I am currently in the process of gaining approval on a new design of the course, that will change quite a bit of the course. There is a trail being proposed through holes 7-8-9, and safety being my primary concern (you may have seen the markers on the course already) is leaning towards a redevelopment of the course.
Some of the items that I am hoping to help:
Elimination of the hole #17--This hole although grand and majestic at one point is flawed without the guardian tree that was by the short placement. Compound that with the housing close by and incidents over time that have occurred during events, and casual play it makes sense to work away from that area. As such, what I am leaning towards is moving the existing pad about 150'-200' towards the south and then play back towards the current #18.
Additional wooded holes-- "New holes #1 & #2"-I want to carve into the woods to the West of current #2 a couple of holes to play to start off. They will be tighter holes, not real long, but tight enough to warrant a tough shot component where accuracy will be the key on them both.
New areas to be worked on within the park--I want to "expand" our footprint within the park area, and utilize portions of the park not being used now. There are a couple of reasons, first, I think that we owe it to the park to make the trash issue around the course minimal in most areas, and we have done that in many parts already, and secondly because the park does have so many options, it is silly not to explore them all. This is also a big part of the notion that I have always had of someone being able to view Chestnut from current # 11 tee. Exposing all that land, and trees would enable us/others to enjoy the land that is there, this park is a beautiful park. Having it all open for everyone will enable us to work towards less trash/illegal dumping within the park.
More Cliffs exposed--I think that there is a hole in the park that I have longed for, and it is a transition hole that should make even those disappointed with the removal of 7-8-9 as we know it, happy and proud. It will be a part of the overall impression of the park for thousands to view, and in turn will also drive that awareness of our sport to those passing by. I am so excited about this new hole that I am giddy, but am working on an egress to ensure that it flows properly.
There are a few pitfalls in my design ideas, and I have basically removed 3 holes, but will only leave 9 current holes in the configuration with the re-design. It's sad that somethings need to change, but in some respect it is awesome, and flattering that the work that we have done over the past 12 years out there is now at a point that others want to enjoy it on a larger and more grander scale. This trail is part of the connection trail that will get all the bike paths aligned to synch up, and is something needed to increase positive activity.
The changes will start to move once I get everyone on board from the P&R to help the process along, and ensure it's success is done quickly and systematically. I was very sad/angry at the initial thought about the trail, but then I started to envision a better course with more options and design quality to fix some the less than spectacular holes that are out there. I feel that the design ideas that I am working on will enable this to happen, and also create holes that won't be as repetitive on the current back 9 that I feel are. I am also taking into consideration that the trees that are out there will not always be there, and though we will be planting trees out there, coming up with designs that may minimize their need was important to me. Thus utilizing the existing wooded areas that we look at, but may not use is something that I feel needs/must be explored.
This will leave me with a wonderful change of a course from what I already feel is solid, to a place that I feel will make us all even prouder to have. Yet I will be sad that we will miss some holes that we all love.
The design group is looking at ways to alter the path, but I don't see it. Only time will tell!