Stay South

We were lucky a line of storms stayed just south of us. I was +2 on the round here playing #14 so really didn’t want to leave the course. Bogeyed 4 of the last 5 holes to shoot a 78.

You Shall Not Pass

In 2011 this bridge was still used by walkers after hitting the tee shot on #15 at Crooked Creek. I don’t remember when, but it was closed within a few years. Now a large chunk of the bridge has broken away during the spring flooding.

Tiger’s Choose Your Own Adventure Golf Course

Tiger Woods designed a unique golf experience named the Oasis Short Course in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I’ve never heard of a place built like this, but it sounds fun. The course has 12 greens where golfers can choose different arrangements to play in about an hour. If we had courses like this all over it would open up the game to a lot more people who don’t have time for a typical 9 or 18 hole round of golf.

Golf Courses Should Start With an Easy Hole

The first hole should be playable with a fairway wood or long iron from the tee and it shouldn’t have any water hazards. It should also be a par 4. Par 3′s will slow down play too much at the beginning of the round and should also require more accurate distance control than can be expected on the first hole. Par 5′s easy enough to qualify for a good first hole are just a waste of a potentially fun birdie hole later in the round.

via Please Build My Ideal Golf Course | Evan Solomon

Evan, a fellow Automattician, wrote a great post about golf course design. His points about the first hole stood out the most for me.

One of the courses in Saginaw where I’m a member, Swan Valley, starts off with a tough par 3. Why is it so tough?

  • The back tees are 180 yards, but it plays uphill and usually into the wind.
  • Any miss left is out of bounds.
  • Starting at the tee box, there is a pond that stretches about 120 yards up the right side.
  • If you miss to the right of the green, a big slope will kick your ball further right.
  • The green is small.

Over the last two years I’ve played the hole 101 times with 0 birdies and an average score of 3.99. My overall par 3 average during that same time period is 3.7. That’s not how you should start a golf course. To make matters worse, hole #2 is a 555 yard par 5, which is nearly impossible to reach in two unless there is a hurricane wind behind your back and you hit the perfect tee shot. The course could easily swap the front and back 9s, but they don’t.

Final Round

With a high in the low 60s, nothing was going to keep me off the golf course today. It will most likely be my last round of 2011, because it’s not too often we get to play in November.