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Preliminary work starting at proposed Nicklaus-designed golf course

Preliminary work starting at proposed Nicklaus-designed golf course

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Nicklaus golf course

Chris Cochran, a senior design associate with Nicklaus Design, center, and Tommy Heanden, business development manager with Nicklaus Design, look over an aerial photo of the site of the planned Jack Nicklaus golf course at the old Republic Steel slag heap off Hopkins Road, in Buffalo, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. Ross Cellino, one of the contributors to the privately funded project, is in the background at left. They are expected to break ground on the project later in the year.

Civic advocate Kevin Gaughan said Tuesday that work on the first phase of a proposed public golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus has begun. 

Gaughan made the announcement at the South Buffalo parcel on Hopkins Road, adjacent to South Park. With him were a senior designer and head of development for Nicklaus Companies, which has agreed to design the Jack Nicklaus Signature Edition course at cost, and an engineering consultant.  

"Today," Gaughan said, "we begin to heal this parcel which, before Buffalo's steel age, was a bucolic setting in a lovely neighborhood. And we declare that Buffalo is preparing for the day when we emerge from a conquered virus, and return to the work of strengthening our future."

Chris Cochran, senior designer associate with Nicklaus Design, talks about the lay of the golf course in Buffalo, on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

Nicklaus designers this week are determining the amount of additional soil and parcel "shaping" required to prepare the site for Nicklaus' design.

Construction is scheduled to begin in May.

Gaughan also announced that Valentino Dixon, who has become an acclaimed artist of golf courses after being wrongfully convicted, will be the project's artist. 

Valentino Dixon, prison reform activist and artist talks about his involvement with providing artwork for the planned Jack Nicklaus golf course in Buffalo, on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

Mark Sommer covers preservation, development, the waterfront, culture and more. He's also a former arts editor at The News. 

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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