The current golf course at Fenway Golf Club was designed by AW Tillinghast in 1924, for members of the newly established Fenimore Country Club in Scarsdale, Westchester County. Those same members had founded their club in 1920 and originally engaged Garden City creator Devereux Emmit to lay out a full 18 hole course for them as well as a shorter 9 holer. Emmit’s course opened in 1922, but did not compare favorably to Tillinghast’s nearby gems at Winged Foot and Quaker Ridge, so the club called in Tillinghast to essentially start over again. The club was later renamed Fenway, with Tillie’s 18 holes set across the club’s ample 240-acre grounds.
As with his other Westchester layouts, at Fenway Tillinghast built a fierce set of greens, often angled forward and guarded by deep and punishing bunkers. He also followed the natural terrain as he routed his holes across the site. There are fewer natural standouts here than at Quaker Ridge or Winged Foot, but the layout is solid from start to finish and the best holes are quite impressive. On the front nine the long par five 3rd, with its pushed up two-tier green, is particularly memorable, while on the back nine the beautiful elevated par three 11th is one of the star attractions. The biggest talking point, however, is the short par four 15th, which features one of the narrowest greens in all of Westchester County. What makes the hole so demanding, is that the green is perched on a subtle rise and leans severely from back-to-front. From the new back tees it is also tucked behind trees and awfully difficult to access.
Fenway has a big reputation in New York, and is certainly a course worth seeking out if in the area and able to negotiate your way onto the property. This isn’t the best Tillinghast design by any stretch and there are some issues with the current fairway bunkering and mowing lines, but a day’s golf here is certainly pleasant treat.
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