By Todd Quinones
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – New efforts are underway to restore a Philadelphia golf course to its former glory.
The Cobbs Creek Golf Course will turn 100-years-old next year.
“So there’s like ghosts out here, you just feel that this was part of something grander than it is now.”
Mike Cirba, an IT guy, and Joseph Bausch, a Villanova professor, aren’t afraid of people laughing in their faces.
“We’ve heard that there have been previous efforts, you’ll never do it, you can’t get anything done with the city,” said Mike Cirba.
“We saw this as an opportunity to really make municipal golf better in Philadelphia,” said Joseph Bausch.
The two men are on an eight-year quest so far to restore Cobbs Creek Golf Course in West Philadelphia.
In order to restore the golf course, it’s going to take more than $14 million. And so far, most of that money has been raised, and it’s all private money that’ll essentially be going to a public golf course.
As for why they are doing it, it’s a passion project to show off the history that’s here.
“They had no barriers based on race, on gender, or any other religious affiliation,” said Cirba.
The late Hall of Famer Charlie Sifford referred to Cobbs Creek as his home course.
“Hugh Wilson of Merion, George Crump of Pine Valley, were both part of the design team,” said Cirba.
(Reporter:) “We saw it with Bethpage Black in Long Island, we saw it in Torrey Pines in southern California, you think really this has that potential?”
“No question about it. We had Gil Hanse is the architect of record,” said Cirba.
Hanse is the Malvern-based architect who is designing the 2016 Olympics course in Rio de Janeiro.
But obstacles remain, chiefly among them, major flooding mitigation is needed for Cobbs Creek.
It still may be years before any ground is broken on the plans, but these two men promise to keep on playing and hoping to revive those ghosts that are on these grounds.