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Rebirth of a Classic

A renovation at Sleepy Hollow pays homage to its original designer, Charles Blair Macdonald, and brings a storied New York course into the modern era
Jeff Williams
From the Print Edition:
The Blues Brothers, Jan/Feb 2008

(continued from page 4)

Hanse found a symbiosis in working with Sanossian. "George is cautious and very thorough, which is the accountant in him," says Hanse. "Yet when he's convinced something is right, he goes after it, researching it, and he becomes very passionate and engaged with it."

The kind of enthusiasm showed by Sanossian, and mirrored by the board, is vital to any renovation work that clubs might be contemplating. From courses that were crafted in the early part of the twentieth century to those that sprang from the popularity of Arnold Palmer in the '60s to those that arose on the wave crest of the stock market in the 1990s, across the nation clubs are faced with choices. If the membership is concerned about overgrowth, they have to cut. If they are concerned about their green complexes deteriorating, they have to dig. If they are concerned about technology, they have to lengthen.

These decisions don't come easily and certainly not without cost. In almost all clubs the majority of the membership is content with what it has and hesitant to alter a very good thing. But those charged with maintaining the club are also charged with providing for its future. In looking ahead, they might decide that the future lies somewhere in the club's past, just as it did at Sleepy Hollow.

Charles Blair Macdonald walked the land at Sleepy Hollow nearly a century ago, but because of a dispute he had left less than his full imprint on the landscape, and that had become blurred over time. Now his spirit has returned and his imprint has been made by others as devoted as he was. An impassioned past is now the present and the future at Sleepy Hollow.

Jeff Williams is a Cigar Aficionado contributing editor.

Editor's note: Executive editor Gordon Mott is a member of Sleepy Hollow Country Club.

Photographs by Jim Krajicek


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