Oldham, Tillinghast and Ross Holes Restored to Former Grandeur
BEDFORD, PA, May 4, 2007 — Retracing the steps of early American golf course architecture, Bedford Springs Old Course emerges this July with its classic design methodically restored to satisfy the imaginations of its original architects, while benefiting from the industry’s technological advances in turf management.
"Select holes at Bedford Springs are thought to be some of the first golf holes installed in America, creating something of a golf architectural museum," said Rikki Boparai, general manager of Bedford Springs Resort. "Golfers at Bedford Springs will experience historically significant eras of American golf and the work of three golf architectural masters in one golf course. We are proud to be the next generation of caretakers for this landmark of American golf heritage."
Bedford Springs Old Course has evolved through work originally contributed by three forefathers of American golf course design: Spencer Oldham (1895), A.W. Tillinghast (1912) and Donald Ross (1923). This unique and historic collaboration of golf holes stretches across the foot of the Allegheny Mountains along Shobers Run creek, a tributary of the Juniata River, weaving amid the 200-year-old oaks, serene meadows and marshes of picturesque Bedford Springs Valley.
The par 72 course, which is to range from 5,050 to a maximum of 6,795 yards, features Bentgrass greens, fairways and tees, with rough consisting of bluegrass and fescue. The course will be open to the public, with preferred tee times for resort guests. Despite some slightly hilly terrain, the golf course is conducive to walking. The practice facility features a complete driving range, practice putting green and short game areas. Green fees range from $105 to $135; twilight rates are also available.
The course began with 18 holes designed by Spencer Oldham in 1895, routed around Red Oaks Lake. In 1912, A.W. Tillinghast did some redesign work, but the course was reduced to nine holes. In 1918, nine holes were added back and the course was completed in 1923 by Donald Ross, who is credited for the course’s lasting character, maintained throughout the meticulous restoration process that began in 2005.
The quintessential "American Classic" golf course, Bedford Springs features deep bunkering and flared greens. Shobers Run comes into play and/or is in view throughout the front nine holes, as well as on holes 11, 14, 15 and 18. The northern and southern points of the landscape, where the course starts and finishes, respectively, present various elevation changes, while the remaining property below the hills levels out along the river valley.
There are 11 routings that are Ross designs and four that remain from Tillinghast, whose lasting overall influence on the course is most evident at the 14th hole, named "Tiny Tim." A remarkable downhill par 3, the hole is derived from a Tillinghast sketch that accompanied writings in the famed, "Gleanings From The Wayside."
Forse Design Inc., a golf course architectural firm of Hopwood, Penn., renowned for its work in preserving and restoring classic golf courses throughout the United States and Canada, directed the project. Forse Design has worked on such important restoration projects as the East Course at The Broadmoor, site of the 2008 U.S. Senior Open, and the Newport Country Club, site of the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open.
"When the vision is implemented, guests at Bedford Springs Resort will enjoy a golf course built upon the latest in construction technology," said Ron Forse, president of Forse Design, "with a renewed respect for nature."
LandStudies of Lititz, Lancaster County, Penn., a specialist in watershed restoration, restored more than a mile of Shobers Run stream channel and floodplain. Also restored was an important tributary leading into the stream, providing an ideal native trout habitat. Shobers Run again will offer a superb environment for trout fishing year round.
A third Pennsylvania-based firm, Frontier Golf of Jones Mills, was the construction contractor and is one of the country’s most trusted course renovation specialists. In addition to Bedford Springs, Frontier and Forse Design have collaborated on seven different classic course renovation/restorations.
Situated on 2,200 acres, Bedford Springs Resort is located just outside the charming borough of Bedford in south central Pennsylvania. Long heralded for its healing waters and restorative environs, Bedford Springs is attracting interest from generations of former guests, as well as first-time guests wishing to immerse themselves in the Bedford legacy. The acclaimed destination’s origins date back to 1796 when its seven original mineral springs lured guests for a healing cure. These fabled waters again will be tapped and allowed to flow through the new 30,000 square-foot Springs Eternal Spa.
The luxurious 216-room Bedford Springs Hotel will evoke its Grand Dame era as the gathering place of the world’s elite. The resort’s inviting setting will embrace elegant and casual dining opportunities with gourmet and comfort fare representative of the region, high-tech and historic meeting venues, gold medal fly fishing in nearby steams, tennis, a Cannondale mountain bike program and miles of wooded nature trails. The resort also will offer swimming in one of America’s first indoor pools restored to its original grandeur, a new outdoor swimming complex, river rafting, carriage rides and winter sports.
Close to the intersection of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 70, the resort is a convenient two-hour drive from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., 90 minutes from Pittsburgh, three hours from Philadelphia and four hours from New York City. Bedford Springs Resort is just 129 miles from Pittsburgh International Airport and 113 miles from Harrisburg International Airport. Bedford County Airport offers a 5,000-foot runaway and can accommodate a wide array of private aircraft.
For room and golf reservations, log onto the web site at www.bedfordspringsresort.com or call 814/623-8100.
Bedford Resort Partners, Ltd., is the owner and developer of the Bedford Springs Resort project. The partners include The Ferchill Group of Cleveland, Ohio, a real estate development company that specializes in historic rehabilitation projects, Chevron TCI, Inc., a leading investor in tax credit rehabilitation projects in the United States and The Bedford Springs Company, LLC.
Benchmark Hospitality International, an independent hospitality management company based in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, operates resorts, conference centers, hotels and condominium resorts both domestically and internationally. For locations of Benchmark Hospitality properties and for additional information, visit Benchmark’s web site at www.benchmarkhospitality.com .
Hunter Public Relations – East