A mostly-new country club opens in Armonk this spring. The Summit Club comes to life with a major upgrade of the golf course formerly known as Brynwood, new ownership and club management, and a unique take on the country club lifestyle.
“Our orientation is to make golf more fun and less stuffy,” says managing partner Jeff Mendel, who last year revived the project he started in 2009 when he and his former partners bought the Canyon Club from Mitsubishi Corporation and turned it into Brynwood Golf and Country Club with plans to add a gated residential community to the property, sparking a lengthy and convoluted permitting battle with the town of North Castle.
That battle is over and work on the golf course began last fall with a plan created by noted golf architect Rees Jones, known as the “U.S. Open Doctor” for his work on venues like Bethpage Black that have hosted the championship. “Anyone who has played the old version of the course won’t recognize the new one,” according to Mendel.
Changes and upgrades are extensive. “We’re re-doing all the bunkers, taking down several hundred trees, and putting in a lot of swales and run-off areas. Once we’re done, it will play very differently,” Mendel says. The front nine will have some new tee boxes and bunkers. They’re also levelling and reshaping several fairways to provide better angles of play and stretching the ninth hole to play as a par five. The course will measure about 6700 yards and play to par 71, up from 6300 yards, par 70.
Most of the back nine will be completely re-imagined. The old 10th hole will be sacrificed for the residential development. The old 11th hole, now the 10th, will be reshaped completely. “What was the 15th hole, a pretty par four with ponds along the left side, is now a great risk and reward par five,” Mendel explains. “We took down the old elevated green to fairway level and built a new one a hundred yards or so farther away across the creek where the 16th tee used to be.” The hole will measure about 530 yards, giving big hitters a chance to reach in two if they’re willing to challenge the creek and a false front.
“Finally,” Mendel says, “we took the 17th hole, a par five that played along a pond, and cut it into two holes. One is a par four you play to a new green we built alongside the water. We took the 17th green and turned it into a 180-yard par three that you play from a tee near the ninth fairway. It’s a downhill shot you play to the green with the water in the background. It’s going to be a special hole.”
This year the club will open with a temporary pro shop while the new clubhouse is under construction. “We’re building a covered food and beverage area outdoors next to the temporary pro shop,” Mendel says. “We’ll have food and beverage service, tables, umbrellas, and three firepits.”
PGA Professional Colin Igoe has been appointed as Director of Golf for the new club. Igoe most recently was Director of Golf & Retail at Trump Golf Links Ferry Point in New York.
The residential project, which includes the amenities complex, is in the permitting process now. Mendel hopes to start that construction in the summer and open it next year, including the first of 73 luxury condos in seven building placed on the highest point of the property. The amenities building will include a bar and grill, fitness center, spa, locker rooms, and yoga studio, pool deck, hot tubs, and a pro shop near the first tee. A separate clubhouse for the golf club will be built in the third phase.
Memberships are being marketed now at a relatively reasonable initiation and dues structure that will increase as the amenities are built out. The club hopes to have 250 golf members. Residents will be required to join the club as well.