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phan52

Philadelphia Cricket Club reconstruction

36 posts in this topic

PCC was the site of two US Opens in the early 20th Century, on a nine hole course that still exists. AW Tillinghast built their first 18 hole track in 1921, one of the finest layouts in the Philly region.  I used to caddie there back in the 60's and 70's. They have built another great 18 hole track in the last 10 years, but the old course is still be better golf course IMO.The club is now spending a small fortune to reconstruct the old course, using 21st Century technology to upgrade the greens complexes and the overall turf conditions. You can keep up with their progress on the Greens Super's blog.

http://philacricketgm.blogspot.com/

Time lapse photography of the updating of an almost 100 year old green complex (5th green). This green was tilting so badly that there were very few usable pin placements any more. Everything ran off to the right.

An explanation of how the reconstruction will improve the green.

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Philly Cricket is doing the same thing to the Wissahickon course. it also was designed by Tillinghast but i think a year or two later. they did a digital mapping of the entire thing so it can be replaced exactly to the same standards it was, it is also having the greens and bunkers redone. it is scheduled to reopen june of 14.

from some of the old pictures i have seen it is amazing how much a course changes over 100 years. last time i played there the caddie showed me a few of the orgininal designs that were going to be restored. example on 10 there is a lip around the green about 12 or 16 high - the caddie said it is being restored to flat because the lip is just build up from 90 years of bunker shots....

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Originally Posted by Lefty-Golfer

Philly Cricket is doing the same thing to the Wissahickon course. it also was designed by Tillinghast but i think a year or two later. they did a digital mapping of the entire thing so it can be replaced exactly to the same standards it was, it is also having the greens and bunkers redone. it is scheduled to reopen june of 14.

from some of the old pictures i have seen it is amazing how much a course changes over 100 years. last time i played there the caddie showed me a few of the orgininal designs that were going to be restored. example on 10 there is a lip around the green about 12 or 16 high - the caddie said it is being restored to flat because the lip is just build up from 90 years of bunker shots....

I guess I wasn't more specific, but that IS the Wissahickon course. I've just always called it the old course every since they built the new Militia Hill course.

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Time lapse video of the restoration of a cross hazard area on a par 5 that was part of the original design but had been lost over the years.

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That is so cool! I can't wait to see the final results on this course. Thanks for posting these videos. There is also a thread on the golfclubatlas.com about this restoration.

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Originally Posted by MSchott

That is so cool! I can't wait to see the final results on this course. Thanks for posting these videos. There is also a thread on the golfclubatlas.com about this restoration.

There is also an article at golfclubatlas.com written in 2007 from a member who was lobbying to get the intrusive trees removed.

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/in-my-opinion/a-cry-for-the-golf-course-by-gib-carpenter/

He apparently won that argument because they removed almost every tree from the property a few years ago, even before they approved the restoration. The course is light years better without the trees, and I can't wait to play it after the restoration. Very exciting developments.

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Sorry, I thought your original post was referring to Philly Country Club. the 5 th green at cricket was out of control. With the slope and the tier in the middle. When the greens were fast it was virtually impossible to stop the ball.

I will be curious to see #15 when they are done the renovation. I was told they are going to lengthen it (obviously 200 yd par 3 is to short) and move the T-box over towards the 13 th T and the 14 th green. I am not sure how that is all going to fit since it is kind of tight there. I hated 15 the way it was configured so it can only be an improvement in my opinion.

I think course is going to vastly improved and look forward to playing it again next summer.

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Sorry, I thought your original post was referring to Philly Country Club. the 5[SUP]th[/SUP] green at cricket was out of control. With the slope and the tier in the middle. When the greens were fast it was virtually impossible to stop the ball. I will be curious to see #15 when they are done the renovation. I was told they are going to lengthen it (obviously 200 yd par 3 is to short) and move the T-box over towards the 13[SUP]th[/SUP] T and the 14[SUP]th[/SUP] green. I am not sure how that is all going to fit since it is kind of tight there. I hated 15 the way it was configured so it can only be an improvement in my opinion. I think course is going to vastly improved and look forward to playing it again next summer.

They are moving the tee box on 15 to the left toward 14 green because that was the original design. Much better angle of attack. They have also removed that hedge that was right up against the right side of the green so there is a little room over there now. The hole should play much more fair.

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i actually ran into one of the pros from cricket yesterday, he said they are a little behind schedule but the changes have been dramtic and they a real excitted to get it back open next year. not mention it has to be a major PIA to miss half of your golf club for an entire summer!

The it is amazing how much the course changed from the 1938 pictures to modern ones, not just trees but the bunkering as well. it is going to be an entirely different course.

