Michael Hurdzan is one of my favorite course architects. I have traveled to Columbus to play Cooks Creek and Golf Club of Dublin, and marvelled at his ability to make the challenge equitable for the duffer and the player. Subscribing to a theory espoused by Jones, MacKenzie and others, in which the initial target areas should be wide enough to accomodate all, while the precise ones should be, well, precise enough to challenge the best, is easy to say, difficult to pull off. I have dreamed of journeying north to play Devil’s Pulpit and Devil’s Paintbrush, near Toronto. These two private courses, brought to us courtesy of the men who invented Trivial Pursuit, are the greatest creations by Hurdzan and Co. to date.
Imagine, then, that a local municipality had the sense to hire Hurdzan back in the early 1990s, before he commanded the respect and the commisions of the new millennium. It happened in Cheektowaga, New York, on the eastern Buffalo border. The residents were thrilled, as they would finally get their town course, while local golf experts were champing at the bit (like horses) to play an outstanding new venue.
Fifteen years later, we have liftoff. Course development was postponed again and again, for reasons know only to Mark Felt and Judith Miller. Residents waited, and waited, and tired of waiting, waited some more. In the interim, wetlands developed, forcing a rerouting of the original 18. Talk about Waiting For Godot!
Two businessmen somehow pierced the layers of bureaucracy to jump-start the project. It is anticipated that the course will be open for play in 2007. Seventeen-year itch? You bet. And to think new local jem The Links At Ivy Ridge thought it held the record at ten years for development! Child’s play.
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