Muirfield Village Golf Club | Columbus Biz Insider | Jeff Bell | April, 2013

"Jack Nicklaus says there’s ‘method in our madness’ as latest Muirfield Village improvements debut in time for Memorial"

Business First

Muirfield Village Golf Club finished redesigning the clubhouse overlooking the 18th green in time for the Memorial Tournament.

Staff reporter - Columbus Business First

Jack Nicklaus had a good story to tell Wednesday about what prompted the multimillion-dollar renovation and expansion of the clubhouse at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin.

Speaking at a press conference to kick off this year’s Memorial Tournament, Nicklaus said the seed for the project, which was completed just in time for the tournament, was planted by one of his best friends, Columbus developer Jack Lucks.

“He said, ‘You’ve got a great golf course but you’ve also got a 1970s, California ranch clubhouse that doesn’t fit now and in the future,’” Nicklaus said, adding the decision was made to come up with a more timeless architectural style for the building overlooking Muirfield’s 18th hole.

The result is a 15,000-square-foot expansion and overhaul of the clubhouse, a 24,000-square-foot building of suites that connects it to the club’s Pavilion and a 6,000-square-foot fitness center in use this week by PGA Tour players who will begin four days of championship play Thursday.

“I think it’s terrific and serves us very well,” Nicklaus said of the improvements.

He also said the construction schedule was tight, starting last July and getting tougher three months later when the decision was made to add the suites building to the project mix.

Nicklaus praised the construction manager, Ruscilli Construction Company Inc., and design firm, Peacock & Lewis Architects and Planners Inc., for getting everything done on time. He also said Nicholas LaRocca, Muirfield Village Golf Club’s general manager and chief operating officer, played a vital role in moving the work forward.

“Without Nicholas,” he said, “we wouldn’t have a roof over our head.”

The fitness center, easier access to the locker room and expansion of the practice range two years ago have improved the experience for PGA tour players during the Memorial, Nicklaus said. In addition, corporate sponsors are being better served by the relocation of the Golden Bear Village hospitality area along the 10th hole last year and construction of a patio and pavilion near the 16th green in 2011.

“There is some method in our madness,” Nicklaus said. “We feel confident that what’s been done is good for the facility, the tournament and this club.”