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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Leewood Renovation Earns Higher Course Rating

Leewood Golf Club's recent renovation resulted in a significant upgrade to the course rating, according to the latest figures from the USGA. The Eastchester, NY, club underwent an extensive remodeling in the fall of 2011 and the start of the 2012 season. It included a new irrigation system as well as significant course renovations, ranging from several new ponds and streams to two entirely new greens complexes and many new tee boxes.

I was impressed by the two new green complexes and the other changes that made the tricky little course an even better test of golf. Most of the significant changes took place on the back nine, where the order of play was re-routed and a short par five became a par four.  Several holes were lengthened and the eighteenth got a fabulous makeover. At the same time, the club wisely left the iconic par threes basically untouched.

Leewood Golf Club
Leewood #9
Following the project, the rating team made several visits to the course to review the new course layout and increased yardage in order to provide updated ratings for the 2013 season. Here is a chart showing the updated course ratings along with the previous ones:

Tee Box
72.3 / 135
70.6 / 131
71.2 / 133
White (Men)
69.8 / 129
69.7 / 130
White (Ladies)

74.8 / 138
69.7 / 129
70.7 / 127

When the results were released, Leewood Golf Chairman Gene Chao said,
“Leewood Golf Club has long been known as a member's course with traditional design elements that requires creative shot making. We are very proud to have accomplished a major renovation which balances a response to advances in golf technology and retaining the integrity of a classic Devereux Emmett golf course design. We've amended course routing and added appropriate length, water features, and 2 new green complexes to bring this gem into the modern game. Additionally, we are closely watching movements back to shorter traditional courses with small/difficult greens and narrow, tree lined fairways in major golf events like the US Open (which will be hosted this year at the Merion Golf Club) which underpinned our design approach and renovation fundamentals.” 
Leewood opened in 1922. It was originally laid out by Devereaux Emmet and its  rich history includes some famous early members including New York Yankee slugger Babe Ruth and famed motion picture director D.W. Griffith.  

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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