Some changes over the years at ECC have taken out a bit of the bite from what otherwise rivaled Augusta National as the trickiest and most severe greens in the Northeast.
Several of the original holes that existed when Engineers hosted the first international golf competition before the Ryder Cup began are nothing short of incredible. The dramatic run of holes from #11 to #15 are four of the best back-to-back holrd anywhere in the world which require a combination of power and finesse.
The 11th is a short par-4 that doglegs to the right with a deep and skinny green where any putt from above the pin is treacherous. The chances of birdie are equal to bogey and a slight misstep will lead you to a quick double bogey that has you kicking yourself asking, "how did that just happen".
The 12th is also a dogleg to the right and arguably the best medium length par 4 on Long Island. At just under 400 yards, you must keep your tee shot on the left side of the fairway to have an angle that works for this green that slopes hard from right to left (the opposite direction of the approach shot angle). Missing this green to the right leaves a lightening quick pitch that is nearly impossible to stop. Missing left and you could have a lost ball in the woods. The green is more than ample but unless you keep your approach shot left and below the pin, every putt on this green is quite challenging.
The par 4 13th is a slight dogleg left that is about 470 yards from the back tees. It’s a very challenging hole that has ruined many rounds. The green looks simple enough but hitting it is a whole different story. An inviting collection area is short and right of the green but getting that simple looking pitch close to the hole is so much harder than it looks as the green slopes away from you and from front-to-back. It’s a brilliant design where you pick up a shot on the field salvaging a par.
The 14th is called the 2 or 20 hole, a hole in which at only 115 yards has a mini-reverse Redan green. Unbelievably both Bobby Jones and Gene Sarazon in tournament competition scored double digits on this hole. The green is surrounded by fescue and a miss left ensures no chance of hitting the green on your 2nd and a miss right leaves you in a bunker that is about 10 feet below the green and super steep, even leaving the possibility of you having a lost ball if you don't wind up in the bunker. It’s one of the best sand wedge par-3s in the world by anyone's standards. Just as strong as the postage stamp at Royal Troon.
The 15th is a long and straight downhill par 4 with a wild gigantic green. The green is one of the best of all time, as it has so many ridges and slopes that it must take the maintenance crew an hour to cut it each day. Anywhere is a 3 putt possibility and the back right section is the most exciting as a well struck approach shot will often funnel close to the hole.
Just a few awkward holes is all that keeps Engineers from being top 15 in the state.
Date: December 01, 2020