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Golf

Making the course more user friendly

Shattuck adds White Birch tee boxes

  • The Shattuck Golf Club has added a new set of tee boxes to the course.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Shattuck Golf Club has added a new set of tee boxes to the course.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Shattuck Golf Club has added a new set of tee boxes to the course.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Shattuck Golf Club has added a new set of tee boxes to the course.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Shattuck Golf Club has added a new set of tee boxes to the course.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Shattuck Golf Club has added a new set of tee boxes to the course.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

The Shattuck has been ranked in the top 50 toughest courses in the United States on many occasions since it opened in 1991.

With long carries, difficult greens and the reputation of a course that will deplete a golfer’s bag of balls, the Shattuck has fought for years to bring newcomers back for a second play.

And they may have just found a way.

With the addition of the White Birch tee boxes, on most holes placed between the white and gold tees, a lot of the hard shots have been made more user friendly.

“When you finish playing the White Birch 18 you feel good about your game. You don’t feel beaten up and save a few more golf balls,” said longtime member Bill Schofield.

The purpose of the new tees is to help higher handicap golfers, as well as first-time Shattuck players, have a better look at the greens and be more comfortable with their shots. Overall, the White Birch tees make the course about 400 yards shorter and eliminates a number of carries that can greatly hurt an average golfer.

“With this, it reduces the distance a bit,” said Allen Leach, who has been a member since Shattuck opened. “It softens it up a bit, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Most of that is the reduced length of the forced carries.”

Early this season, there were some serious discussions on how to draw new golfers to the course. It has really been talked about for years because a lot of times, first-time golfers will play the course once and never come back.

“One of the challenges we have here is that Shattuck is so difficult that people don’t want to come here,” said Tony Haigh, Public Relations Coordinator for the Shattuck. “You have to play it two or three times to get to know it.”

But this time, decisions were made and the addition of the new tees were made a reality after the owner, golf pros and grounds crew signed off on the project. The White Birches at the Shattuck, the name of the course on its own new scorecard, was opened on May 29 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a scramble.

“We’re just getting this thing off the ground and we’ll tweak things as we go,” said Haigh.

The one major change with the White Birch tees is on hole 11. The new tees are actually behind the existing white tees and is played as a par 5, giving the new layout a total par of 72 — one shot more than the course’s original par.

“It turns an extremely difficult par 4 to a fun par 5,” said Haigh.

The Shattuck has always offered a shorter course from the gold and red tees, but many golfers did not want to play from those shorter distances.

“It’s a great halfway spot between the whites and the golds,” said Schofield.

And while the White Birch tees offer reprieve from some of the more difficult holes, players still have to make the right decisions.

“You still have to make the shots and you’ll never get away from that no matter where you play,” said Leach.

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