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ELEVATING

THE GOLF COURSE

The Inspiration

When the famous No. 2 course at Pinehurst reopened a decade ago, its restored holes were visually enthralling. In the years since, other revered Golden Age golf clubs like Baltusrol, Southern Hills Country Club, and the Los Angeles Country Club have made bold investments into the restoration and enhancement of their own championship venues.

At Willowbend, we’re feeling inspired to restore, enhance, and redefine our golf experience.

A New – But Still Familiar – Friend

When golf members return to Willowbend and tee it up on The Bend course this spring, they’ll quickly discover that a familiar friend has benefited from a much-needed facelift. Over the years, the short par-4 third hole has become exceedingly difficult, especially off the tee, as a beech tree near the end of the fairway has grown so large that players have recently been forced to hit their drives to a landing area down the right side of the fairway that’s less than 10 yards wide.

The Pros and Cons of Pine Straw…And How To Successfully Play From It

Every year, when the gates of Augusta National Golf Club open for The Masters, avid golfers and enthusiastic golf fans all around the world are provided a fresh glimpse at the pristine and beautiful grounds that make up that exclusive club. Our eyes are always drawn to the carpet of long-needle pine straw that stretches out underneath those towering Georgia Pines. It provides a striking contrast to the emerald grasses that make up the fairways and rough.

The Appeal And Challenge Of Fescue On The Bog

When the U.S. Open was played at Pinehurst in 2014, we were awestruck by the No. 2 Course’s transformation. Back in 2010, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw restored the hallowed Donald Ross design, replacing much of the rough with native and wild-looking waste areas. It was a change that gave the course a much more natural appearance. Three years later, when the U.S. Open was contested at Erin Hills, the fields of tall fescue grass waving in the breeze along the perimeters of many of the fairways were equally captivating. It reminded us of the look and feel of Old Sandwich Golf Club, another Coore and Crenshaw design not far away in Plymouth, which opened in 2004.

New Flags a Symbol of Continued Golf Course Enhancements

The Keene Cup, our headlining event for the men’s golf season, is fast approaching. With it comes championship-specific flags that are flown for the duration of the event, starting on July 14 and concluding July 17. Once that foundational tournament has passed, however, members will notice another change to Willowbend’s greens, only these new adornments—upgraded flagsticks and redesigned flags—are permanent additions to the club.