Sanford Golf Design Receives Award of Excellence

In a rare recognition of golf course architecture, the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects(FLASLA) awarded David Ferris, RLA and Sanford Golf Design of Jupiter, Florida its top honor, The Award of Excellence, for their work at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, Bronx, New York.

“The FLASLA Design Awards program honors projects that blend environmental and artistic principles, emphasizing beauty, function and the environment. We recognize projects that demonstrate an inspired use of landscape architecture practices in an imaginative combination that adds to the body of the Landscape Architecture profession by bestowing it the Award of Excellence,” said Jeff Brophy, FLASLA President. “Recipients are truly exceptional, unique and innovative.”

The award was given to Sanford’s David Ferris for reclamation and transformation of new York City’s longtime derelict site into a unique Irish links inspired public golf course that utilizes the Whitestone Bridge, the East River and the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop. The project needed to address methane gas venting, settlement, site monitoring, neighboring storm damage and water quality and conservation.

“I don’t think that there has been another golf course project that has received this award from the Chapter,” said Ferris. “This Award of Excellence is our first landscape architecture design award, and I think it is extra special when a golf course project wins such a high honor.”

David Ferris has a Master of Landscape Architecture Degree and a Bachelor Degree in Turf Management from Cornell University, and has been a Senior Design Assoiate with Sanford for 17 years. In addition to his work at Ferry Point he has worked with John Sanford on more than a dozen new, renovated or restored golf courses in Florida. Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Japan, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

The Ferry Point Park landfill, which had been an eyesore and dumping ground since the 1940’s, is now home to a public golf course built atop a treeless 185 acre site. The design was a collaborative effort with Jack Nicklaus. The project had special challenges and David was in the forefront of the sculpting as Project Manager, with 2,400,000 cubic yards of fill and sandy topsoil brought in over a 14 year period. Luckily, Ferris was a Registered New York Landscape Architect which helped immensely, and the firm’s determination to keep environmental stewardship as the #1 concern from start to completion.

At this year’s FLASLA Annual Conference in Key Largo, the Ferry Point project also received the 2014 Environmental Sustainability Award, which is given to only one project that exhibits sound sustainable practice. There were over 55 submissions in this category from around the world. ” To win this year’s prestigious Environmental Sustainability from the Chapter is another huge honor,” Ferris said.

The FLASLA Design Awards also mark the second time in a year that Sanford Golf Design was recognized by a professional society for a reclamation project that turned a landfill into a golf club. John Sanford received a top honor from the American Society of Golf Course Architects for his work on the Granite Links Golf Club near Boston. That project involved the remaking of two municipal landfills into a 27 hole facility using the dirt removed from the “Big Dig” with 900,000 truckloads to reclaim the area.

“For as long as I have been involved with golf, the comment I have often heard from non-golfers is how much they dislike golf courses because of their perceived detriment to the environment,” Ferris said. ” After winning these awards I was pleasantly surprised to hear a fellow participant who prescribes to this theory say, ‘I really hate golf courses but I really like this one and I want to travel to New York to be in that space and enjoy the views and landscape’.” Ferris added, “If you can convince someone to like something they really dislike, then you know you’ve done something really special.”

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Dave Daubert

Lehigh University graduate, Procter & Gamble retired. Previously a Managing Editor and Feature Writer for a regional golf monthly magazine for 11 years. Married to wife Carol and residing in Solivita, an active adult community in Central Florida

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