The release of Grove City Golf Club, inspired by Garden City Golf Club on Long Island, concludes the first round of showcases for the OG Design Series. I may have mentioned this in the previous showcase, but I am extremely happy with the courses that have resulted from this idea. When evaluating courses that I would want to play in real life to satisfy my curiosity with golf course design, a first 5 of Sleepy Hollow, Ballyneal, St Louis CC, Kingston Heath, and Garden City is an all-star lineup. The variety of 3 classic American Golden Age designs, 1 classic Australian Sandbelt design, and one modern design worked out very nicely. I am
thrilled that 5 talented designers got to study these gems and take design inspirations from them, and that the community now has an additional set of architecturally interesting courses to play.
Another thing that I think I mentioned in the previous showcase is how the hole proximity at Heatherton Kings reminded me of Merion a little bit. Well this course has a ton of Merion feel to it (I guess all signs are indicating that it’s time for me to finish my Merion port to TGC 2019 soon?). The proximity and long views across the course are similar, but really it’s the quirkiness that gave me the most vibes. It’s very rare at this course that you get a straightforward fairway that runs straight and all of the way from the landing zone to the green.
The highlight of the round to me was the 9th hole. It is by no means a long hole, but the sharp dogleg and scattering of bunkers on the inside of the dogleg really offered so many options off of the tee. Over the course of 3 rounds and with 3 different winds, I think I played my tee shot differently each time.
Designer Notes – PithyDoctorG
I selected Garden City Golf Club as the inspiration for this course for two reasons. First is its uniqueness among classic American golf courses. It is completely landlocked and on a fairly flat piece of property and is mostly treeless. Nevertheless, it is full of interest due to its well designed holes, sandy soil, and extensive small scale undulations. Second, I thought that creating an interesting and challenging course that was not overly long, was fairly flat, and had subtle greens would really challenge me as a designer.
While I did not attempt to recreate any of the holes at Garden City at Grove City Golf Club, I did incorporate several notable features from Garden City. Garden City’s greens are on the small-ish side and full of subtle contours. With my greens, I tried to minimize the amount of yellow slopes and avoid red slopes altogether, but made them very fast and very firm, such that placing one’s approach below the hole is paramount to scoring well.
I also tried to minimize drastic elevation changes. The largest tee-to-green elevation change at Grove City is probably about 15 feet, though I must confess that I did slightly elevate a few tees and a number of greens for aesthetic reasons (holes 6, 13, and 15 at Grove City probably have more elevation change than any hole at Garden City).
Garden City is also known for its very deep bunkers, many of which have steep grass faces (and stairs leading down into them!), though in studying the course, I found that there were also many different bunker styles throughout the course, including small trenches gouged out of the turf as well as some meandering waste bunkers. I tried to imbue Grove City’s bunkers with a similar variety.
A couple of other quirks and features that were incorporated include: 1) an abandoned sand quarry (coming into play on holes 1 and 2 at Garden City; holes 3, 4, and 16 at Grove City); 2) a large pond that doesn’t really come into play at Garden City, but does impact play on holes 8 and 12 at Grove City; 3) A very large 18th green that doubles as the practice putting green.