Bunker Work Continues at Historic Old Elm

JDR to lead WORK ON Colt/Ross CLASSIC

Highland Park, IL – After a successful Phase I in the wet spring of ’13, JDR will lead a team to continue the reinstatement of H.S. Colt’s classic design.  As the story goes, Colt designed the course in 1913 and then handed off the construction to a somewhat lesser known architect of the day, a budding talent by the name of Donald Ross.  

Joining forces with JDR on this special effort is David Zinkand.   Zinkand, a talented architect in his own right, is primarily leading the shaping efforts but will also be collaborating with JDR on many of the visioned details associated with the bunker and restoration work.

The Club celebrated its Centennial this summer and is now set to finish the restoration of the originally intended bunkering, including the “torn” edging described in Colt’s plans.

When complete, the course will have concluded a 5-year restoration effort that includes the bunkers, fairway and green configurations, tree clearing, rough restoration and new irrigation. 

Noted golf writer and historian, Adam Lawrence, visited the Club in 2012 and had this to say about Old Elm, “ I can honestly say that I have NEVER seen a course like Old Elm in the US, and in the description of the place that I gave to several people at the ASGCA meeting, I referred to the club as the American equivalent of Swinley Forest or Morfontaine.  The work you are doing to return the course more to its 1913 feel is quite remarkable. If you are able to find a way of successfully naturalising some of your out of play areas - whether via heather or some other solution - and perhaps making some of the bunkers a little more rugged, then I think you will have completed one of the most impressive restoration programmes in the US.”

The work is scheduled to begin in mid September and conclude in late November.