The opening hole is a short, yet deceptively tricky par 4. Out of bounds and lateral hazard line the right hand side of the hole, narrowing closer to the green, and trees loom to the left, putting a premium on hitting the fairway. At 200 yards from the white tees a lateral hazard runs to the left and the right of the fairway, catching even well hit balls that stray only a little to one side off the tee. The green is guarded by five sand traps that most shots that do not fly onto the putting surface.
Pro’s Tip: While the prospect of having an opening birdie after a big tee shot will entice some longer hitters to pull out the driver, trouble to the right of the hole and around the green will too often lead to a big number. Hitting the club that will leave the ball short of the hazard is the right play, resulting in a short iron into the putting surface. Aim for the center of the green on the approach to avoid the sand.
The second hole is a short par 4 with an elevated green. Trees guard the left hand rough and are strategically placed down the right side to penalize wavering tee shots. At 220 yards from the white tees there is a small water hazard in the right hand rough that will collect drives that drift too far from the fairway. The green is elevated and is protected by four sand traps that put emphasis on accuracy.
Pro’s Tip: Longer hitters shouldn’t have any problem with the hazard on the right and can easily fly past it with a driver. Shorter hitters should aim up the left side of the fairway to ensure their tee shots do not stray too far to the right. Approach shots into the green typically release more than other greens on the course so this should be taken into account during club selection.
The third hole is a par 4 that is split into two fairways. A cluster of trees 220 yards from the white tees on the right hand side of the fairway collect tee shots that are pushed too far right or impede shorter tee shots in the right hand rough. A lateral hazard runs across the center of the hole 240 yards from the white tees, separating the fairway into two sections. A false front on the left hand side of the green funnels approach shots that are pulled slightly from the putting surface into the rough. Sand traps surround the right hand side and back of the putting surface.
Pro’s Tip: Because it takes nearly a 250 yard carry the hazard crossing the fairway, choose the club that will leave the ball comfortably short of the trouble. Use caution on your approach when the pin is on the left side of the green by aiming for the right center with to ensure that a good shot that lands on the putting surface will stay there.
The fourth hole is now being played from it’s new configuration – a dogleg right that which adds a completely new experience and challenge to the front nine. Altough it is tempting to pull out driver and go for the green, out of bounds (the road) and trees on the right make a fairway wood or hybrid aimed to the left the prudent play. The green is guarded on right by sand traps and out of bounds looms beyond them. The green is fairly flat, with a slope on the left side that will funnel balls that land on the green off into the rough.
Pro’s Tip: Tee up on the right hand side of the tee box and aim left. There is plenty of room in the landing area and a well struck faiway wood or hybrid will leave you a short iron to the green. A good birdie or par on this hole will be a needed confidence boost before the challenging 5th and 6th holes.
The first par 3 on the course is hardly imposing in length but challenges the golfer to be precise with a mid or short iron off the tee. The entire right side of the hole is bordered by trees that are unforgiving to most shots pushed right of the green. The left hand side of the green is guarded by a sand trap that collects tee shots that are slightly pulled. Beyond the sand trap the rough slopes sharply to the left towards a lateral hazard that runs behind the green. The putting surface slopes severely back to front making putts from behind the hole extremely difficult.
Pro’s Tip: Leaving an uphill putt is crucial on this hole as shots from behind the hole are not only difficult to stop near the cup, but may roll off the green entirely.
This picturesque par 4 is the number one handicap hole for a reason: it demands two exceptional shots to find the green in regulation. The hole doglegs from left to right with the corner 240 yards from the white teens and the entire right hand side of the hole is bordered by forest. Trees line the left hand side of the hole and there is a fairway bunker directly at the apex of the dogleg that will come into play on tee shots that stray too far to the left. The green slopes right to left and is protected on both sides by sand traps. The road just over the green is out of bounds.
Pro’s Tip: Finding the fairway off this tee is key as shots into the woods to the right will either need to be dropped short of the corner or re-teed and shots that find the trees or the sand trap on the left will leave little or no chance of hitting the green in regulation. Approach shots will release on this green, so play approach shots to the front.
