Architect Jim Wagner of Hanse Golf Design reveals what the chance to restore Cobbs Creek would mean to him
Golf Course Architecture, April 2019
Growing up in Philadelphia there were always discussions and debates regarding golf. Whether it was with friends who caddied at the old classics such as Merion and Aronimink or playing companions at the great public courses like Paxon Hollow or Cobbs Creek, golf was always at the heart of our gatherings. We would dream about playing all 18 holes of the local private clubs (our fences memberships did not allow us to play more than a random few) or discussing changes to our favorites.
Looking back on it I’m not sure whether it was true understanding of architecture or through osmosis but there was plenty to learn about architecture, golf and life playing a round at Cobbs Creek. From the dramatic short creek holes to the demanding long holes there was much to see, appreciate and stumble upon throughout the property. Sadly, as time wore on it become less desirable to make trips to Cobbs as the creek holes were literally washing away, the strategy and conditions were being choked out by overgrown vegetation and financial neglect was eating away at the bones of this great design. But little did I know there were others who had the same individual dreams and life experiences at Cobbs.
People like Joe Bausch and Mike Cirba; the Friends of Cobbs Creek; Chris Lange and the Maguire Foundation; and the many golfers located throughout the Philadelphia area. Over the past several years these people have worked tirelessly on the hopes that restoring Cobbs Creek will bring it back into discussions of architecture, play and life. I recently heard a quote by Yoko Ono that could not be more appropriate about my experiences with Cobbs Creek from the first time I played the course to where we sit on the verge of making this restoration a reality:
A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.