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Sunday, September 20, 2015

THE BROOK LAWN CLUB, Fairfield, Long Island Sound (1895)


The Brook Lawn Club was formed in 1895.

Rich in history, The Brooklawn club offers a magnificent club house with excellent dining and social programmes, as well as traditional country club sports.

Brooklawn was one of the first dozen or so clubs to join the United States Golf Association in 1896. Its first golf professional was Tom Morris, grandson of famed Scottish golfer and professional at St. Andrews, Tom Morris, Sr.

Then in 1918, Gene Sarazen began his golf career here as an apprentice club-maker.

His accomplishments included the invention of the Sand Wedge and he was the first golfer to win all four of golf’s Grand Slam events - the Masters, the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship.

The club has a strong tradition of giving back to the game through our hosting of local and state championships including the Connecticut Open.

The original club was a nine-hole layout on what was then rolling farm land.

The course was expanded to eighteen holes in 1911.

Almost 20 years later, A. W. Tillinghast, one of history’s premier golf architects who also designed, among others, the courses at Winged Foot Golf Club, Baltusrol Golf Club, Bethpage State Park and Quaker Ridge Golf Club, redesigned the course.

Over the years very thoughtful changes have been made with the guidance of course architect, Ron Forse, who specializes in Tillinghast designs.

The intent has been to assure that we maintain the integrity of what Tillinghast built but to also recognize that the modern game is different and certain adaptations are necessary.

The golf course provides a challenge for all levels of play thanks to the design strategy of A. W. Tillinghast.

Brooklawn’s sloping greens provide the biggest challenge and “Keep the ball below the hole” is a common recommendation.

Sloping putts are the rule, not the exception and it is not unusual to play two or three feet of break on a 30-foot putt.

A good lag putter, who can read the greens, is always favored as a partner.

Off the tee, accuracy is more important than distance.

Many holes allow the player to run the ball onto the green because there are no bunkers in front to go over and it makes the course fair for higher handicaps players.

If one misses the fairway, more often than not, this will demand hitting a fade or a draw on the next shot in order to avoid a greenside bunker or to put the ball favorably back in play.

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