Photos: A decade-long restoration of major championship site Cherry Hills near Denver completes

Oct, 2022

Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver is happy to welcome 100 .

Cherry Hills Village is the home of Arnold Palmer’s 1960 U.S. Open win. The club has been restoring its William Flynn-designed golf course for ten years. It opened in 1923. Cherry Hills has hosted three U.S. Opens, two PGA Championships and one U.S. Women’s Open. Opens, two PGA Championships and one U.S. Women’s Open were all held at Cherry Hills. Amateurs. It will host the 2023 Amateur.

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The Renaissance Golf Design team of Eric Iverson and Tom Doak, an architect, restored many greens to their original sizes to match Flynn’s original intent. Bunkers were also reworked in order to restore their original intent. For example, the cross bunkering of the 17 thhole was restored. This was the first par-5 to have an island green in the U.S.

Most striking of all, Little Dry Creek was made more active on several holes.

Doak was commissioned by the club to create a plan for restoration that would focus on strategy and add length as necessary to ensure future championships. Cherry Hills was tied for No. The third-ranked Colorado private course was 70 on Golfweek’s Best 2022 List of Classic Courses Built Before 1960 in the U.S.

Nos. 7 and 14 of the Cherry Hills Country Club, Denver (Courtesy Cherry Hills/Brian Walters).

Cherry Hills President David Keyte stated that Eric Iverson and Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design had made William Flynn’s design more modern. This was in a press release announcing completion of the project. In 2022, we celebrated 100 years of club membership. In 2023, we will celebrate the centennial of Cherry Hills’ first round of golf, which coincides perfectly with our hosting of the U.S. Open. It is exciting to be an amateur. Next summer, the restored shot values will be on display to remind golfers of Cherry Hills’ inexplicable history as a championship venue.

Read more from this media release

The Renaissance team also restored the famed cross bunkering on hole 17 (which has the first island green on par 5 in the U.S.), and other strategic bunker work on holes 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 14, 14 and 16 _. To ensure that all greens conform to the Flynn plans, holes 3 and 13 had their green complexes completely restored. Numerous holes were also lengthened to reflect the new game’s advances. A major tree-management program was also implemented. New tee boxes were installed on holes 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 16.

“Flynn’s innovative routing of Cherry Hills is truly a unique course among the Top 100. The first nine weaves are a figure 8 on the inside, while the second nine wraps around the perimeter in a clockwise circle. Cherry Hills is one the few courses that has this unique “Muirfield Plan”, named after Muirfield, a Scottish legend.

The restoration included the return to the original alignment of Little Dry Creek. This creek runs through the property. It was re-engineered to manage water flow and flood risk. It was moved from its banks to be closer to the 7th green. The 8th hole has been redesigned. 14 green, near the front of 15 th green. Flynn restored the original dimensions. Then, it was down the 16 thfairway, and along that green.

Iverson stated in the media release that Flynn routed holes and used strategy based upon Little Dry Creek. The creek’s current play on these important holes provides exceptional strategy and challenges for these famous approach shots. For example, holes 14 and 16 are among the most challenging par 4s in the nation. However, with the creek getting closer to each green, shot values and the premium on the angles into each green are unbeatable.

Flynn also designed Shinnecock Hills, Long Island, New York, The Country Club at Brookline in Massachusetts, and the Kittansett Club, Marion, Massachusetts. He also made significant contributions to Pine Valley, New Jersey, and Merion, Pennsylvania.

Below are some shots taken by Evan Schiller and Brian Walters of Cherry Hills.

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