A few weeks ago I was hired to work with Glens Falls Country Club, a beautiful Donald Ross course north of Albany, New York. I spent Friday on site helping the club change some grassing lines on the course.
I follow a great architectural legacy here. Last year Gil Hanse provided a report for the club that recommended quite a bit of tree removal and widening out the grassing lines to bring the bunkering back into play. I was fortunate to receive a copy and after visiting the course I can honestly say he provided the club with excellent advice. I will work from his report.
Before Gil was hired the club worked with Brian Silva who helped (mainly) with a bunker renovation. His bunker work was very well done and I plan to send him a note to let him know how much I enjoyed his work. Before that was Geoff Cornish. The original design is Donald Ross. The club has been prudent and barely altered any of the original course beyond a few back tees. The work that has been done recently has been very well thought through.
Glens Falls would be best described as a wild rollercoaster through the forests of upper New York State. The course features some of the biggest ups and downs I have seen in quite some time and the variation in how the land was used is a tantamount to how good Donald Ross was at identifying excellent holes. There is nothing flat from the fairways to the greens and there are so many truly innovative features added including the one of a kind green on the 5th.
I feel very fortunate to be working with such a great course. As strange as it sounds, I’ll have a lot of fun making very few changes. My goal is to help them get the grassing lines right. We’ll also probably remove a few more key trees and shift some paths further out of view over time. We may even soften a green that averages 5% and restore a bunker or two but nothing big. Beyond a tee or two I hope nobody ever knows I worked there.
I finished up the day with Chris, Doc and many of the other wonderful members I met and thought how lucky I was.