This week, millions of golf fans around the world will watch the 118th US Open hosted at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York. This will be the fifth time Shinnecock Hills has hosted this prestigious tournament, which is fitting: it is one of the United States Golf Association’s five founding clubs and is one of the most historic and revered clubs in the world. It was the first US club to admit women—starting at its opening in 1891—and at the US Open in 1896, Shinnecock hosted John Shippen, the first African American golfer ever to play in a US Open. Shinnecock’s iconic clubhouse, designed in 1892 by Stanford White, is a masterpiece beloved by golf fans and architecture buffs alike.
Shinnecock Hills was the firm’s first private golf club client. When Jim and his partner Chris McCagg left New York to open the Norwalk office of James G. Rogers Architects—now Rogers McCagg, after Chris became an owner alongside Jim in 2016—Shinnecock Hills and a number of other high-profile golf clubs followed. Rogers McCagg continues to work with Shinnecock Hills and has completed several restorations, renovations, and new projects. Highlights include a total renovation of the historic clubhouse, including exterior renovations, a new kitchen, new offices, a new bar and pantry, and an all-new ladies’ locker room that USGA Executive Director Mike Davis will use as his office during this week’s US Open. Rogers McCagg designed and oversaw construction of a new Pro Shop, and, more recently, an entirely new basement that was built under the existing clubhouse.
Shinnecock Hills and other esteemed clubs keep coming back to Rogers McCagg because of their expertise and brilliant work, but also because the firm excels at building lasting relationships founded on trust. The firm has earned a reputation for client collaboration by listening to clients and helping them make the best possible choices to fit their needs. For many clubs, another advantage of working with Rogers McCagg is their undeniable skill for historic renovation; they know how to install modern comforts without disrupting the charm and character of a historic building. Shinnecock Hills is a perfect example: the clubhouse’s modern, functional locker rooms and comfortable spaces to relax let one enjoy the feel of a historic setting without compromising a single modern convenience. According to Rogers McCagg principal Tony Panza, who is now the firm’s primary contact with Shinnecock Hills, the new basement allows for a state-of-the-art geothermal system, effectively hiding necessary refrigeration, heating, and cooling systems. The result: the clubhouse’s historical feel remains intact, and year-round use of the space is now possible.
Along with golf fans all over the world, Jim and Chris and the staff of Rogers McCagg will be watching the US Open this week. For them, the experience will be more than watching the world’s best players as they compete. They’ll see US Open players and guests enjoying their work—work that has helped make one of the most adored clubs in the world a thoroughly modern, yet thoroughly historic icon of the golf world.
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