Cherry Hills Country Club

Cherry Hills Country Club was born in 1922 from wealthy businessmen in the city and carved from the earth by well-known designer william Flynn, who charged the princely sum of $4,500 for his architectural services. Flynn was best known for his redesign of shin-necock hills on long island (site of the 2004 u.s. open) and he routed a golf course worthy of national recognition. But, as anyone knows, you can’t just buy tradi-tion. this intangible is earned over time, stamped with the seal of approval by those who have walked its fairways and become champions under the most challenging of conditions. cherry hills certainly has earned its place on the american golf landscape. not only have eight usGa competitions been held here, but also two PGa championships have been staged on the 7,000-plus-yard layout. the champions have included some of the game’s greats: arnold Palmer, Jack nicklaus, Phil mickelson, Jay sigel, hubert Green, andy north, ralph Guldahl, Vic Ghezzi and lewis oehmig. and in June 2005, cherry hills welcomed another usGa championship, the u.s. women’s open. By hosting the women’s open, cherry hills joined winged Foot Golf club in mamaroneck, n.Y., and hazeltine national Golf club in chaska, minn., as the only courses to have hosted the u.s. open, u.s. senior open, u.s. amateur and u.s. women’s open.“the first thing the usGa looks at when selecting a site is the golf course,” said Betse hamilton, the usGa’s director of the u.s. women’s open champion-ship. “and it’s no secret that the usGa loves to come to cherry hills.”

William Flynn Began his career as the construction supervisor at merion and remained on as superintendent for a short time helping establish the course. he would continue to be involved with merion assisting wilson in 1924 with a major renovation and eventually would make his own modi-fications to a series of holes leaving the general layout we know today. there are many who feel Flynn should get a co-design credit at merion. Flynn partnered up with howard toomey just after ww1 with Flynn the designer and toomey handling the engineering side of the work. they remained partners through to 1933. Flynn hired and trained a series of great assistants and future architects includ-ing red lawrence, william Gordon and dick wilson. Flynn was particularly active around Philadelphia producing a series of solid golf courses which com-pete with each other for attention. the culmination of an excellent career had to be shinnecock hills where he had his finest site and certainly produced his greatest work. Praise for the work: william Flynn was one of golf warchitecture’s greatest strategists. his routing skill was certainly one strength of his work. he transi-tioned to working with the land or running intention-ally hard against the contour when he wanted to increase the challenge. he is one of the few architects to really embrace the intentional use of hard cross-slopes and reverse cants to really ratchet up the pressure and dif-ficulty on his courses. while some would dismiss this as a poor choice in the routing, this is far cleverer than most would give him credit for. he meticulously planned out his courses from the routing through to detailed design on paper. Flynn’s drawings were certainly the most detailed of any architect of the time and it’s still quite amazing to go out to one of his courses and see how well his plans translated to the field. Flynn also made site changes or came back to make improve-ments to his courses, often providing more detailed drawings, which make following his intent easier than just about any architect from that era.

From The Collection Magazine
“Cherry Hills Country Club
by William Hauptman

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