|Hudson River Palisades - Paramount View|
Last Monday we had a number of Tillinghast luminaries playing including Bob Trebus and Rick Wolffe, perhaps the two men most responsible for creating the great Tillinghast literature that we have available to us at a celebration of Paramount. The occasion was the club's introduction to the Metropolitan Golf Writer's Association of this (last of the?) true hidden gem(s). Originally a personal course, it was constructed on a property comprising over 800 acres. The routing is however tight and central in the routing is the original estate main house as the clubhouse. Certainly a bit lost under the indistinct name of "Dellwood C.C." - now paying tribute to original origins the name - now Paramount pays tribute to the location as well. Dell started as a truly personal course for Adolph Zukor, more than 50 years head of the Paramount Studio in Hollywood, a nice nod to Mr. Zukor's legacy. His original name was The Dells Golf and Country Club before Dellwood but now known as Paramount it shows up on the proverbial radar. It was from the start intended to rival the local private clubs created in the more traditional way for a group of members. Recently the Mandelbaum family bought Dellwood with the intention of renovating it to greatness.
|Urbina holding Master Class|
Jim Urbina, best known as the on-site man for Renaissance Golf's Old MacDonald effort at Bandon Dunes has been hired to professionally restore lost Tillinghast features and sensitively add necessary changes for the modern day. I was fortunate to have lunch with Jim on Monday and I also want to give a nod to Phil Young, a fine author well-known in the circles for his writings on Arthur Warren Tillinghast who compiled a small history for the club on which I have relied to fact check some historical points. The work is not complete at this point and we were able to see Master Plan, work in progress and some just being completed. The majority of the greens just need some expansion and re-capture as the contouring is at times breathtaking (save the wholly blind and highly elevated first green) and at speed provide superior challenge. As with most golden age courses, bunkers have been removed and are being restored.
The first hole is really one of note with a daring drive across the highway followed by a vertical sixty foot elevated shot to the green.
|First looking to green from fairway short of road|
|First Green from Second Tee|
An enlarged green has been completed and short grass surrounds help keep delays to a minimum as there is challenge enough in the two shots required. A little more tree removal on the right near the second tee will make the hole more playable for more players as for now the right side of the fairway does not always allow a shot to the green. I'm not a particular proponent of "Fair", but one cannot dishearten the player too severely and certainly not at the start.
The second is just as it was on course opening, nearly 600 yards par 5 with a wicked slope downhill and to the player's right the entire way.
|First landing area on #2|
|Second landing area on #2|
Immediate on the card, one is offered a lovely version of Tillie's "Tiny Tim" playing 145 at most and uphill to a semi-blind (a common Paramount visual) green with more than a handful of slope to conquer. This is not a cupcake nor a breather in any way. Golf is so much better with this sort of hole rather than four 200-250 par threes on a course. The challenges it presents to all levels of golfers, especially while giving hope to even the weakest golfers for a possible birdie putt is more of what golf needs - especially in modern design where all too often it seems that 6-iron is the requirement on the "short hole" for the course.
|The "Tiny Tim"|
and Reef pictured -
- these being noted Tillinghast named holes with the 13th requiring 250 yards, a driver at opening create quite a set!
An Historical note - not just #18 (Reef) is a finishing par 3 but #9 is also a one-shotter completing the distinguished four with a short wetlands carry and a well-bunkered devil of a green for a mid-iron shot. Both nines finish on a par three hole and as far as I know this is unique.
|Reverse canted 12th fairway|
reverse-cant dog-leg (Not "Elbow" to the true Tillinghast student) holes playing as much as 50 yards longer than the card length to those requiring a long precise play in after a demanding tee shot.
Overall #10 comes closest to indifference as it is merely least quirky yet a fine hole. But as with what one comes to expect from Tillinghast, one does not struggle in the least to recall any hole at Paramount. There are heroic uphill tee shots such as the fourth,
|A True Skyline|
|Seventh Hole with O.B. Over the green|
|Staking of proposed bunker|
I've included just a smattering of photos as I plan to return to update. For example where
|Completed bunker by Urbina|
Consider this post merely an introduction.
|Fifth hole, Classic Tillinghast "Look"|
Paramount is perhaps the least well-known course of quality I have come across in quite a number of years. Stay with redanman for more.