Today I had the blessing of experiencing this fantastic facility and the first thing I can say is the Club House Experience is one of the best you can live. Not every day you get inside the GOAT's home club and every single corner of the place gives a memory about him, his career, his golfing success and the history of his life.
I arrived 12:45, Tired due to the long drive, I was able to enjoy the fantastic Locker’s Room and have lunch while watching 3rd Round of PGA at Bethpage. And fantastic will not be enough to describe the Locker Room, with memorabilia and plaques of Jack’s Major wins. And I was assigned Chip Ganassi’s Locker, former boss of one of my heroes Alex Zanardi (The Tractor Man) and very close to MJ’s locker as well …Then played the 18 holes in 1h53mins with the chance to think and hit every shot, take some nice pictures and even re putt some of the ones I left there of a round that was pretty good after jumping directly to the First Tee after driving 4hs from TPC Sawgrass. Before hitting the first tee I was able to see at the starters house the range bags of some decent golfers … (see picture!)
The course has some of Jack's best features, a lot of wel placed water hazards, some forced carries over marsh or water and excellent firm fast bermuda greens. Tee boxes are paspalum grass which usually gives you better lies to place your ball without the need of a tee.
Many holes are amazing, but the stretch of the first 3 starting holes is brutal and it was where I better played near making an ace on 2nd for one of my 2 birdies.
Third is one of those examples where length is not necessary to make a great hole, a carry over marsh and bunkers, water on the left hand side and a green that demands extreme precision give you a great hole.
Maintenance? Close to perfection, went to 2 bunkers and it was the best sand I played in a lot of time.
A great caddie made it very enjoyable, his name Blake and many good moments of shared stories and golf from many of the famous members the Club has.
There are many good courses where the finishing hole is not great, this one is just excellent, a par 5 where you can go for it in 2 if your tee shot is in good position (I was not) but the alternative way is a lay up to a fantastic 3rd shot facing the Club House over the water:
- Par 4 5th, a lay up tee shot and then a very small green, pure strategy!
- Short 7th is just great! Narowly missed the green to the right and made a very tough up and down.
- Par 5 10th from the very back challenges you on the tee shot and if going for it then you will have to fly it all over the water.
- Par 4 17th offers maybe the toughest green on the course, even if up in 2 shots par will need some extra task.
It reminded me about McArthur (Nick Price Design) and really enjoyed every single minute, one of those places where if you get the invite just say yes! And the golden moment of a big hug with Mr Player and a nice picture to be printed and frame at home!
Date: May 19, 2019