Golfers playing the Briarwood East course this season will take notice to some updates that give the track a fresh look.

Originally designed in 1956, Briarwood recently completed a series of renovations to the East layout that general manager Rick Saxon called a "modernization."

The project spanned a nine-month period from July 2011 until April. According to Saxon, the main focus was building a number of new tee boxes to give every golfer a tee at the West Manchester Township course.

"We needed new up tees, new ladies, seniors tees and bigger white tees for the course, that's what got it started," Saxon said. "Before this renovation, we didn't have dedicated tees for seniors and women. We do now."

Each hole now features a minimum of five tee boxes with the addition of a Black set of tees to go along with Blue, White, Gold and Red.

The course consulted with renowned golf course architect W.R. "Bill" Love on the issues they wanted to address during the redesign.

Love most recently assisted The Olympic Club in San Francisco on its preparations to host the U.S. Open in June, all while helping Saxon and company with Briarwood. Love also crafted Briarwood's West course in 1992.

With some of the new tee boxes moved back or relocated, the ability exists to rotate tees and create different angles and set ups. This helps give holes a different look from day-to-day.

Another highlight of the work saw every sand trap rebuilt and 12 bunkers added, taking the East course's total from 16 to 28. Some bunkers also were taken away or moved throughout the course.

Since golfers are considerably longer off the tee than years ago when the course was designed, some of the bunker changes reflect a new challenge for players.

One such change was to the par-4 15th, where a new bunker just off the right fairway was pushed back about 40 yards and made larger. When paired with the pond to the left of the hole, a new premium is placed on the accuracy of the tee shot.

Two new bunkers now guard the front-left portion of the green as well, along with the original greenside bunker to the right. In all, the changes warranted a shift on the hole's handicap rating on the course's scorecard from a 4 to a 1.

More than 1,000 tons of Valley Forge Refractory white sand was used to recondition and extend existing bunkers and create the new traps.

Saxon said he was pleased that the project didn't force him to raise the rates this season and said feedback so far has been positive.

"We did all this and we did not raise rates from last year," said Saxon. "It was a challenge, but it was well worth it."

@YDRGolf; 771-2056

See a hole-by-hole breakdown of the changes at Briarwood East on The Gopher Hole