'New' Paramount Country Club Nears Completion

By: Jay Flemma

The restoration of the golf course at Paramount Country Club in New City, N.Y., is just about done.

Originally laid out in 1920 by the great A.W. Tillinghast, Paramount is nearing the end of an 18-month-long project to return the course to its original form. Under the leadership of architect Jim Urbina, nearly every one of the 18 holes has been tweaked, from minor cosmetic work to the reintroduction of bunkers, shifting of fairways, and reestablishing the angles of approach.

"We're finishing up on the back nine," said Urbina, who has made regular visits to the club since spring 2011, and has worked closely with course superintendent Brian Chapin and his crew. "Generally, the big stuff is done. For example, the 'Reef Hole,' the par-3 18th, is finished. We're all very excited as it is now the only existing 'reef-type' hole in existence, a true Tillinghast original."

Among the holes awaiting work are the short par-4 11th (called "The Oblique") and the long par-4 15th (which Tillinghast explained as having many different lines of attack). Original Tillinghast bunkers, which disappeared over the years, will be reinstated, while fairway lines will be shifted slightly.

"What remains are some of the most interesting holes Tillinghast did," noted Urbina, who has restored a number of archetypal courses, including San Francisco Golf Club (originally laid out by Tillinghast), Pasatiempo (Alister MacKenzie), Yeamans Hall Club (Seth Raynor), and Garden City (Devereux Emmet and Walter Travis), to name a few.

"I'm also putting back bunkers on the 250-yard, par-3 13th hole," says Urbina, who added, "When the hole was 240 yards, 'Tillie' talked about a one-shot hole where you had to use a wood driver that required the player to execute a long shot. He said that was a true test of golf, and that was way back in 1921! A hole with that length was unheard of, but Tillinghast knew the game was changing and even in that era, the ball and clubs were traveling farther."

Urbina - who was recently in town to showcase the changes to members of the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association - expects the work to be completed soon. "The plan is to start October 8 and be done by Thanksgiving. Then we'll all have something to be thankful for. Absolutely!"

For more information about Paramount Country Club, visit www.paramountcountryclub.com or call 845/634-4626.