Barry Jordan to continue Ross restoration at Brook-Lea in spring 2024

  • Brook-Lea
    John Altobello

    On the eighth hole at Brook-Lea, architect Barry Jordan has reinstated a back-left bunker and restored the other three

  • Brook-Lea
    Jordan Golf Design

    Jordan’s restoration masterplan for the 1926 Donald Ross design

  • Brook-Lea
    Jordan Golf Design

    The architect is reinstating bunkers that had been lost, including 10 on holes fourteen and fifteen

  • Brook-Lea
    Brook-Lea Country Club

    Historic photography helped Jordan piece together the original layout

  • Brook-Lea
    Jordan Golf Design

    “The club is in possession of all 18 original hole notes and sketches done by Donald Ross and a corresponding set of green sheets,” says Jordan

  • Brook-Lea
    Jordan Golf Design

    Spectacle bunkers on Brook-Lea’s fifteenth have been reintroduced

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Barry Jordan will return to Brook-Lea Country Club in Rochester, New York, in spring 2024 for a second phase of work following a restoration masterplan created by the architect and approved by the club in 2022.

“The project includes an extensive bunker renovation, green expansions, fairway expansions, drainage, tree removal and establishing native grass and seasonally mowed areas,” said Jordan.

The 18-hole course was originally designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1926. During the course’s construction, the club decided to move the planned location of the clubhouse and while the holes remain in the locations set by Ross, the sequencing has changed, with both nines finishing with a par three.

Jordan’s masterplan was developed with reference to historic materials, including an original blueprint of the routing plan. The architect has also been assisted with restoration research by Brook-Lea’s historian Bob Graham and Ross historian Brad Klein.

“The club is in possession of all 18 original hole notes and sketches done by Donald Ross and a corresponding set of green sheets,” said Jordan. “The course contains a wonderful collection of holes that wind their way across the landscape, moving through both moderately rolling topography and linksy flatter terrain. Little Black Creek runs across, along, and through several holes, hence the name Brook-Lea.”

The project team, which includes Matthew Staffieri of contractor MAS Golf Construction, also uncovered articles documenting changes to the surfaces of three greens during the first decade of the course, which saw those putting surfaces flattened out. “Our plan is to restore those greens to their original forms based on the green sheets prepared by Ross,” said Jordan. The architect plans to rebuild and recontour the fifth, ninth and eighteenth greens to restore their original character, playability and pin positions.

“We will also be eliminating misguided changes from various architects that have occurred over the past 30 years. There are historic articles referencing Ross’s design intentions – mostly bunkers – and the club’s decision to postpone the construction of several bunkers. Those bunkers will now be installed as part of the renovation.” Once complete, a total of 18 bunkers will be removed, 44 restored and 57 added.

“The work is bringing back to life the strategy, character and brilliance of the original design,” said Jordan.