Golf legend Jack Nicklaus to visit Buffalo Monday

Posted at 2:18 PM, Sep 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-16 23:19:13-04

Legendary golf champion Jack Nicklaus will make a visit to Buffalo Monday to help advance Kevin Gaughan's Buffalo parks improvement and education project.

Gaughan's plan is for Nicklaus, a world-renowned golf landscape designer, to re-design the golf course located in Frederick Law Olmsted's Delaware Park by utilizing less space and allowing restoration of a portion of Olmsted's original meadow.

Course regular, Ralph Proulx's anxious to see what Jack Nicklaus has in store if he doesn't make it a nine-hole course.

“If you play the same holes over and over again, it would get a little monotonous.”

“Where are the regular guys from the city going to go if they turn it into a nine hole golf course?,” questioned fellow golfer, Leman Harris.

Gaughan's spearheading the project. He first approached Nicklaus two years ago. “I did what any Buffalo citizen would do. I told him about our city, and where we are and where we want to be.”

Nicklaus, who designs courses all over the world, agreed after seeing Gaughan's passion for the project.

The number of holes, and overall design of the course have yet to be determined. Gaughan said they plan to hold a series of public hearings so that golfers and Buffalo residents alike can have a say.

Nicklaus would also design a second course on land adjacent to South Park owned by Gaughan's charitable company.

The creation of the second course would permit the removal of the South Park golf course and full restoration of Olmsted's renowned Arboretum. 

The construction of an educational center to provide vocational training to Buffalo's inner-city youth is also a part of the plan.

The entire project is expected to cost $42 million. Gaughan said it will all be paid for through private dollars so there's no cost to tax payers, and green fees remain the same.

It still needs common council approval. But, that wouldn't’t be voted on for some time.

Nicklaus and Gaughan will spend the day visiting proposed sites, meeting with community leaders, and visiting inner-city youth that will benefit from the educational center. 

They will also hold a press conference at 12 p.m. in Delaware Park.

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