When we last connected, an attempt was made to send out props to the gang over at Kahkwa Club after The Raptor made an appearance for the Spring Invitational. Unfortunately, due to some problems with the upload, the photos did not download. So, lets revisit. First, here is a picture of the Net Champs, Dave Kacprowicz and his guest, Dario Ciprianni accepting their trophies from Kahkwa Head Pro Michael O'Connor.
Unfortunately, the clarity of the shot was corrupted by the intense sun light coming through the window. As previously mentioned, Kappy and O have been competing for years and this win was top notch. On that particular day the sun was obscured for the first half of the match and it was a tad chilly. Going low called for some excellent shotmaking and it's nice to see Dario in top for again after a few set back these past several years.
In the Gross Division, the best twosome turned out to be Rob Nicotra and his guest Keith "Skeeter" Camp. It should be noted that The Raptor had the pleasure of dining with the champs and it was obvious that they had executed a perfect case study as indicated by these broad smiles...
The Raptor matched up with Dave "Chief" Antolik and it was a great pleasure to watch Chief in action as this former EDGA Champion still has a lot of game. Thinking back to 1996, The Raptor can recall getting paired in the Charity Golf Classic with Chief and watch him play extremely well. The Raptor played decent with a few good holes and a few bad holes but Chief and his partner, Gary Trivisono won a top prize in the pro-am that day! During the course of this years match the chat turned to golf course architecture
This thread was brought on by seeing the course changes in store at Kahkwa For starters, the third hole is being lengthened with the addition of a new elevated tee box which could stretch out the hole to almost 200 yards with a deep pin placement.
The green complex at hole 3 has undergone some changes over the years primarily due to the tee box re-location perhaps 25 years ago. The original tee was situated in close proximity to the 2nd and 5th hole putting surfaces. The Raptor can recall playing in the City Tournament back in high school when this was the only tee box. The putting surface has been orientated towards the present tee box and includes a short porch to collect the muffed approach.
It should be noted that the old third hole tee box can be used on hole 6 to create a brutish 435 yard par 4. Speaking of brutal holes, Kahkwa's new 4th hole is man-sized indeed. Now measuring out at 442 yards it will prove to add some meat to a hole that previously could be attacked with a lob wedge.
The unfinished portion of the span between the Championship Tee and The Members Tee, which will measure out at 346 yards is scheduled to have some fescue turf planted. The Raptor's primary concern would be the proximity of the new tee to the driving range and numerous range balls could be seen in the undeveloped span. In addition, with the fescue eventually swaying in the wind, a topped drive will potentially result in a lost ball and most certainly the playing of the hole with pants down.
The Raptor is most certainly not an architect in the vein of Donald Ross but there is an opportunity here. Perhaps consideration should be given to a flanking sand bunker positioned about 75 to 90 yards from the putting surface which could jut out into the fairway from the left rough to provide some framing and catch a few errant shots. I believe there are historical precedents on this.
The Raptor and The Chief did engage in some interesting banter on hole number 6 It was noted that the putting surface was modeled after a Biarritz. Chief though I was making the word up to demonstrate some verbal alacrity but it's true. The original Biarritz was designed by Willie Dunn in France and there are several examples here in the States. One coming to mind immediately is at the 3rd green at the Greenbrier where the PGA Tour is this weekend. Another can be seen at he Fox Chappell Club in Pittsburgh where the recent Champions Tour event was held
While The Kahkwa Biarritz is not as pronounced as the Fox Chappell example it is plainly visible from the top of the hill. The changes will undoubtedly continue as The Kahkwa continues to develop. There is talk of lengthening the par 3 15th hole to perhaps over 230 yards. The Raptor would suggest revamping the 7th hole to a par 5 and converting the 8th hole to a par 4. The cumulate changes are going to stretch out the yardage from the back tees to over 6700 yards which should be a awesome test for some upcoming tournament perhaps even an EDGA event!
These course changes coupled with continuing improvements to the clubhouse and party patio will contribute to a growing, appreciative membership. Hmmmmmmm...