Easier, lakeside ninth hole highlights course changes at Edgewood | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Easier, lakeside ninth hole highlights course changes at Edgewood

Jerome Bettis putts on the ninth hole at Edgewood Tahoe during a practice round Wednesday. The new No. 9 now finishes near the lake, and players expect it to play easier.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

STATELINE — There is something different about Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course this year.

With impending construction along the lake, No. 9 has been altered, the big tree near the right side of the 18th green has been taken out and No. 8 has a different look.

The players at the 26th-annual American Century Championship have been getting a first-hand look at the three holes during the Lake Tahoe Celebrity Pro-Am and practice rounds since Tuesday.

The ninth hole is approximately 20 yards shorter, and at first glance appears to be easier than in the past. It was met with rave reviews from the players.

“I think, first of all, if you made four at No. 9 (before the change) it was like a birdie,” said defending tournament champion Mark Rypien. “Now it’s a legitimate birdie hole.

“You hit the ball anywhere left of those bunkers and you’ve got wedge in there. And before, unless you were Billy Joe (Tolliver), you normally hit a 4 or 5-iron or 6-iron in before. Anytime you put a wedge in your hand here, you’ve got a chance for a birdie.”

Rick Rhoden, an eight-time winner of the ACC, said it’s a prettier hole.

“I think 9 is a much better visual hole now — you’re looking at over the lake,” he said. “It’s really a pretty hole now. It’s an easier hole because you don’t have to maneuver your first shot or try to maneuver your first shot because it’s easy if you don’t maneuver it to get it out of bounds on the old 9.”

Tolliver, a four-time winner of the event, offered his views.

“I stood on 9 yesterday, first time I saw it, and the first thing that I saw is that fence over there where they’re building that hotel,” he said. “That’s the first thing I saw, because I know I’m going to hit my ball over that fence out of bounds. That’s all I could think about.”

Tolliver said he would miss the big tree being gone on 18 because it kept his errant approach shots from going into the water. Rypien also noted that the bunker near the tree had also been removed.

The eighth hole, which featured a huge tree in the middle of the fairway, has also been changed — according to tournament officials, the hole plays 15-20 yards shorter than before. For some players, the tree could come into play. For others, it won’t.

“I’m not sure if 8 is easier or harder,” Rhoden said. “Everybody used to try to blow it over the tree on 8 and you had a narrow opening. Now there is more room, you’ve just got to hit it high. If you pull it and miss the fairway. the grass is about as high as this table and going left is worse.”

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