The shortest par 4 on the course guards against low scores with a blind tee shot and a green that is surrounded by trouble. An aiming flag directs golfers off the tee over a small crest that gives way to a green that is lower than the fairway. The road runs along the right side of the hole which is out of bounds, and a tree positioned on the left side of the fairway makes puts stress on accuracy from the tee. Trees border the right side of the green and the river just beyond the putting surface create the most challenging approach shot on the front nine, putting a premium on distance and accuracy. The green is also the firmest on the golf course, causing approach shots to release.
Pro’s Tip: Tee shots up the left hand side of the fairway will give the least obstructed view of the green on the approach. Shots hit short of the green will not release onto the surface, so flying the ball onto the green is necessary, however shots that land in the middle or back of the green will trickle off the back because of the firm landing area.
The Ellis River lines the right side of this par 4, making any shot that goes too far right subject to lateral hazard. The fairway is split into two sections with the first ending 200 yards from the white tee. A water hazard runs between the two fairways on the right side of the hole and turns into rough on the left side, making the second fairway slightly lower than the first. Sand traps guard the left and right side of the green and a slight slope in the back causes approach shots that fly too far to roll off of the putting surface.
Pro’s Tip: This green is receptive and the front is open so play the club off the tee that will leave a comfortable distance for the approach. Aim down the left side of the first fairway if an approach of 100 yards or greater is required so as to avoid the hazard on the right. If playing for the second fairway, hit enough club to make sure the ball carries into the short grass. Aggressive approach shots can be rewarded with a short look at birdie, but shots that fly too far may find the rough over the green.
The front nine finishes with a beautiful par 5 that doglegs to the right. Players from the white tees hit their drives over the Ellis River, which runs along the right side of the hole, collecting errant tee shots. Lake Madeline sits 230 yards from the white tees on the left side of the fairway which will penalize pulled tee shots with a water hazard. The fairway runs between Lake Madeline and the Ellis River turning slightly to the right during the course of the hole. The green is protected on the left and right by sand traps and slopes slightly from front to back, leading to approach shots that land short of the green releasing onto the surface.
Pro’s Tip: This is a true risk/reward hole for a longer hitter who can have an eagle putt after two fantastic shots. Long hitters who want to go for the green in two can choose how short they want their second shot to be by aiming farther over the river off the tee. For players who want to play safe and make it a three shot hole, pick the club that will land the tee ball in the fairway between the river and Lake Madeline. On the second shot, use the club that will result in a comfortable full swing into the hole on the third shot. Approach shots will release on this green so aim for the front and allow the ball to feed to the hole.
The back nine begins with a narrow par 4 that has out of bounds running along the entire right side of the hole as well as on the left side near the green. At 220 yards from the white tees, a ridge runs across the center of the fairway that will stop shots that land short of it from running inside the 100 yard marker. The green is protected by two sand traps on the front left and right respectively and there is out of bounds directly over the green that penalizes any ball that flies too far. The putting surface is large, but relatively flat, sloping slightly from back to front.
Pro’s Tip: As it takes a 250 yard carry to completely fly the ridge, hitters who do not think they can clear it should lay up so as to avoid the uneven lies found if a ball comes to rest on the up slope or down slope. For golfers who choose to play short, the approach shot will be blind, so pick a target beyond the green that lines up with the hole and play aggressively on that line. Long hitters who do clear the ridge will have a good look at a green that can yield birdie with a good approach.
The 11th hole is a long par four with an elevated green. Lateral hazard lines the entire left side of the hole while strategically placed trees and a small water hazard can create trouble for any ball that is lost to the right. The two sand traps protect the left and front right of the green and out of bounds can be found just long and left of the putting surface. The green has a slight false front that will cause any under clubbed shot to end up on the upslope short of the green.
Pro’s Tip: While a shot in the fairway is always preferred off the tee, the right side is the side to miss on. On the approach, an extra club will be needed because of the elevated green.
Trees and water hazard run along the left side of the hole, penalizing shots hooked into the left rough with a penalty stroke or impeded line to the green. There are two deep sand traps on the front left and right of the green and out of bounds runs just long of the putting surface. The green is small, sloping from the rear, with a slight false front that will stop shots that do not fly onto the dance floor.
Pro’s Tip: The practice area on the right side of the hole is the place to miss, though a few trees that separate it from the twelfth fairway will make for a difficult approach. The green is receptive and this can be a birdie hole after a good tee shot.
