Before and after: The architect’s notes on Fox Chapel’s restoration to Seth Raynor layout

Golf courses rarely remain static. Fairway widths change over time, as do bunker shapes and green sizes and undulations. Some alterations are by design while others happen naturally as time, use and weather take their toll.

Such was the case at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh, which originally was designed by legendary golf architect Seth Raynor and opened in 1925. Raynor, who frequently worked with C.B. Macdonald, adopted his mentor’s approach of using templated holes and geometric shapes that have gained fame among golf architecture fans, sporting names such as Biarritz and Lions Mouth based on features that normally affect approach shots and dictate strategy.

In the case of Fox Chapel, another legendary designer, A.W. Tillinghast, modified the course in the 1930s, and more changes were made in the ensuing decades. Much of the Raynor influence had been lost.

The club wished to restore the Raynor design to its original layout, and in 2014 began work with Fazio Design to develop a long-range master plan. A renovation was led by Tom Marzolf, senior design associate at Fazio Design, and the course reopened late in 2020 with the template holes restored.

Fox Chapel ranked No. 63 on the 2021 Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses list for all courses built before 1960 in the United States, and it was No. 4 in Pennsylvania on Golfweek’s Best Private Courses list.

Check out four examples of how the course looked before the restoration and how they play today, complete with the architectural notes on all the work that was done.

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By: Jason Lusk
Title: Before and after: The architect's notes on Fox Chapel's restoration to Seth Raynor layout
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Published Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2021 13:00:33 +0000

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