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GOLF: Golf Masterpiece in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) If youre watching the U.S. Open this weekend, youre watching golf on a course designed by an architect whos considered one of the best who ever lived. Donald Ross designed the course being played this weekend at Pinehurst Resort, along with about 400 others, one of which is right here in Cedar Rapids.

Now, that course, the Cedar Rapids Country Club, is going the extra mile to bring their course back to its roots.

If these views look like you can frame them and hang them on a wall, thats the point. It might be golf, but the surface its played on is art.

"We had, if not the best, one of the top maybe three best ever to design golf courses here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1915, said Cedar Rapids Country Club Head Golf Professional Tom McCann.

Ron Prichard is a golf architect who specializes in restoring Donald Ross courses. Hes working to give golfers at CRCC a better taste of what the legendary architect designed.

"From my point of view, it's really important that people begin to appreciate and understand the classics, said Prichard.

Ron says Ross would have walked through what were then just woods to map the course.

He did it all with a sketch pad and pencil. No aerial pictures. Virtually no technology.

But when it came time to build, they had zero bunkers on the whole course, said McCann. They had the plans but they didn't build any bunkers simply because of the expense.

So nearly a century later, they called in Ron.

"Instead of just forcing all play into the middle of the golf hole, Donald Ross laid out his golf course so that you had alternative routes on which bunkers you wanted to challenge to try to carry or which bunkers you wanted to lay up in front of, said Prichard.

When the bunkers arent busy eating up tee shots, they add to the landscape. They frame greens, making the course even more picturesque and occasionally actually helping your golf game.

"That's where all of our members aim, said McCann, pointing to a bunker roughly 350 yards away. And so even though you think, 'Hey, why is that bunker there?' The purpose is the use it as an alignment aid."

Ron says Donald Ross designed his courses to make it easier, not harder to play golf, making the game more enjoyable.

"I want people who play golf to come here and see this golf course and really appreciate that early style, said Prichard.

"And recapture that so that we can enjoy what Ross intended for us to play, said McCann.

 
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