MAMARONECK, NEW YORK | When it comes to golf course design, the better layouts are true pieces of art and the architects who created them are virtuosos, able to imagine brilliant routings and transform raw land into splendid fields of play.
Those who practiced that craft more than a century ago were not able to employ heavy equipment, which meant they could not move much dirt. To build a great golf course, they had to discern the character of the terrain and make effective and efficient use of it. As for modern designers, the best are adept at shaping mounds and building bunkers and greens with bulldozers and backhoes, handling those diesel-fueled tools as skillfully as sculptors wield chisels.
Rare is the retreat where the artistry of architects from both design eras is evident. But that is what exists at Winged Foot Golf Club in the Westchester County burg of Mamaroneck, N.Y. The site of next year’s U.S. Open and located some 25 miles from midtown Manhattan, it is home to a pair of stellar courses, the East and the West. They ...
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