Victor, New York
Southeast of Rochester, and not far from the famous Oak Hill Country Club, is the town of Victor. Set in bucolic upstate New York midway between Lake Ontario to the north and the Finger Lakes region to the south, Victor is only minutes away from “everything” urban, but better resembles a well managed nature preserve. In short, a true kaleidoscope of Mother Nature at her finest, which precisely why the 412-acres of spectacular views and experiences - that include rolling uplands, lush meadows, teeming wetlands, meandering creeks, placid lakes, and eclectic woodlots - was selected as the location for Cobblestone Creek.
When Bill Wilmot, our client, invited us to the inaugural site visit, we were expectedly dazzled by this diversity of environments, but admittedly intimidated as to how to fuse the vision of golf course and upscale estate development with Bill’s unwavering mandate to “preserve the character of the place”. Environmental character is most often a double-edged sword, and true to form, the site itself had plenty of inspirational settings that were, deflatingly, regulated or closely watched (read “off limits”) by the Corps of Engineers and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. These facts necessitated a near utilitarian routing of some golf holes simply to avoid, or minimally impact, these areas of concern - a major design challenge, particularly given the significant elevation changes throughout the site.
Our multivariate solution, one contrary to the heavy dirt moving that characterized the then prevailing fashion of course architecture was to do just the opposite and treat the land as gently as practical by incorporating the effective, yet subtle, nuances endemic to those venerated courses of the Scottish links tradition. Those unique-to-North-America strategic (and visually engaging!) architectural devices include random bunkers, pot bunkers, comparatively large and flowing undulated greens, and plenty of wood retaining walls, infuse each hole with a demonstrable risk and reward challenge and collectively serve to tastefully distinguish Cobblestone Creek from regional parkland golf courses to this day – an unvarnished testament to the staying power of our then unorthodox approach.