The Greenbrier in West Virginia brings together legendary foursome to design its latest golf course

Collaboration to design a golf course can work.

Just ask Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the artistic architectural duo who continue to set the standard for modern course design.

How well others can pull it off is the question at The Greenbrier. A legendary foursome of golfers (and architects) -- Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino -- broke ground Oct. 16 on a new mountain course at The Greenbrier Sporting Club, part of the famed five-star resort in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia.

The 8,042-yard private course, set to open in the fall of 2016, will feature dramatic elevation changes, overlooking the historic Oakhurst Links course, where only hickory-shafted clubs and gutta-percha balls are used, the way golf was played a century ago.

The new course will give The Greenbrier six courses -- the TPC Old White, host of the Greenbrier Classic every fourth of July; the Meadows Course; the Greenbrier Course, host of the 1979 Ryder Cup and 1994 Solheim Cup; the Oakhurst Links, the oldest golf course in America dating to 1884; and the Snead, a private course at the Sporting Club by Tom Fazio.

The yet-to-be-named course will be the centerpiece of a new residential development at The Greenbrier. Other planned amenities for the Oakhurst neighborhood and for future use by members of The Greenbrier Sporting Club include: a private ski facility; a clubhouse; dining facilities; a pro shop; an outdoor pool; and fishing, hiking and biking areas.

Nicklaus is no stranger to collaboration. He worked with Tom Doak at the Sebonack Golf Club, a celebrated private club on New York's Long Island.

The only other larger design collaboration -- or maybe you could call it marketing scheme -- occurred on the Signature Course at the Legend Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa, where a different golf "legend" supposedly designed each hole. That's 18 different PGA Tour players, all handpicked from a different country, including Canada's Mike Weir, New Zealand's Michael Campbell, Ireland's Padraig Harrington, England's Justin Rose and others.

It will be interesting to see where Trevino, the Greenbrier's Golf Pro Emeritus, fits into the equation. He has done some solid work as an architect, but nothing on a global scale compared to the Big Three.

"This day is one for the history books," Trevino said in a statement. "To be here with Jack, Gary and Arnold for the groundbreaking of such a special course for The Greenbrier Sporting Club -- right next door to the oldest golf club in America -- it's just something really special for all of us involved. We're all excited to have the routing plan completed and to move into the next design phase of strategy. It's going to be a fun course!"

Video: Gary Player joins Matt Adams to discuss new Greenbrier collaboration


Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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The Greenbrier in West Virginia brings together legendary foursome to design its latest golf course