It’s always cool to play a course you know absolutely nothing about and come away floored by how much fun it was. That, in a nutshell, was my experience at Jeff City CC. With a lovely rolling property, a clever routing, and well-bunkered modern green complexes that shine, this mid-Missouri gem is well worth seeking out if you happen to find yourself in the area. Granted, a parkland course in the Midwest (at least, one that is not St. Louis CC) is never going to be at the top of many people’s lists to see, but this is a pretty darn good one.
Originally built by the prolific Midwestern Scot Robert Foulis in the 1920s and revised by Larry Packard in the 1960s, the course was given a freshening by Lohmann Design (now Lohmann-Quitno) in 2009. The routing is very well done, though to be honest I’m not sure which of the first two architects listed can take credit; it’s not a huge property, but the hole corridors never really feel cramped or like you’re right on top of another hole. There isn’t much flat ground on the golf course, and several holes feature widely varying use of the natural slopes to create difficult shots around the greens. Even some of the fairways feature a little topographical intrigue; doglegs often turn opposite the slope of the fairway, creating a crowned turn effect that adds some difficulty.
Some particular holes I liked include: #4, a downhill and semi-blind dogleg left par four that features a little bit of that crown effect; #6, a long par four that doglegs right around the crown and plays uphill on the approach; #8, a par three with deceptive front bunkering and a knobby little green; #12, a spectacular par five that plays down into a creek valley and back up, with a difficult approach made more so by the severe left-to-right slope; #13, another long dogleg right par four that forces the player into an extremely uncomfortable uphill approach; #15, a long, double dogleg right par five with a long and narrow green; and #16, a medium-length dogleg left par four around a cemetery (oh, how I wish I could hit a draw…).
The only real criticisms I can muster are that I don’t like the forced layup on #10, and the par threes are a bit unmemorable, but the gripes are minor as from start to finish this is a very good golf course – challenging yet enjoyable. I’m glad to see it finally getting its due on this site.
Played September 4, 9, & 10, 2017
Date: November 25, 2020