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Edgewood changes to ‘whetten’ golfers’ appetites

Steve Yingling

Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course customers may feel like fishing after the opening two holes next season.

And anybody with a propensity of hitting a duck hook may want to hit an iron off the first two tees on their next visit to the home of the Isuzu Celebrity Golf Championship.

The 30-year-old 18-hole public golf course is undergoing an estimated $200,000 stream and wetlands restoration project, which has immensely changed the first two holes of the 7,491-yard, par-72 course. Tom Fazio, the nephew of Edgewood’s original designer, George Fazio, is overseeing the project.

“There’s so much competition out there nowadays and so many new golf courses going in, it’s a matter of keeping up with what’s going on out there. The only way to generate more revenue is to have the product be better, and that’s always been the philosophy of (owner) Park Cattle Company since I’ve been here,” said Edgewood Superintendent Steve Seibel.

Since Sept. 22, the 430-yard first and 488-yard second holes (from the championship tees) have been redesigned, bringing more water into play.

No. 1 now plays 30 yards longer since the green has been moved further back and left, bringing it closer to the green-side pond. The 20-foot wide bunker to the left of the green now abuts the pond.

“The green has a 20-degree angle right to left. Anything long there will end up in the water,” said Edgewood Head Professional Paul Martin.

In addition, the fairway has been uplifted four feet to bring it level with the pond system on the left side.

“It is visually more compelling and more breathtaking standing on the first tee box. You’re looking at an entirely different hole,” Martin said.

Players may want to check their bags for extra balls before teeing off on No. 2.

A stream now flows along the old cart path to the left of the fairway. Eventually Edgewood Creek will be extended past the par-3 fifth hole to U.S. Highway 50 and will be planted with rainbow trout.

Moreover, the once two-tiered green has been moved forward about 40 yards, the tee box moved back and a wetlands area bordering the second and third holes has been enhanced by two to three acres. It now is the only hole without a sand trap.

“If you miss the green left on No. 2, you’ll be wet,” Martin said. “There are pretty good contours on the new green, but nothing as dramatic as the old one.”

“It’s a little risk and reward. There’s very little trouble to the right on both (No. 1 and No. 2), but there’s a lot of trouble to the left. What it’ll mean is that most people will hug the right side of fairway (on No. 2) and for most it will play a little bit longer. Both greens are receptive – nothing is in front of them – so you could hit a bump-and-run shot into both of them. “

If this week’s forecasted snowfall covers the course, Seibel estimates that an additional three weeks of work will remain in the spring. So far 3 acres of new sod are in place, with three more planned.

Consequently, Edgewood doesn’t plan to open before May 20 next spring.

Park Cattle Company has continually made improvements to Edgewood throughout the 1990s. The renovations started with a new clubhouse six years ago, followed by improvements to the 18th pond and green and the rerouting of Edgewood Creek by the first and 10th tees.

“It’s a new course every year,” Martin said.

Martin said green fees will remain the same – $150 per person. But anyone reserving a tee time 90 days in advance must pay a $25 nonrefundable booking fee.


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