Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

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Does Crenshaw argue with Coore?

Written by Bob Oliver on .

There is no doubt that when two successful artists work on a tandem product, there is often disagreement.  Sometimes emphatically as each wants their thoughts heard. 

One would think that over the nearly 30 years they've worked together on the design of golf courses, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw would have had some of those knock down, drag out discussions?

Who could blame them? Each has a distinct personality and each has his own thoughts on the design of a golf course. 

The team has created outstanding layouts. Having played Streamsong (Red) in Florida, the Dormie Club near Pinehurst, Bandon Trails in Oregon, Sand Hills in Nebraska and Hidden Creek in New Jersey, I know first hand that Coore-Crenshaw develop outstanding, fun and challenging courses.

But do they always agree, and when they don't, who wins the argument? 

"Wow, that's out of left field," said Coore at the Saguaro Course at Wi Ko Pa in the Valley of the Sun near Phoenix.  The Saguaro  Course is heralded by many rankings as the top public access course in the golf happy state. 

"I can't say we never disagree on something, but truthfully its never a real argument," said Coore. "We may disagree on shaping or direction or aspects of a design, but we generally come to the same conclusion in the end. We see the same land, understand what we are trying to accomplish, and while we might not totally come up with the same ideas we are professional and friends enough to talk it out and in the end have a great result."

Crenshaw is a PGA Tour Hall of Famer while Coore is a disciple of Pete Dye with a long background in the game. Each has their own ideas, but each also knows what looks and feels great to golfers.  Minimalists in design, their creations are well received by players of all abilities. 

At We Ko Pa, for instance, they teamed to create a course that has fangs that attack the strong player but enough freedom to challenge and keep higher handicap players in the game assuming they play from the correct tees. The fairways are wide, the desert does not impede every shot, and the chipping areas large enough to give a player options. 

The course penalizes poor shots and decisions, but rewards smart play. Its greens are full of challenge and quickness, and the course conditioning is immaculate. 

This Coore-Crenshaw design is outstanding, and hey, there was not a lot of arguing in its development and design. 

"Ben and I are proud of this course," explained Coore. "We are happy so many golfers find enjoyment and challenge here."