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Westchester Hills Gets Both Friendlier and Tougher

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Photo by Dave Donelson

Westchester Hills stepped up its game yet again this spring. The White Plains club revealed yet another round of course improvements that built on the major renovation program begun a couple of years ago with new bunkering, tees, and even water hazards that keep the course fresh and challenging. All but five holes on the 6,358-yard course have now been updated.

Much of the new work opened up sight lines and shot angles, giving the player more flexibility in approaching several holes. The long uphill fourth, the number one handicap hole, has an entirely new look from tree and bunker removal on the left side of the fairway. The hole’s no easier, though, since they were replaced by a fescue-covered berm that makes for a more difficult recovery shot.

An entirely new vista on the 215-yard par three fifth hole was opened up, with the water even more pronounced. The tee box on the sixth hole was extended to lengthen the hole to 529 yards.

One of the biggest changes was to the 16th hole, where the water hazard was enlarged, bringing it closer to the front edge of the tiny green. Just to make it even more challenging, the tee box was extended last year to give big hitters a daunting 190-yard one-shotter to play. This year, a new forward tee was added for the rest of us. In addition to 16, holes 2, 3, 8, 10, 11, and 12, now have new forward tees, making them much more enjoyable for players who don’t bomb their drivers 250 yards.

What hasn’t changed at Westchester Hills are the devilishly small, excruciatingly fast greens that truly defend the honor of the par-70 course.