The 13th hole is a par 4 that doglegs to the left. Trees line the left side of the hole and out of bounds hugs the right side until 270 yards from the white tees where the right side opens up. At 250 yards from the white tee on the left and right side of the fairway there is water hazard in the left and right hand rough that catches long tee shots that miss the fairway. At 100 yards from the green, the fairway rises, coming to a plateau at 70 yards from the green. Sand guards the left and right hand sides of the green, which slopes from the back left to the front right.
Pro’s Tip: Play the club that will land in the fairway short of where the fairway begins to rise. From there, one extra club is needed to reach a green that is above your ball. There is nothing guarding the front of the green, so shots that land short will release onto the putting surface. Do not miss this green long as it will make for a very difficult pitch shot.
The fourteenth hole is a long, uphill par three with a green severely guarded on all sides. Lateral hazard runs up the entire left side of the hole and continues just long of the green, catching shots that are slightly pulled or fly too far. Out of bounds on the right side comes in to play on shots that are severely sliced into the woods. Two deep sand traps guard the front left and front right of the green collecting even well struck shots that don’t fly onto the putting surface. The fairway that runs up to the green is severely sloped back to the tee and it is not uncommon for balls that land just short of the green to trickle back down the hill, leaving a difficult uphill pitch shot.
Pro’s Tip: This hole is entirely carry because shots hit short will not release onto the green, and more often than not will roll back down the hill towards the tee. Because the green is severely uphill from the tee, one or two extra clubs are necessary depending on the wind. Par is an excellent score on this hole.
The fifteenth hole is a par 5 that requires a precise tee shot from an elevated tee. From the white tees, the fairway sprawls 60 feet below before rising again sharply toward the green. A lateral hazard extends across the fairway at 240 yards from the white tees and on the far side of the hazard, the fairway inclines for the final 120 yards to a small green protected on the right and left by sand traps. Out of bounds runs along the right side of the hole from tee to green, and the putting surface slopes slightly from back to front.
Pro’s Tip: Play the club that will comfortably find the fairway short of the hazard. From there play for the flat area short of the green that will leave a pitch shot for the third. The small green does not hold well, but shots that do not fly to the surface will not release and may come back down the hill slightly.
The sixteenth hole is a par 3 where players tee off from an extremely elevated tee. The tee boxes stretch from the woods to the left of the 15th green and overlook the 16th green that is the largest putting surface on the golf course. Out of bounds runs along the entire right side of the hole and the front of the green is protected by a large lateral hazard. The out of bounds continues beyond the green making precise club selection on the tee very important. The expansive green has a ridge that runs along the center, creating a slope of right to left.
Pro’s Tip: Play at least one less club than normal because of the elevation and try to fly the ball all the way to the hole as the green is large and soft and doesn’t balls tend not to release. Aiming for the center of the green is always the smart play so as to eliminate long putts on the large surface.
Though the 17th hole is the shortest on the golf course, it can also be one of the most difficult because of how severely protected the green is. A small pond that is a water hazard guards the entire front of the green, leaving only a small opening on the front right of the green for shots that do not fly far enough. Three sand traps on the front right, and behind the green penalize shots lost to the right or long. The green itself is one of the smallest on the course. It is tiered, with a ridge running between the higher back tier and the lower front.
Pro’s Tip: For shorter hitters who cannot fly an iron onto the green and make it stop, aim for the fairway that runs to the opening between the water hazard and the sand trap on the right and try to run the ball up onto the surface from that side. For players who can fly the ball onto the green, if the flag is in the front the ridge between the tiers can be a good backboard to play the ball off of. If the pin is in the back, leaving the ball on the front tier is better than hitting it over the green and leaving a difficult chip.
The finishing hole is a short par 4 that offers the golfer a final respite after the difficult holes before it. Out of bounds runs along the entire right side of the hole and around the back of the green, while lateral hazard runs up the left side of the hole for 230 yards from the white tees. Beyond the lateral hazard, the left side turns to out of bounds by Madeline’s Deli which is situated on the left and behind the green and is a popular place to get a sandwich or a beverage after the round. Sand traps can be found on the left and right sides of the green as well as directly over the green making a precise approach important. The putting surface is relatively flat, meaning shots that find the green will allow for aggressive putts to finish the round.
Pro’s Tip: Play the club that will leave a preferred distance on the second shot creating a comfortable approach. If the pin is on the left side of the green, aiming dead at it is the correct play and can yield a birdie. Aim for the center of the green if the pin is behind the front right trap on the right side of the green.