Golf Course Architecture - Issue 69, July 2022

22 Rees Jones has completed a renovation project at the historic Tuxedo Club close to New York City. The club was founded in 1886 and, legend has it, gave its name to the jacket in the same year, after member James Potter visited England and found the style to be de rigueur for a dinner with the Prince of Wales. On Potter’s return to America with new tailoring that was soon adopted across the club, the members’ jackets became eponymous as ‘tuxedos’. Tuxedo hosted America’s first interclub match in 1894, with Shinnecock Hills, and another later in the same year where teams from The Country Club and St Andrew’s also competed. More recently it was the proving ground for David Fay and Jay Mottola, both of whom served as caddies and on the grounds crew and would go on, in their time as executive directors of the USGA and Metropolitan Golf Association respectively, to be instrumental in bringing the US Open to New York’s publicly owned Bethpage Black. Tuxedo’s present golf course opened in 1957, laid out by Robert Trent Jones after construction of the New York Thruway forced a move from the previous site close to the main clubhouse. “It was a very exciting project for my father because it was such a high-end established club and he was able to select this wonderful, pristine piece of property within this natural area, where you really feel like you are away from the travails of life in the city, while also being so close to a major population base,” said Rees Jones. Set between mountains, Trent Jones’s routing on the valley f loor, and his green complexes, have survived to this day. The hazards, though, needed attention. Casey Klossner, the club’s director of agronomy, said: “The bunkers were very old, they hadn’t been touched in at least 25 years in some cases. That was affecting conditions, aesthetics and playability, so we really felt like it was time to reinvest in the property.” Jones was hired by the club – “the connection between him and his father with our property is definitely very important to our membership,” said Klossner – and, with his design associate Bryce Swanson, analysed every bunker for its effectiveness, playability and accessibility. A plan was devised to improve the performance of the hazards and in some cases adjust their size and placement to make them relevant to the modern game; “not just for the strong player, but for everybody,” noted Swanson. The most significant changes to bunker placement come at the par fives. “From my father’s time to my Jones fashions new look for Tuxedo TEE BOX