Paramount CC renovates its Tillinghast course

Paramount Country Club
Paramount Country Club
Paramount Country Club, founded by movie mogul Adolph Zukor, entertained the stars of both Broadway and Hollywood.
By John Holmes

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, May 06, 2013 | 11:43 a.m.

Paramount Country Club in suburban New York City has reopened its A.W. Tillinghast-designed course after a two-year renovation at the hands of course architect Jim Urbina.

The club was created in 1920 by movie mogul Adolph Zukor on his private retreat 30 miles north of New York City. Zukor, the founder of Paramount Pictures, entertained the stars of both Broadway and Hollywood on the course, which rolls across heavily wooded terrain high above the Hudson River. For years, it was known as Dellwood Country Club, before recently taking on the Paramount name to more strongly link it to its glamorous past.

"The course is fantastic," said PGA head professional Steve Scott. "Jim has created a modern version of years past."

Tillinghast, one of golf’s greatest and most prolific course designers, created a number of other prominent courses in the metropolitan New York area roughly a century ago. They include Winged Foot, Bethpage, Quaker Ridge and Baltusrol.

"In his book 'The Course Beautiful' – which I used as my 'playbook' for Paramount – Tillie said that courses should offer people coming from the city the chance to get into nature, see the wonderful views, and enjoy the outdoors," said Urbina, who has restored a number of prominent older courses. "To do that, the course should be simple, not busy, a place to get away into the open air. Paramount delivers that."

Working off of Tillinghast's original plans and old photographs, Urbina renovated every hole at Paramount. He brought back the flashed-up, organically shaped bunkers for which Tillinghast was famous, and also enlarged greens that had shrunk over the years. He removed numerous trees and some stretches of cart paths to help restore the property’s wide vistas from a century ago.

"When I first came up two years ago, I knew it was all here," said Urbina. "But you had to peek around trees to see it. Now Paramount is back in the spirit of Tillinghast."

The course renovation was part of a multi-million-dollar effort to upgrade many aspects of the private club. Other improvements were made to the clubhouse, public areas, tennis courts, pool, member's cottage and other areas indoors and out.

"Early on, I asked if they understood the historic significance of this golf course," said Urbina. "They absolutely did and wanted to bring it back to Tillinghast's original concept. As a result, the course is more open, more playable, and more fun. That's the foundation, the artistry and the genius of Tillinghast."

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