Superb as Merion turned out to be as a modern major venue, when the Grey Goose 19th Hole discussion turned to other classics needing to host a major, I couldn't help but nominate Cobbs Creek in Philadelphia.
Sure, the muni has seen better days despite the best efforts of Billy Casper Golf to hold this potential gem together with little budget, but after the (mostly) successful Bethpage and Torrey Pines experiments I think we've seen how important it is to revitalize run-down public gems.
So first off, here's the discussion, which I thought was pretty compelling:
Why did I mention Cobbs Creek? Because nothing has brought better vibes to golf than the resurgence of run-down munis. And if there is an old public course of architectural significance crying out for attention, it's this one. Cobbs Creek is currently a mess architecturally. But the bones are there: grand-scale property, great golf city, strong architectural lineage and a beautiful setting.
All that is needed? $15 million and a governing body willing to deal with some red-tape. The payoff, however, could be Bethpage-esque.
Joe Bausch, a Villanova professor and lover of the classics, toured me around this gem the Monday after Merion and it was impossible not to see the potential for an East Lake/Bethpage/Torrey Pines type revitalization.
If you want to learn more about Cobbs Creek, the Friends of Cobb blog is here.
Golf Digest's David Owen visited and wrote this piece.
Joe Logan filed a MyPhillyGolf update article in May.
Golf Channel's Matt Ginella visited and filed this report.
And Brendan Prunty filed this look at efforts to get a restoration by Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner going.
Just a few midday photos by yours truly: