Quaker Ridge, designed by A.W. Tillinghast in the late 1910s and restored/updated in the 2000s by Gil Hanse, offers a unique layout to golfers. Its front nine works around the property border in a counter clockwise fashion. The inward half moves mildly clockwise, then kind of like an intestine, as it works its gentle way back to the clubhouse. To understand the challenges facing the two teams in this year’s Curtis Cup, it behooves to have a look at the holes. Without the time to put together a full-on course tour, here is a one-and-done of each hole.
Front Nine-the outer loop
The outward loop begins with a tumbling par five, before moving to three consecutive, par four holes, of distinct qualities. Two and three hug the ground in a deceptive fashion, while four moves downward, past a divided fairway, to a pond it shares with five. The 5th is the first, one-shot hole, and the water in front is more than compensated by a deep green with a frontward tilt. Six takes us threateningly ‘twixt a left-side brook and a right-side hill, to a distant green. Seven bends hard left, then escalates to a hill-top green, protected by plentiful sand. Eight is a short but tricky par four, sort of the uphill version of four, without the pond. Nine is the first of consecutive one-shotters, a wee pitch to a green sighted near the clubhouse.
Back Nine-the inner loop
In truth, the home nine is not technically a loop. Holes 10, 11 and 13 run along the perimeter of the loop, but it’s there that the authenticity ends. 12 and 15 through 18 are horizontally stacked in a resilient manner. The par four holes (11, 14-18) are marvelously distinct, contrasting demanding beasts with wicked sprites. The lone par five (13) runs magnificently beneath a ridge line, climbing up past diagonal cross bunkers to a fairway-level green. The two par three holes, ten and twelve, are done with quickly, Both play downhill, to bunker-ringed greens.