There's no shortage of trees at Holbrook Country Club, a course where all 18 holes are ringed by a dense collection of limbs and leafy branches. Aside from an occasional generous kick toward the fairway, these trees offer little that's of any aid to golfers.
One tree, however, does serve a beneficial purpose to Holbrook players. Rather, it did serve a purpose. The tree, all alone on the inside of the dogleg on the par-4 ninth, is gone. It was there on our previous visit in May 2011, but no more. It served as an important landmark for players unable to see the far half of a fairway obscured by a water hazard and surrounding reeds. A strong drive launched over the tree would cut the corner of the sloped fairway and tumble down within a short iron or wedge of the green.
All is not lost -- you can still use the edge of the hazard to set your aim.
While the tree may be gone, still active at Holbrook are the infamous crows that cackle and caw from first hole to last. Turn your back and they'll make off with that bag of chips you left in the cart. Lip out on a birdie putt and their well-timed jeers head straight for your last nerve.
[PICTURED: Looking back from beside #9 green (in May 2011), the lost tree can be seen on the right inside the turn of the fairway.]