I have mixed feelings about this course. The first 11 holes are great. Although the rolling topography necessitates some climbing, most of it is over the first two holes and there is actually room for strategic play. David Krause's renovation work has done away with a lot of trees and more need to go to provide much-needed wind and sun for some fairways. But the playing angles are mostly intact and certainly better than on many classic courses. If only the entire course were like that, but holes 12-14 are open parkland holes and look out of place. The 12th is far too long and "lop-sided" to have options. The 13th is a standard par 3 over water and more mindless hitting is required on the 14th with is flat fairway and American style bunkering. And while the 15th is a quirky, short par 5 that resonates well with the first 11, it is also the end of the main part of the property.
In my mind the clubhouse and the practice facilities were built in the wrong place, so that a slice of land was split off from the rest and that L-shaped plot now houses the final three holes. The 16th is a stupid par 3 trying to be a quirky classic. It looks nice, but is entirely devoid of strategy. It's a long, steeply uphill hole, but there is no bailout whatsoever for average hitters, who can't reach the putting surface with an iron. Over the green is dead and short is a deep bunker. I don't like these holes that basically say "Grandpa, you're done - only real golfers beyond this point". The 17th and 18th are competent par 4s, but after climbing up the steep hill and ending up on the clubhouse terrace, I didn't feel particularly motivated to play down the hill and back up once more.
It's a difficult site, but by keeping it all in one piece, it could have been made to work. The current compromise leaves a sour taste, even though most holes are actually very good and fun to play. (UM)
Date: July 07, 2019