Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pennsylvania, USA, has appointed Riley Johns and Keith Rhebb to restore its William Flynn-designed golf course, which originally opened in 1926.
The architects – who received widespread praise for their first project together, the renovation of the nine-hole Winter Park course in Orlando, Florida – have established a project team that includes Don Mahaffey for construction and the club’s superintendent Brian Chapin.
“Rolling Green’s membership definitely makes this project,” said Rhebb. “It’s an honour to work together with relatable and insightful people who appreciate and embrace their design heritage.”
Johns and Rhebb have Flynn’s original 1925 plans for the course and have gathered additional archive material to establish how it was built and evolved over its first few years of existence in 1926-28. “It’s these three years we are focusing our attention on,” said Johns. “We discovered a 1928 aerial while doing research at Penn State University which is very useful in helping us determine if there were any changes immediately following the first two years of operation.”
When asked whether their design would account for advances in technology and distance, Johns said: “Reconciling technology with a classic layout isn’t our primary focus at Rolling Green. Restoring the course as faithfully and authentically as possible is our primary mandate.”
“Flynn’s designs almost seemed ahead of his time,” added Rhebb. “We recently toured a variety of his courses. Time and again I thought a club had made changes to make it relevant for today’s players, only to find out it was Flynn’s original plan.”
A full interview with Riley Johns and Keith Rhebb will appear in the July 2018 edition of Golf Course Architecture magazine. Visit our subscription page to sign up for a printed copy or a free digital edition.