Golf Course Architecture - Issue 73, July 2023

30 ERIC IVERSON OPINION I was familiar with William Flynn’s design work before our team took on the project to restore Denver’s Cherry Hills, the centuryold site of this year’s US Amateur Championship. But I would soon learn a great deal more. We had spent the summer and fall of 2002 outside of Philadelphia, working with Tom Doak on his second course at Stonewall. While I missed a couple of Flynn courses, I got a pretty good dose of his work while in the area. For me, Flynn was easier to identify with than most of his contemporaries; he got into design and construction at a very young age, and did so, in part, through the interest he developed from being an avid player in his youth. He wasn’t influenced by courses in the UK as many of his contemporaries were. Instead, he relied on finding inspiration from the graceful contours of the land he was working on. I came away thinking he built beautiful greens with plenty of slope, yet subtle undulations within them that made for great golf. The first thing that stood out on our initial visit to Cherry Hills were trees, trees, and more trees! We couldn’t achieve anything of substance, like restoring greens and bunkers, until we started getting rid of many of the planted trees on the property. That’s a pretty standard refrain when consulting on older courses, particularly when we began talking with Cherry Hills back in 2006. As the trees came down, the longrange views emerged. It became clear that Flynn had taken great care in laying out the course. His third hole is lined up directly on Mount Evans, the tee shot on five directly toward Longs Peak, and the tenth toward the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountain National Park. These things don’t happen by accident. Bunkers had been added and restyled, and two green complexes had been completely redesigned. The rest of the course was pretty well preserved and just needed to be presented more like it was originally by Flynn. Eric Iverson describes how Renaissance Golf Design uncovered elements that make Cherry Hills a Golden Age treasure. Restoring a classic “ As the trees came down, the long-range views emerged. It became clear that Flynn had taken great care in laying out the course”