|Designed by Fred Couples with architect Gene Bates, the course at Southwood Golf Club first opened for play in 2002.|
Interesting course and round. I had the first tee time and was specifically instructed to not tee off until 7:14. While normally i am a liberal rule bender with first out tee times i stick to instructions. On the first tee a gentleman with a pull cart comes up and asks if i am the guy with the first tee time. I say, yes and i am assuming he wants to join me. He then stated that he plays fast (has anyone ever heard someone claim they play slow). I said great so do I. He said, no I really play fast. Having heard this before, i asked how fast? He said it had been a while since he timed himself, but usually around 1 3/4 hours. I chuckled,as when I checked in i was adamant that i wanted to walk. The pro shop asked how long would it take me, and i said less than 2 1/2 hours and they gave me the blessing. His 1 3/4 hours sounded like a challenge. A little over a year ago i was in an accident and shattered my knee cap. SO while i am still fast, i am no longer quick. My two hour or less rounds are a thing of the past. So I said, have at it . He teed off, grabbed his cart and started running. Interesting. More on this later, to the course.
First hole is a welcoming dogleg left par 5. I advise favoring the right to avoid the trouble left, but if you are aggressive it is reachable. The par 4 2nd is also a dogleg left with water and bunkers on the inside elbow. The 4th is a long par 5 that is not reachable and is well protected with water and a BAB. The 5th seemed peculiar. On the card it is a short uphill par 4 to a redan green. I am not a long hitter, but I was half a wedge in and of course mucked it up. The 6th is a trek from 5 green but it is a short par 3 birdie oppty. The par 4 8th is also a birdie hole. Favor the right side off the tee, the fairway is a launching pad and it will give you a wedge in. The long par four 9th is a tough hole. Off the tee favor the right side to avoid the fairway bunker complex left. I would advise taking an extra club on the approach to avoid the greenside bunker in the front.
The backside starts off with a reachable par 5. Do not be fooled by the optical illusion on the tee box. The oak tree protecting the right side is only reachable by steroid users. Left is better off the tee giving you the better angle to go for it. The 11th is a good risk reward short par 4. If you are going to miss, left is better. After a cross country jaunt, i finally reached the par 4 12th. I promptly hooked my drive into the 15th hole. Regardless, the hole slopes hard right to left, ergo, favor the right side of the fairway. The par 4 14th is a slight dogleg right. Do not let the big ass oak tree in the middle of the bunker right intimidate you. Depending upon the tees you are playing left is safe, but it can be cleared if you favor the left side of the bunker. The 15th seemed like the easiest number 2 handicap hole in history. Yes, i birdied it. The par 5 16th is reachable but you need to make two really good shots and have ice water in your veins. An elevated green with a water puddle in front and a green complex right. I stated earlier that the 5th seem strangely short, well the 18th seemed inexplicably long.
Overall. a good layout and excellent value.
Upon completion, i checked in with the pro shop. I felt pretty good about my 2 hours and 20 minute pace. The runner 1 hour and 20 minutes and shot a personal best!
Play faster, speed does not kill