A public golf course in The Bronx, what’s not to like? I liked the whole course, but liked the back nine better, I thought it was the easier of the two. The course has a lot going on being set in a dense urban environment. For example, the 11th hole has apartment buildings in the back framing the hole in the distance. In the middle-distance the fescue provides a backdrop, and in the immediate distance there is a plethora of bunkers. It is a short par 4 of only 302 yards from the blue tees, so obviously designer Jack Nicklaus wanted to make it more challenging the more of the hole you try to bite off. I found it difficult to pick and commit to a target with so much distracting the eye. My favorite hole was the 12th, a par three of 166 yards from the back and 139 from the blue tees. The 12th green is surrounded by shaved collection areas on three sides (right, left and back) and is protected by a jagged-shaped bunker in front that conceals the front of the putting surface, which is slanted, oddly shaped, oblong, and at a right angle to the golfer. I liked the finishing stretch (16-17-18) and think they are the best consecutive holes on the course. Sixteen is a demanding 437-yard par four that requires a precision shot to a well protected green, with great views in every direction of the water and the large suspension bridges that connect the Bronx to the other Boroughs. All the par threes on the course were particularly well framed by the mounding and the fescue, especially the 17th. The 18th is a 500-yard par 5 playing along the tidal river. I thought the course's greens were fair: there are not too many undulations in them, the breaks are more subtle, but still challenging. I only missed one fairway all day, speaking to their width, because I usually hit less. My other observation, which the caddies confirmed, is that the course plays longer than the card. Approaches to the greens are almost always one club longer than you think. I'm no physics or solid waste expert, but the suspicion is that it has to do with playing atop a capped landfill. Either that or the greens are slightly elevated and I didn't take that into account.
Date: October 20, 2019