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Renaming will complete Revolutionary makeover

Take a ride around Revolution golf course and what was old is new again.

From the clubhouse to the nine-hole layout to a name change, a Charlotte golf landmark has been transformed.

It’s the result of a two-year process that has turned Revolution into a multipurpose destination with The First Tee of Charlotte and the Revolution Park Sports Academy located alongside the redesigned golf course.

From a golf standpoint, whatever was lost has been replaced with a better designed and conditioned nine-hole layout.

It wasn’t designed to host a major event. It was built to give golfers an enjoyable and affordable place to play. That’s what designer Clyde Johnston has done.

“It’s a really good learning course,” said Del Ratcliffe, president of Ratcliffe Golf Services that manages the course.

How has it changed?

Let’s start with the pro shop, which is now located in a new building that serves a community, not just a golf course. The pro shop is in one corner, there’s a snack bar in another and an enormous room that holds a boxing ring, among other things.

It’s a place where exercise and dance classes can be held in one end of the building while the pro shop handles the golfers who want to play or take advantage of an expansive practice area that includes two greens and a big range.

Then there’s the course itself. It’s situated on the same property but it’s dramatically different after being closed from Nov. 2008 until late October, 2010.

The first hole is a narrow, straightaway par-4 followed by an entirely new second hole. The third hole has been converted into a par-3, the tee at the fourth hole has been moved off a hill and the fifth hole kept its old tee but the green was moved to the left.

The sixth green was moved, the seventh is an entirely new par-3, the eighth hole is new and the ninth hole has turned what was the old par-4 eighth into a longer, more demanding par-5 finishing hole.

Rather than rely on city water, a man-made lake was created to irrigate the course and the greens are covered in mini verde, a more heat-tolerant grass that should handle the hot summers better than more delicate bent grass.

There’s a new fleet of carts and, as of Tuesday, there will be a new name. It will be called Dr. Charles L. Sifford Golf Course at Revolution Park, a nod to the Charlotte native who played a leading role in integrating professional golf.