The Summit Club Opens a Full 18-Hole Golf Course

Co-managing partner Jeff Mendel hits a ceremonial first drive at The Summit Club at Armonk.
Photo by Dave Donelson

The Rees Jones-designed remake, which is 10 years in the making, is first step in a major lifestyle development at the Armonk club.

The Summit Club at Armonk officially opened its full 18-hole golf course this week with a ribbon cutting ceremony on the first tee that marked a major milestone in a development that’s been 10 years in the making.

“It’s very satisfying to be standing here after these last 10 years, playing a golf course that we worked very hard on,” says co-managing partner Jeff Mendell. “This is just the beginning. A couple of years down the road, the golf course will continue to be improved, both in terms of playability and esthetics. In the next phase, we will begin construction of 73 luxury condos, build a new clubhouse and sports pavilion, and create what I always envisioned for this property, a very special country club community here in Westchester.”

The Summit Club began as Brynwood Golf and Country Club when Mendell and other partners bought the former Canyon Club from Mitsubishi a decade ago. Drawn out negotiations with the town of North Castle and some shuffling of ownership delayed the project and eventually closed the course. Mendel stuck with it, however, and revived the project last year along with a new co-managing partner, Chris Schiavone. The first step was getting the golf course into shape.

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Members have been playing the front nine following upgrades to bunkers, tee boxes, and green complexes that was completed in the spring. The back nine took a few months longer as it underwent significant changes that included construction of three completely new holes and major renovation of two others, a renovation that significantly improved playability. The course is now 6,700 yards from the back tees with a par of 71.

“The way the course used to be,” explains Bryce Swanson, the Rees Jones design associate who managed the project, “on the back you had four par fours in a row on holes eleven through fourteen that were all similar in length and rather mediocre. We broke that up by making fourteen a dramatic risk-and-reward par five where you have to decide whether you want to challenge the creek 80 yards in front of the green by going for it in two. We also created a landing area for a layup that will give you a nice 100-yard wedge shot into the green.

“That hole flows nicely into a short par-three, followed by two holes built from the old 17th hole. Sixteen is a risk-reward par-four with a new green that brings the water into play. The new 17 is a dramatic per-three with a visually stunning drop shot.” A couple of problematic fairways on the front nine were also reshaped and bunkers repositioned to better challenge modern golfers.

“We have a beautiful location here,” says Schiavone. “with views and golf that any level of player can enjoy while still challenging you from the back tees if you want that. We’re also going to make it an affordable club and gear events towards families. It will be more fun and less stiff than the usual club style. We’re offering a club to a market that has a lot of great golf, but doesn’t really serve that niche.”

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