A restoration project at the Park Country Club in the Buffalo suburb of Williamsville, New York, is nearing completion.
The course at Park Country Club was originally designed by the Colt & Alison design firm, and hosted the 1934 PGA Championships.
The current project is being led by architect Ian Andrew, who has worked with the club for the past 15 years. Andrew developed a masterplan for the 18-hole track, with the aim of restoring, in his words, ‘the massive scale of the course.’
“We quickly turned to tree removal to return the playing corridors, open the views to the clubhouse and improve the growing environments,” he explained to GCA. “The next step was grassing lines. It started with recapturing the original green surfaces lost over the decades. This returned some tough corner pin locations. We then began to mow out the fairways and collars and continued to push for five consecutive years till we were confident that we had it perfect.”
Andrew explained that the fairways now run right into the fairway bunkers.
“The short grass around the greens runs about 30 feet on average away from the greens and in many cases ties into the next tees,” he said. “We wanted all the bunkers to be in play, so we eliminated all the rough that would save shots or affect the outcome of shots. This change was probably the most significant because we had impacted how it would play.”
The last phase of the work, and the one currently taking place, is the restoration of the course’s bunkering.
“We are restoring the original bunkers, mostly by returning the steep interior slopes that were softened in the past,” said Andrew. “We are also restoring all the altered bunkers using aerials and images to return the locations, depths and mound complexes. Lastly, we are taking a few well-placed, but flattish new bunkers and renovating them to Charles Alison’s style. This involves new angles, larger forms and depth. This is where the most impactful changes occur.”
The restoration will be completed in spring 2017.