It’s Tuesday of ATT Pro-Am week, and Zac Blair already has played Cypress Point, the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula CC, and Pebble Beach in the space of about 36 hours. Naturally, for a golf course architecture geek who knows his Alps from his Double Plateau, the 26-year-old PGA Tour player is a little giddy. “They’re all incredible,” he says. “I’ve been into golf architecture for years, but I really started to appreciate it at the Greenbrier a couple of years ago.”
The Greenbrier Classic is held on the West Virginia resort’s Old White TPC course, which C.B. Macdonald designed alongside his trusted associate Seth Raynor, and opened in 1913. It features a number of holes modeled on Macdonald’s favorites from his travels throughout the British Isles and Continental Europe—Hog’s Back, Redan, Biarritz, Cape, Eden, and others.
All these templates will be found on the course Zac Blair, a Utah native, is currently planning for a 400-acre site half an hour north of Salt Lake City. He has been recording development of The Buck Club for more than a year on both his (@z_blair) and the club’s (@thebuckclub) Twitter accounts, building awareness and attracting potential members. He’s also been busy sketching holes and devising logos, and will design the course himself.
“I actually began talking about something like The Buck Club back in college [Brigham Young; he graduated in 2014 with a degree in Recreation Management],” he says. “My friends thought I was crazy. But now it’s coming together. I want it to be somewhere the BYU golf team can play.
“I want to bring great Golden Age-style architecture to my home state,” says the man who admires the work of Colt, Tillinghast, Ross, and MacKenzie, but professes a particular fondness for Raynor courses. “Sand Hollow in Hurricane is excellent, but Utah doesn’t have many other really good courses.”
Blair, who played in 31 PGA Tour events last year (finishing 110th in FedEx points) and early in the wraparound 2016–17 season had made eight cuts in 10 events, insists he is a player first. But it’s clear that the numbers he’s putting up on the PGA Tour aren’t the only thing occupying his mind right now.
“There’s been a lot of interest in The Buck Club,” he says. “I’m itching to get started.”