays 7,613 yards from the back tees, fitting seamlessly into the community. As a part of Tributary’s 500-acre fen, woven through the course, are 50 acres of wetlands that provide habitat for native flora and fauna. Views of the Big Hole Mountains and the Grand Tetons are found at every hole, with the 16th teeing off facing directly towards the landscape.

The Tributary is located on the west side of the Teton Mountain Range, only 30 minutes from Jackson Hole.