Quaker Ridge Golf Club
This quiet club across the street from Winged Foot has counted Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye as admirers. Its outstanding cluster of gently rolling par-4s, notably the 6th and the 11th, provided a terrific canvas for amateurs such as Justin Rose and Jason Gore in the 1997 Walker Cup. Dating to 1916, the course was made over by A.W. Tillinghast in 1926 and Gil Hanse’s restoration this past decade has the course at peak. The par-3 9th is one of the hidden gem one-shotters in the Northeast, though it may take a few rounds to figure out why.
oday’s course—though much longer than the original design, but so closely resembling the 1924 version around the greens and fairway landing areas it’s uncanny—is maintained at an extremely high level of playability. Ashfield worked with Hanse to create beautiful pebble sand paths, screening the sand that came from Pennsylvania. They upgraded the aesthetics of the entrance and driveway into the Club. And they started following strict guidelines for mowing heights and course watering. Ashfield maintains the bluegrass rough at three inches and waters it separately from the fairways, which are 60 percent poa and 40 percent Penncross bent grass, mown at .350 to .400 of an inch. “We’re trying to promote more bent grass on the fairways, and we try to keep it firm and dry,” Ashfield says, “so we don’t use as many chemicals.” He maintains the greens at .100 to .110 of an inch, mowing and rolling them six days a week in season, which translates to a 10.5 to 11 on the Stimpmeter (12.5 to 13.5 for the Hochster). Finally, the bunker sand, imported from West Virginia, is a manufactured product called X-Firm. It’s extremely white and its grains are very consistent, so it compacts and drains well.
Today’s majestic and strikingly beautiful course at Quaker Ridge feels and plays like the world-class championship venue that it is, yet through a 100-year evolution it once again bears the unmistakable imprimatur of its true and original designer, A.W. Tillinghast. So the seemingly inconsistent twin goals of capturing the best of both worlds—Tillinghast’s original design and a thoroughly modern championship course—has been achieved. And it’s safe to say, the membership couldn’t be more proud of its completely restored and modernized Tillinghast design, often referred to as “Tillie’s Treasure.”
New York Multi-Entry Multi-Directional Visitors Guide © Simon Newbound