‘Reef Hole’ nears completion

‘Reef Hole’ nears completion
By Sean Dudley

The Paramount Country Club, New York, is due to unveil the restoration of its classic ‘Reef Hole’ in the coming weeks.

The hole, which was originally designed in 1920 by AW Tillinghast, was given its name because of the angled ridge in front of the green and bunkers around it. Tilinghast wrote at the time that he came up with the name ‘Reef’ because “of the diagonal spine which suggested treacherous reef water outside the harbour”.

The design, which was unique to Tillinghast, was repeated across a limited number of holes none of which exist today.

Jim Urbina, the architect in charge of the restoration of the reef 18th, and the Paramount course as a whole, has based his work on Tillinghast’s book and aerial images showing the original.

“Cross bunkers did exist as depicted in Tillinghast’s drawings in his book, The Course Beautiful,” he said. “They had been filled in so we cored them out, stripping sod off the ground and using an excavator to scratch away the dirt. We were hoping to find remnants of old sand and sure enough, we did.”

The Reef was designed to be played many different ways: laying up short of the ‘reef’ and then over; flying the ridge and landing short of the green; using the mounds on the side of the green to kick the ball toward the hole; or aiming straight at the flag.

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