Sunday, 26 December 2010

Quaker Ridge Golf Club

The famous 11th green with the creek that wraps around the green

The course was designed by A.W. Tillinghast and is considered one of his very best. The course is undergoing a major renovation / restoration under the direction of Gil Hanse who joined our group for the last three holes.

The course starts slowly with a solid five and a couple of fours before arriving at the “all world” 4th. The tee shot is out onto a plateau fairway, which is followed by a long iron into a spectacular plateau green with deep bunkering on both sides. This was such a heroic hole and well placed in the round.

The 4th approach to a cool plateau green

The front nine has an outstanding set of fours from the 6th to the 8th that vary in setting, distance, difficulty and appearance. Each demands solid driving in order to set up the approach into a brilliant green site, with the 7th being a stunner. The front nine is capped off by one of the best threes I have seen. The short 9th is a devil because of the green. The green is triangular in shape making for nasty corner pins. Because the hole is short, it compels the player into a much more aggressive line than they should take since the risk of going bunker to bunker is enormous at the front pin.

The super cool triangular green at the 9th

The back nine opens with a wonderful long three which is followed by the most famous hole on the course, the mid length 11th. The 11th par four with a creek and landmark tree on the left, bunkers on the right and a green wrapped on three sides by the creek. The stone wall fronting the green means there is no margin for error and Tillinghast was clever enough to tip the green hard right for emphasis on position off the tee.

The 12th and 13th are very strong hole and Gil’s work on the par five 14th will create an additional highlight for the back nine. The 15th is another strong hole, but the back and fourth finishing fours are average and the round comes to a much quieter finish than I expected.

I look at the renovation work being currently done and place it against the work that was done previously and there is no question in my mind the difference between good detailing and no detailing is massive. The golf course is going to improve immensely through all this work.

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