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gallery name:   Bay Breeze GC (Keesler AFB) | Biloxi, Mississippi

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|  News: Tee To Green Magazine's Nov. 2007 Story about Bay Breeze GC  |  Click Here

| Grand Opening slideshow compiled by Air Force Golf Program Director, Eric Sudy | Click here

| An impressive Opening Day photo gallery provided by Mr. Sudy | Click here

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the US Air Force planned on repairing the greens at Bay Breeze GC at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi.  After Katrina's storm surge covered parts of the course with as much as eight feet of water, all of the green complexes were damaged by the storm and three fairways were covered with mucky marine silt.  The clubhouse was destroyed by the storm surge from the Back Bay of Biloxi which caused the damage to the base.  In addition, the course's irrigation system was destroyed and the irrigation lake was filled with debris--everything from lawn chairs to refrigerators--and enough salt water to sustain crabs and other salt water animals for weeks after the storm.  Working closely with Engineering-Environmental Management, Inc. of San Antonio, Watermark Golf/Nathan Crace Design was called in to handle the design of the green complex repair project.  

 

After Katrina made landfall, portions of the course were under as much as eight feet of water from the storm surge along the Back Bay of Biloxi.  The floor of the on-course restroom near the 13th tee in the photo at left was about five feet above sea level before the storm (the Bay is visible in the background).

 

The "Before & After" photos below show the results of the repair work at Bay Breeze GC on Keesler AFB.

The most unique feature of Bay Breeze is, ironically, the same thing that devastated the course during the hurricane--it's setting along the Back Bay of Biloxi.  Five holes run along the bay on property that is some of the most visually stunning for golf on the Mississippi Gulf Coast! The trick in the design along those holes was in opening views of the tidal marsh while carefully balancing cut and fill, as three of the holes are positioned on Air Force landfill sites and no material was to be hauled in from off-site for any of the green complexes. 

All greens were repaired to current USGA standards and enlarged where allowed to permit additional pin placements and lessen the stress on the greens from foot traffic.  Additionally, the new green complexes now have new and better placed bunkering and the putting surfaces feature the rolling yet subtle contours Mr. Crace is known for in his work.  After spending months in the planning stage, Mr. Crace  developed an aesthetically pleasing solution that will be both cost effective to maintain and fun to play.

Construction is complete and everyone on the base from the top brass to the course management team is eager with anticipation to play the new course when it re-opens on 2 November 2007.  Some "Before & After" photos of selected holes are being posted below as time permits.  Be sure to check back again for more updates and photos!  

HOLE #1

 The green on the opening hole was enlarged and re-aligned to be more receptive and guarded by two bunkers.

 

HOLE #2

 This short par 4 no longer favors long hitters--a strategic tee shot is rewarded with a better angle of approach.

 

HOLE #3

 With the base runway behind this par 3, the new green is more receptive to this uphill tee shot to a blind green.

 

HOLE #5

 It's not unusual to see aircraft take off from beyond this par-4 green perched atop a hill & guarded by two bunkers. 

 

HOLE #11

 Small trees were removed and the small bunker was replaced with a large one during repair of the green. 

 

HOLE #13

 Set on a point in the Bay, the green on this par 5 utilizes the coastal setting to create a risk/reward scenario. 

 

HOLE #15

 The 15th green is one of the smallest greens on the course--but birdie is no guarantee on this short par 4.

 

HOLE #16

 The three closing holes now offer greens with multiple pin placements & highlighted by large live oaks.

 

HOLE #17

 The longest par 3 on the course now features a green that forces you to trust your swing...and club selection.

 

Be sure to check back with us.  We will be adding more photos soon.

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