The Hoffmann family of companies gave details of the construction of their 12-hole championship golf course at their Balducci vineyards in Augusta.
David Hoffmann, from Washington, also provided an update on his company’s other planned projects, including a 500-seat amphitheater and a 250-person riverboat.
Permits for the 12-hole championship golf course have yet to be obtained from St. Charles County, but Hoffmann said he hopes to build the course on 105 wooded acres behind vineyards in the spring. He said the golf course had already been discussed “in depth” with St. Charles County Manager Steve Ehlmann. The course and other developments are part of Hoffmann’s planned $ 125 million investment in Augusta and surrounding areas, which he plans to turn into a national tourist destination.
To date, Hoffmann and his wife, Jerri, have purchased over two dozen properties in and around Augusta, including four wineries: Montelle Winery, Augusta Winery, Mount Pleasant Estates and Balducci Vineyards. The couple also bought a number of storefronts in Augusta and opened the Augusta Emporium and Kickstand Augusta bicycle store. They also announced their intention to build a 60-room hotel and conference center, to be called Hoffmann Lodge, and to open a boutique hotel on the former Emmaus Homes campus in Marthasville. David Hoffmann said he wasn’t sure how many people went to his businesses this summer, but his cart had driven between 500 and 1,000 people on a given weekend.
Regarding the golf course, Hoffmann said he hopes to one day host a national 12-hole invitational tournament on the course. The name of the course, which will be open to the public, was not disclosed at the conference.
The course will be designed by Rees Jones, who was the architect of several major courses, including the redesigned Bellerive Country Club in Town and Country a decade ago. Jones and Hoffmann said Augusta’s course was designed with accessibility in mind. Jones plans to include plenty of T-shirts for all ages and skill levels, as well as greens that will be “a little larger than normal” to allow for different hole locations, he said. Jones added that the profile of the greens will vary as well, even leaving the door open to a few elevated greens.
âWe’re going to have holes that are going to be tough to parry, we’re going to have holes that are swing holes, and then we’re going to have birdie holes,â Jones said. “So you can catch up, lose ground, catch up, and it might not even be the same hole every time.”
The idea behind a 12-hole course, Hoffmann said, is to make a round play less of a time commitment. He said golfers can always add play from one of the six-hole loops if they want to play 18 holes, but he expects many to spend that extra time enjoying the cellar.
âI love the 12 hole course, because I love the golf course, but you come off the course a little faster to drink our excellent, fine wine at Augusta,â Hoffmann said.
A clubhouse will also be built on the property, according to Hoffmann, but plans for the clubhouse have not been released.
Hoffmann said many sites in his recently purchased area properties are being considered for a golf course, but the land behind Balducci was selected because of the terrain, which will make it a natural, wooded course that matches the terrain. Jones called it an old school project, where the site was chosen for a golf course rather than the other way around.
The land is also well suited for a planned 500-seat amphitheater, which will be located in a hollow behind Balducci, next to the golf course. As the owners of the Hertz Arena, an 8,284-seat multi-purpose venue in Estero, Florida, the Hoffmanns plan to use their musical connections to bring performers to the amphitheater. Construction of the new site is expected to begin in the spring.
Hoffmann said “great” progress has been made on his other projects in recent months. The Hoffmann gas station and the accompanying Historic Augusta general store opened on Wednesday. He also said he was in the early stages of planning for a dairy farm in the area to supply cheeses to his wineries and for a potential cheese factory. The Miss Augusta, which Hoffmann named his four-deck boat, arrived in St Louis from Louisiana and is being modernized for the Missouri River. He said weddings had already been booked on the boat and he would start cruising the Missouri River within 30 days.