Improvements For Bergen County’s Orchard Hills Golf Course
Architect Robert McNeil’s Enhancement Plan Adds Value to Financial Asset

SAUNDERSTOWN, R.I. – April 20, 2009 -- Following award-winning work at Rockleigh Golf Course and recent completion of a major renovation of Darlington Golf Course, Bergen County is continuing its ten-year relationship with Robert McNeil, Principal Golf Course Architect at the Northeast Golf Company. McNeil’s Comprehensive Golf Course Enhancement Plan will add much needed improvements to Orchard Hills Golf Course, a nine hole county facility in Paramus, New Jersey.

“From the onset we realized that Robert McNeil had much more to offer than merely a physical plan for improvements. Robert helped pinpoint a vision for our operation,” said Kevin Purcell, Manager of Golf Courses for Bergen County Department of Parks. “The plan became more than an idea. It became who we are,” added Purcell.

The improvements at Orchard Hills couldn’t come at a better time. Many families are staying closer to home; they are watching expenditures like never before but still want to enjoy healthy outdoor activities with their families. The trend to spend more time with family and less time playing eighteen holes of golf had already taken root. More parents were seeking out 9 hole facilities that enable them to enjoy the game they love and share it with their family.

“Over time features wear, strategies change, technology advances, competition gains, history is lost, all having some level of effect on the overall quality of a golf facility,” said Robert McNeil.

Initially a safety issue drove the objective of the improvements. Balls from the existing par three 4th hole, located adjacent to the Bergen County Community College outdoor tack and field facility, regularly found their way over a fence and onto the track.

While working with Superintendent Peter Evans and County Golf Manager Kevin Purcell, McNeil discovered that portions of the course were part of an original A.W. Tillinghast design from the 1920”s. Some vestiges of his work still exist.

The venerable American golf architect was one of the most prolific in the history of golf. He worked on no fewer than 265 different courses. They include Bethpage Black, Baltusrol Lower and Upper, Ridgewood, Seaview Bay Course, Alpine, Pine Valley, Deal, Hollywood, and Winged Foot.

McNeil, Evans and Purcell also found the original routing that utilized a bend of land opposite the pond adjacent to the existing 5th hole. These historical revelations have been incorporated in the comprehensive plan to recapture a visual style and strategy of the original design and utilize the abandoned pond side land for a new 4th hole.

The design is complete and will be ready for contractor bid and construction later in the spring. The course will not close during the process. The building of new holes and greens at other holes will not affect operations or play.

“The Comprehensive Golf Course Enhancement Plan being implemented is the most valuable tool to manage this change for the betterment of the golf course for the players, but more importantly as a financial asset. In much the same way you would update your kitchen to improve your living conditions and add value to your home… well-planned enhancements to a golf course can bring great enjoyment to players and add real economic value,” said Robert McNeil.

The 9-hole Orchard Hills golf course features 2,776 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 35. The course rating is 37 and it has a slope rating of 115 on grass. A driving range is also part of the facility.

Orchard Hills is a short course with small greens that is good for beginners and a favorite of experienced older golfers. It’s a great place around the corner to get your swings at a great rate.

In addition to the 9 hole Orchard Hills, Bergen County also owns and operates four 18 hole golf courses: Darlington, Overpeck, Rockleigh, and Valley Brook.

For more information about Orchard Hills call or visit:
Orchard Hills Golf Course, 404 Paramus Rd, Paramus, NJ 07652-1509
(201) 447-3782 www.bergengolf.org

About the Northeast Golf Company: The mission of The Northeast Golf Company is to provide clients with the best golf course design service tailored to meet their individual needs. To be the best requires focus on the business objectives of each client by providing a creative and strategic plan that responds to the inherent nature of the land, the players served and the project budget.

Robert McNeil operates as the team leader providing creative direction while bringing together the necessary expertise and overseeing every aspect of a golf course project to ensure that the vision becomes reality. The McNeil Design Collaborative and McNeil Construction LLC design/build team approach combines years of experience in successful design, construction and project management.

"We take pride in developing relationships that are productive, long lasting and most of all fun, much like the courses we design." --- Robert McNeil

Contact: Robert McNeil, Golf Course Architect, The Northeast Golf Company
(401)-667-4994 in Saunderstown, RI – (732)-747-1888 Red Bank, NJ
Email:
Visit: www.northeastgolfcompany.com