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Moving the Ball Forward: two local golf courses to be designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus gain national support

A little more than a year ago, it was first reported that Buffalo attorney and civic leader Kevin Gaughan reached out to golf legend Jack Nicklaus and asked if he would be interested in redesigning the golf course at located in Delaware Park, as well as design a second course near Olmsted’s South Park, which would “allow the Conservancy to realize the plan to restore an Original Arboretum at the park.” In the June 2016 article, Golf Legend Jack Nicklaus agrees to Design Buffalo golf courses, Nicklaus responded back to Gaughan in a letter:

Your proposal to marry my golf course design with your mission to preserve and celebrate the legacy of Olmsted, is an idea that personally and professionally excites me, and should do the same for the leaders, decision-makers and good people of Buffalo.

In December 2016, the Olmsted Conservancy issued their initial endorsement for the two Jack Nicklaus designed Golf Courses.

This week, Gaughan sent a letter that states that they have received support from “America’s leading Frederick Law Olmsted advocacy group in Washington, DC.” and that they are “continuing to work to raise necessary private funds to bring these exciting new public amenities to our city and region.”

The Buffalo News published an article, that quotes a letter from co-chairs Arleyn Levee and Lucy Lawliss of the National Association for Olmsted Parks, as saying,

There is a natural alliance between your plan and our mission to protect the Olmsted design legacy in Buffalo and in cities and communities across the country. We applaud your plan, as it enables the removal of the existing South Park golf course in order to proceed with a rehabilitation of the park’s historic arboretum, which should also address persistent drainage problems,” the letter said.  “Your enlisting the skills of Jack Nicklaus’ top-rated design team to create a new golf course upon derelict lands adjacent to historic South Park would provide the city with a new, state-of-the-art course with the potential to attract golf aficionados from Buffalo and beyond.


Photo Courtesy of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.



Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is a WNY native, born and raised in the Lincoln Park area of Tonawanda. She has been involved in local politics from an early age and is currently a Tonawanda Democratic Committee Member. As an avid equestrian and animal-lover, she trained and re-homed over 40 horses. For over a decade, she was an event planner with the law firm, Hodgson Russ LLP, and now owns her own marketing and event management company. She has worked with international and national organizations on large and small scale events. Jessica writes on politics and local events, as well as working with Buffalo Rising as a social reporter.

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