RENEW YOUR LOVE OF THE GAME
A GOLFER’S DREAM COURSE
The course does not start out with a "cream puff" opening hole. From the very beginning you will need to select the correct tees to play from as the dogleg right 1st hole requires a solid ball strike from the longer tee markers to clear a small stream that cuts diagonally across the fairway immediately in front of the forward markers. The fairway is a generous 50 yards wide in the landing zone and fairway bunkers on the left are more directional than penal. Avoid the trees to the right if you want to make a par. Your second shot is slightly uphill through a gentle valley to a receptive green which will run fast from back to front.
This tree lined slight dogleg right par 5 looks much narrower than it plays. A well hit downhill tee shot that clears a small fairway ridge will roll another 20 yards and put the player in position to go for the green in two. A beautiful Sycamore tree guards the left side of the green complex and, while the entire hole is heavily wooded on both sides, the tree canopies have been trimmed up to 8 feet, and the "floor" under the trees is mowed and maintained, so golf balls are easily found. There is a clear approach to the front of the long green which will have dozens of pin locations. The smart player will play the hole as designed and have a wedge into the green to set up their birdie putt.
Don't let the yardage fool you, this may be our most demanding par 3 on the course and is sure to be regarded by some as a "signature" hole. The first of our 6 quarry holes is perched on the side of a quarry wall with a short iron tee shot to a green that literally "sits on a rock" similar to the famous 17th at the TPC Sawgrass. The big trouble is on the right as the wall drops 20 feet into a pond immediately next to the green. But, if you steer away too far left, you risk the chance of a ricochet off that quarry wall toward the same pond. The key is to ignore all the scenery and remember you're only hitting a wedge.
Starting on top of a quarry bluff, drives on this slight dogleg will run out as they follow the sloping fairway contour to the left. A small tree lined stream guards the left side of the fairway until just past the landing area where it crosses the fairway and continues along side the right of the green complex. The ample green offers plenty of room for your mid to long iron approach shot and a large bunker just left of the green will catch errant balls keeping them from rolling down large mounding on that side of the hole.
The first of two driveable par 4's with a prevailing tailwind. Lying in the quarry bottom, this hole is protected by water on the left and right and has specific targets for conservative or aggressive play. The best play is a power fade around the large fairway bunker on the right which will land the ball on a flat runway to the front of the 120 foot deep green. Scores will range from 2 to 7 on this risk/reward hole.
This long, downhill par 3 is perched on the top of a quarry platform and offers great views of the surrounding property. A waste bunker of rock dust lines the right side and two "saving" sand bunkers keep wayward slices from plunging off the cliff. The green features a split level surface with the left half of the green about 1 foot higher than the right half making your east/west putts difficult.
Destined to be the number 1 handicap hole, this long uphill dogleg left par 4 is helped only by a prevailing southwest breeze. Trees line both sides of the fairway from tee to green. It's likely you will be using a hybrid into the elevated green and once on the putting surface the relatively flat contours will help ease the difficulty of the hole by offering some makeable putts.
A backbreaking 605 yards from the tips this is truly a three shot hole. Squeezing your tee shot past the collection of bunkers on the left side of the fairway will leave you a downhill second shot of about 200 yards just short of a creek and between groups of trees on both sides of the fairway. Only the longest hitters will be able to carry the creek in two setting up a short pitch to the small elevated green.
This slightly downhill, moderate length hole is the third par 3 on the front nine. The green is guarded by a wetland on the right, trees on the left and sand bunkers set into a steep embankment behind the green. With the green set lower than the surrounding ground, swirling winds will be a factor in choosing the correct club. The local knowledge here is that the prevailing wind is at your back.
Prepare to be challenged at the start of this nine as well with this long, open par 4. There is little trouble to find off the tee and a wide landing area invites you to swing away. The green sits gently to the right between stately trees with several grass bunkers waiting to gobble up any mishit approach shots. The breeze will help here as well taking some of the bite out of the length of the hole.
You will be visually tempted to cut the corner on this shorter than average dogleg right, but you must resist! Hanging tree limbs, encroaching rough, and a sand bunker on the right front corner of the green make a greedy play treacherous on this par 4. A hybrid lay-up shot to the left center of the fairway will give you an open angle to all pin placements. Be careful of going long here as there is a 30 foot drop immediately behind the green.
If there is a "breather hole" on the course this may be it. In a lovely, quiet setting this mid length par 3 has trees set back somewhat from the fairway and green with gentle chipping zones around the green help making recoveries from errant shots easier.
With the green resting some 65 feet below the tee, your drive will have plenty of hang time as it flies downhill against a gorgeous wooded backdrop. A wide fairway flows innocently toward a surprise 15 foot drop off a rock wall that goes across the entire fairway at approximately the 320 yard line. A menacing second shot must find the green with a moat like creek in front of, and twisting along the right side of, the putting surface.
This second candidate for "signature hole" status is unlike any other golf hole in the Midwest. Starting on top of a quarry wall you drive into a canyon between rock faces of 60 feet on the left and 15 feet on the right. There is little likelihood of loosing a ball on this shot, but scuff marks may appear if you bounce off these fairway barriers. Rock gives way to trees on the right side for the remainder of the hole, but on the left the imposing 60 foot rock face continues all the way to the green. Grass depressions offer a challenge the closer you get to the green which may be reachable in two despite playing into the prevailing wind. Difficult chips face those who miss this putting surface to the left or right.
Nestled in a creek valley with large Cottonwood trees casting shadows on the right this mid to long par 3 asks the player to negotiate a rock dust waste bunker right and a nasty, deep sand bunker on the left. The best place to miss here is long where chipping zones of zoysia help ease the recovery. Be wary of the back right pin placement where the hole can be perched on a small shelf.
A series of 6 cross bunkers line the left side of this dogleg left par 4. Despite the actual yardage this is the second driveable par 4 on the course. With a prevailing wind at your back and the ability to shorten the hole by cutting the corner over the cross bunkers, a well struck tee shot will carry the sand, hit a down slope and run toward the green. A mishit however will pay a heavy penalty ending up in one of the deep bunkers or going through the fairway into the trees.
Take a deep breath and swing away. A sharp dogleg right that requires a well struck tee shot to go past the trees on the corner is necessary to be able to reach the green in two. The fairway is appropriately wide and the wind usually helps but this is a true finishing hole. Make sure your long second shot favors the left as 4 hidden pot bunkers lurk to the right of the green. If you get into trouble, play for bogey or this one could really increase your score.
The ultimate finishing hole. A wide fairway encourages you to drive as close to the edge of the lake as you can to set up your "go for it" shot to the green hanging on the right edge of a beautiful lake. A normal headwind will challenge you to make solid contact, but will also protect you from hooking it into the water. Five greenside bunkers will punish those who miscue. Birdies will be plentiful along with snowmen on this make or break classic final hole.
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