Lots of things have changed in golf as the pandemic swirled around the game this year, but one of the biggest changes has come at Anglebrook Golf Club in Lincolndale. Members started the season walking the course before cart sterilization procedures were nailed down, and discovered that they much preferred beginning their round on the tenth hole rather than the first one as it was designated by designer Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Management listened, and voila! the nines were flipped.
The switch carries greater import than it sounds. On the original layout, players faced the first, third, and fifth hardest holes on the course right out of the box, making for a tough start that could easily put some big numbers on the scorecard. The old #1 was a 425-yard par four dogleg that has requires a long second shot to an elevated green completely fronted by bunkers. The new first hole (the old tenth), is a short, downhill par five with a blind tee shot and water protecting the green, but in a fun, not a threatening way. It’s rated the easiest hole on the course.
“The course now has better flow and pacing,” says head pro A.J. Berglund. “Everyone has a chance to find their swing and settle into the round before being confronted with such a tough stretch of holes.”
Something else that’s changed is the type of difficulty faced at the finishing hole. The new #18 (the old #9) requires precision rather than power off the tee to set up a daunting approach over a deep barranca that cuts across the fairway. The approach demands precision, too, because putting from above the hole has been described as like trying to guide a steel ball bearing down the roof of the Chrysler Building into a coffee cup on the sidewalk below.
Berglund adds, “Our new #18 is such a fantastic finishing hole—especially for match play—with a stunning look at our iconic clubhouse.