When two creative golf industry professionals like Brian Crowell and Michael Lehrer start brainstorming, spectacular things happen. The latest creation from Crowell, the head professional at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford and Lehrer, owner of Home Green Advantage in Armonk, evoked oohs, ahs, and quite a few guffaws of delight when it was unveiled this weekend. It’s a near-perfect replica of the club’s fourteenth green that floats—yes, floats!—in the middle of the lake below the clubhouse.
“It’s the coolest shot in golf,” says Crowell of the pitch shot from the patio of the classic GlenArbor clubhouse to the green in the middle of the lake below. “It’s the perfect way to settle your bets—or make a few more—at the end of your round,” he points out before adding with a wicked grin, “There’s also nothing more satisfying than watching your opponent’s ball splash into the lake after yours lands safely on the green.” Crowell’s light-hearted approach to the game is well known to viewers of the Golf Channel, where he hosted “Lesson Tee Live” earlier this year.
Both Knollwood and Wykagyl have nineteenth holes to settle matches, but the floating green is certainly unique to Westchester and possibly the East Coast. Island greens like the famed 17th at TPC Sawgrass aren’t unusual but nearly all of them, however, actually have a land-bridge of some sort and aren’t floating in the water like GlenArbor’s.
Lehrer, who has designed and constructed thousands of artificial greens and practice facilities in the metro area, made the 14-by-21-foot green more receptive than normal so that chances of making a successful shot are improved. “I have to admit,” he says, “it’s one of the more unusual projects we’ve undertaken. We had a lot of fun with it.”
No one seems to know who will be responsible for retrieving balls from the bottom of the lake.
The floating green was the highlight of the Traditions of Golf Invitational, an annual event staged by GlenArbor to thank members of the golf community and media for their contributions to the sport. Honored with the “Traditions of Golf” award this year was Major Dan Rooney, founder of the Folds of Honor, a non-profit that has raised over $70 million for educational scholarships to the family members of soldiers killed or disabled in combat.