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Sanford Ferris Golf Course Design Selected to Renovate Historic Cavalry Club in Upstate New York

Sanford Ferris Golf Course Design Selected to Renovate Historic Cavalry Club in Upstate New York

Course architect David Ferris comes home to restore Dick Wilson/Joe Lee design

By Brian Weis

Sanford Ferris Golf Course Design has been selected to renovate historic Cavalry Club in Manlius, N.Y. Course architect David Ferris returns home to the Dick Wilson/Joe Lee design where he learned to play golf and will bring back much of the course architects' original design philosophies. Construction begins early July.

Ferris' family has been part of the fabric of the club dating back to his uncle being one of the charter golf members and his dad being a golf professional there in the 1970's. As a little kid he ran around the proshop, played in the adjacent woods and creek, and eventually participated in junior tournaments during his high school years.

"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to return home to Cavalry, a place that holds so many wonderful memories and where golf became a part of my life", Ferris said. "When I played Cavalry as kid, I had no idea who Dick Wilson and Joe Lee were, but I'm convinced that my fascination with golf course design and Wilson's work is rooted in that early immersion. I've never been more excited about a restoration project."

Ferris will spearhead the project that encompasses rebuilding/restoring all bunkers, reintroducing short cuts and collection areas around greens, restoring fairway cuts/widths in landing areas, and tree clearing to bring back the feel of the original layout. Future phases will include tee renovation, additional tree clearing for turf improvement, adding native fescue areas, drainage, improvements to the practice area, and creating a short game venue.

Calvary Club opened June 26, 1965, and was the final layout for the iconic Wilson, who passed away shortly afterwards. The layout was deeply immersed in Wilson's philosophy, replete with flanking fairway bunkers, green complexes with large putting surfaces typically surrounded with strategic bunkers.* The course also represents the beginning of Joe Lee's storied career, with this being his first solo project routing the course and supervising construction.

Carved into rolling farmland just outside of Syracuse, Wilson and Lee laid out a classic design on land that once served as home to a cavalry troop in the early 1900's following the Spanish-American War. The troop then evolved into Company D of the 104th Machine Gun Battalion, a unit of the 27th Division, NY National Guard. The troop was sent to Peekskill, N.Y., to guard the aqueduct providing New York City's water supply from possible sabotage during World War I.

In 1940, the Cavalry became the newly formed 101st Antitank Battalion as Company C. It continued to attract all walks of life: college students and graduates, lawyers, mechanics, farmers, clerks, shop foremen and even high schoolers. Old troopers from Company C played a key role in developing the golf course and creating the club's membership.

About Sanford Ferris Golf Course Design
Sanford Ferris Golf Course Design was founded in 1987 by architect John Sanford and has completed 100+ course design projects worldwide. A member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) and serving as President in 2017, Sanford has designed courses throughout the U.S, Middle East, Asia and Caribbean working with some of the planet's most diverse sites -- including next to the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, New York City's East River, and the sandy soils of South Florida. Along with partner David Ferris, the global design firm brings more than 60 years of design experience crafting strategic, sustainable new-build courses, transformative course renovations, and multiple collaborations with Jack Nicklaus and Nicklaus Design. The firm has been recognized by Golf Digest, GOLF Magazine, and Golfweek for its award-winning designs like Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, Granite Links Golf Club, Juliette Falls Golf Club, and Madinat Makadi in Egypt.

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Revised: 06/06/2022 - Article Viewed 2,615 Times - View Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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