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The Latest News on Westchester Golf Course Renovations


The spate of course renovation, expansion, and updating continued unabated over the winter with several clubs completing multiple-year projects while some important new ones began.

Fenway Golf Course in Scarsdale got a running start on a three-phase course renovation with architect Gil Hanse last fall.  According to head pro Heath Wassem, “The whole premise of the project is to bring the golf course back to Tillinghast’s original vision.”

In work completed already, a bunker was added on the left of the second fairway, which was itself shifted to the right to bring two bunkers there more into play. New tee boxes on the second and third holes shortened the hole for ladies and seniors by about sixty yards. On the third hole, numerous fairway bunkers were not only completely rearranged, but the fairway was extended to bring them more into play for both the first and second shots.

The eighth and twelfth holes run parallel, so trees were removed and the two fairways were joined. The uphill thirteenth hole got a major do-over. The tee box was extended to lengthen the hole and a fairway bunker on the right side that punished the bogey golfer was removed and trees on that side were removed as well.  Bunkers to bother long hitters were added to pinch both sides of the fairway. The green complex itself was stretched to the right so a low draw will curve naturally onto the green.

Photo courtesy of Sleepy Hollow CC 

Sleepy Hollow CC completed its most recent renovation over the winter. 

Greens on the five holes included in the first phase were expanded substantially, a theme that will be repeated during the next two phases as well.  By the time the project is finished, the amount of putting surface on the classic course will increase by 33%.

The Apawamis Club in Rye began a major golf course enhancement under the direction of architect Keith Foster last summer.  All of the classic course’s bunkers were rebuilt, greens were expanded by some 15,000 sq. ft., more than 5 acres of fairways were added, and numerous trees were removed to improve turf conditions and vistas.  The eleventh green was rebuilt and new irrigation was installed around all greens and approaches.

Harrison’s Willow Ridge Country Club didn’t stop working to improve when it celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year. The club’s Superintendent, Josh Haugh, plans are underway to replenish and replace numerous bunkers and expand several tee boxes. He says the plans reflect the club’s philosophy that “golf is a strategy game. Our greens are small and strongly contoured, which means par is protected in the classical way.”

Projects completed over the winter include the complete overhaul of Century Country Club in Purchase, Sleepy Hollow’s extensive renovation, and the multi-year project to update both courses at Winged Foot in anticipation of the club’s hosting of the US Open on the West Course in 2020. Greens were rebuilt (although not recontoured) to improve drainage and air venting using a SubAir system and putting surfaces were expanded to their original sizes, which will heighten the danger from Tillinghast’s greenside bunkers.  About 250 yards was added to the course, too, bringing it to 7,500 yards


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