If one were to measure the greatness of a course simply through exclusiveness and total attention to customer service then Hamilton Farm would be high in the pecking order. The facility was created to provide a private oasis which would transport members and their guests from the 24/7 clutter world that operates beyond its high gates. In that sense - Hamilton Farm most certainly accomplishes that.
The layout is blessed with rolling land and a more subdued style would likely have worked even more so here. The former architectural partnership of Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry has created an impressive looking course but much of it resembles an overdosing of make-up. However, a less is more design approach would have worked even better.
The turf is generally impeccable with greens cut low and tight. But, the memorability factor is not tied to the most important dimension -- the architectural elements. That's not to say the course has flawed holes -- it's just that the holes do not really stand in a unified manner in which the round is a crescendo with varying emotions being brought to the surface. To use a baseball metaphor -- Hamilton Farm is a pitcher with one type of pitch. A bit more variety would have worked wonders. There's a healthy respect for the holes but really very little rapture.
For those who do get the opportunity to play the course -- be sure to head to the par-3 layout. It's arguably among the very best in America. Too bad the main layout could not be as thought provoking.
by M. James Ward
Date: April 29, 2018