My buddy who takes me there has a story from a couple years ago after they cutdown many of the trees. he was in a match and his opponent won #17 with a par...it was an interesting approach. from the 17th T the drove it onto 13 green, took a drop and hit it onto #1 green, took a drop and put a wedge onto the top tier and made par putt...crazy.

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Time lapse construction of #3 and #10 greens.

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The progress they have made to date is astounding. Really hard to believe that they may open sometime next spring. I drive by there often and this is not just a tee-green-bunker project. They have redone the entire golf course.

www.philacricketgm.blogspot.com

We are happy to report that ALL Wissahickon greens have been sodded !  Given the full-scale nature of our project, achieving this within three months is a major accomplishment!  We are very appreciative of the team we have in place that made it all happen.

Medalist Golf - Members might be surprised to know that each green requires about twenty, 23-ton truckloads of greensmix and gravel.  In addition, Medalist has to excavate twenty truckloads of material from each green cavity prior to construction.  Balancing the management of all of this activity around the weather, and all the other course-wide activities is quite a chore.

Tanto Irrigation- The sodding of any feature following fine-grading triggers the passing of responsibility from Medalist to PCC Staff.  With irrigation needing to be installed between this transition, there is a tremendous amount of pressure applied daily to our irrigation contractor to quickly finish their work so sodding can proceed.  Tanto employees have worked feverishly, often times in sync of the contractor, to ensure we transition smoothly from construction mode to course-conditioning mode.

East Coast Sod- Initial communications with East Coast Sod began when I first started at Philly Cricket, nearly five years ago.  Last August, almost a year before our project began, East Coast seeded our greens at their farm in New Jersey and has nurtured them carefully ever since.  Their specialized staff is the best at laying greens sod, and they have installed all our greens, tee, and approach sod.

Keith Foster- Keith spends much more time on-site than most golf course architects, and the club benefits from that in numerous ways.  Regarding greens, there were many days where Keith stayed much later in the evening than originally planned to help us achieve approvals on final grading.  This allowed us to sod the very next day.

PCC Staff- It is often difficult for individuals to execute cautiously, yet relentlessly, but this is exactly what our staff is doing in executing our intense greens grooming program.

In particular, I have been very proud of Drew Barnett, our Wissahickon Superintendent.  Between sand, gravel, and sod, this project is requiring over 1,000 truckloads of material; and all material invoices are being purchased through the club, not the contractor.  Drew and our Administrative Assistant, Patricia Tobon, have done an outstanding job tracking everything accurately.  Their skill and discipline allow me to forecast spending ahead of billing, and manage the project with confidence.  Drew is also accomplishing this while overseeing all our employees' daily tasks, and performing tasks himself.

Restoration Committee - Dr. Greg Guyer and the Restoration Committee deserve a lot of credit.  With weekly meetings, committee members have given a tremendous amount of their personal time to the club to ensure we are restoring the course to a state where members will enjoy it for many years.  They are doing this while honoring AW Tillinhast's original design intent, and considering all golfing levels of our membership.

PCC members- Thanks for your patience and cooperation.  Allowing us to work uninhibited has allowed the work to proceed at blazing speed while remaining on budget.  We expect a very enjoyable fall season as we bring the rest of the project home in the coming weeks and months. Most important, we look forward to handing the course back to you on schedule, sometime in the spring of 2014!

Please feel free to visit our blog at www.philacricketgm.blogspot.com to view updated photos.  Members can also follow us constantly on Twitter.  Our handle is @PCC1854Grounds .

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The par 3 15th hole will be one of the more drastically changed holes. But the main thing is that it will more true to the original design. The tee box had been moved too far to the right and left little room for error, as the green was tight to OB on the right.  The new tee box is moved to the left, closer to the 14th green, like Tillinghast built the hole. They have been able to make a deal with the owner of the adjacent property and have removed the hedges that were tight to the green and now the hole is more dynamic and challenging.

Old...

All those trees to the left have been removed to enable the true line to the green. There were two awful bunkers on the left, replaced by one large, maintenance friendly one.

New...

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Old # 14

New #14, the original design.

Old #17

New #17. Dirt path is for construction vehicles to be fixed later.

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this is going to be am entirely different golf course next year. the bunker changes/adds are pretty dramatic, the green elevations, some of the angles off the T.

i am looking forward to playing it next spring. The Mulica Hill course may be a ghost town for a little while.

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Old 15th. Notice the tree line on the right and how the green is pinched by the trees and a row of hedges.

New 15th. Different angle obviously, but look at all the room to the right now. They cleard out all the trees and have some room to the right of the green. You can't see it, but the tee has been moved a little to the left to create a much better angle of attack.

Old 16th. Tired old hole, with all kinds of double jeopardy with the bunkers and trees.

New 16th. Challenging original bunkering, without the trees. The tee box in both pictures is a forward tee.

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Before and after. Awesome. All it takes is money.

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