Touring golf courses in the Northeast has been a great pleasure for me this Fall. There are literally dozens of seriously great golf courses all within 1-3 hours drive (depending on traffic) of NYC alone. A truly unmatched stock of golden age golf. Since starting work on Paramount's (A.W. Tillinghast) restoration I have been able to see Sleepy Hollow (C.B. Macdonald), St. George's (Devereux Emmet), and Whippoorwill CC (Charles Banks), all built in the early 20th century. Touring these courses in addition to an intensive study of Paramount has allowed me to think critically about how the architecture of this period was influenced not only by the technological limitations of the time but also the way that golf was played.
I believe that many of the golf courses built before the advent of the steam shovel, aka bull dozer,(with the exception of a few modern design) are as close to equating form and function than at any other time in golf construction. Some today would call Emmet's building style at St.George's minimalism, I say this is the logical practice of golf course construction.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
|#1 Green atop the hill|
My latest project has taken me back home, as luck would have it, only 30 minutes drive from a free meal at my parents house! I will be helping to restore the little known, yet impressive, Paramount Country Club in New City, NY. An A.W. Tillinghast design (1921), the golf course is part of the former estate of Adolph Zukor, movie mogul and founder of Paramount Pictures. Golf holes here rise and fall over very hilly terrain on the front nine and follow some more interesting fairway contours on the back nine as well. Many of the greens pitch steeply from back to front, a typical feature of many classically designed golf courses. Over the next two Fall seasons, Paramount Country Club will be receiving its due justice under the guidance of architect Jim Urbina and superintendant Brian Chapin. The scope of the restoration, outlined in Urbina's master plan, embraces the inherent history of early 20th century golf architecture, restoring original bunkering schemes and shapes and sizes of the greens. Paramount is a golf course with great bones in good hands, it will surely make a lasting impression.
#5 Featuring newly restored fairway bunkers