HudsonMOD April May 2013 Issue

Page 59

Though rees Jones could base his massively successful business literally anywhere on the planet, he decided to stay close to home and chose montclair as the headquarters for his famed company. A man of vision, creativity and warmth, Jones’ list of awards is as impressive as any golf pro (he boasts a handicap of 9.6 and a career round of 71). pinning the busy Jones down wasn’t easy, but once we did we chatted about his various projects, what gives a New Jersey golf course its specific personality and the new design trends that await golfers. Sip on an Arnold palmer, and get ready to glean a little wisdom from a golf architect demigod.

What are some of the private residence courses you’ve designed?

New Jersey, we recently began planning efforts at Deal Golf & Country Club. Some of our other Jersey projects include Baltusrol GC, Hackensack GC, Echo lake CC, Canoe Brook CC, Essex Fells CC and montclair GC.

development and some long-term maintenance cost jumps, which are typically passed along to the golfer.

Tell us about your best day playing golf.

i’ve been very fortunate to enjoy so, so many great days, with great How did growing up in Keeping up with people, playing golf. i the Joneses “I grew up New Jersey influence mostly play golf with playing golf in Montclair, or change your career? so I feel very fortunate to friends and clients, but i grew up playing golf be able to work on many i’ve also played with in montclair, so i feel of the courses I played president Bush (41) as a young man.” very fortunate to be and president Clinton. able to work on many i’ve also played with of the courses i played as a young Sean Connery and Donald Trump and man. Over the years, i’ve become several well-known tour pros. well known for my work preparing Do you have a favorite golf hole on a golf courses for major championships; course you’ve designed? but that work is only a small my courses are like my children, so percentage of my portfolio. it’s impossible to have a favorite.

We’ve designed a handful of courses in private residences in the Northeast. These courses typically feature How does the natural landscape of four or five greens each designed New Jersey affect your design? and oriented to be accessible from The New Jersey landscape is quite multiple tee and fairway angles, diverse. Each site presents such that players can enjoy “MY courses a unique set of challenges a never-ending variety of and opportunities. For shot-making experiences. Are like MY example, the property at cHilDreN, so iT’s Are there any standout Deal Golf & Country Club, private courses you can which is near the coastline, iMpossible To tell us about? is more gently rolling, with HAve A fAvoriTe.” One exception i can surely minimal rock. in contrast, discuss is our “Three ponds the Forest Course at Farm” project in Bridgehampton, Ny. Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in in the mid-1990s, my good friends Bedminster is much more rugged. Ed and Cheryl Gordon asked me to How has sustainability affected you? design a fun and challenging short more designers, operators and course on their estate. superintendents are now re-thinking Are there any golf course projects in traditional standards. We’re trying New Jersey in the works? to reduce the physical footprint of yes. We’re currently working on quite the golf course, especially those a few renovation projects all over more intensely maintained areas, New Jersey and the Northeast. in which translates into lower purchase,

Would you say there are any new trends in golf course design? Any features you especially like doing? i think most architects are refocusing attention on overall playability. We still want to design courses with diversity and challenge, but it’s very important that players of all skill levels be able to enjoy their rounds and not be intimidated by forced carries and penal features. Above all, we want to deliver an enjoyable experience. This approach will not only help retain current players, but also helps attract a wide demographic of new players, all of which leads to a healthier sport.

What’s your favorite golf course—it can be anywhere on the planet? The next one i design because it will be a culmination of all my ideas.

April/mAy 2013 HUDSONMOD