17 Helpful / 4 Not
Pros: This is the most scenic course I have ever played. Period. Despite the power lines that might be seen as an eyesore. Doesn't matter, your jaw will stay on the floor, from beginning to end.
To simply say that this course is very hilly and heavily wooded does not do it justice. This course it in a forest filled with some of the biggest trees I have ever seen. Furthermore, it is home to many of the most tightly wooded holes and extreme terrain I have ever played on. In some cases, extreme terrain and woods mix into a perfect storm on the same hole, as in Hole 14.
No two holes on this course are the same, even with the homogenizing effects of a foot of snow blanketing everything. There is not a hole on this course I would ever be tempted to skip, because they are all great and different, with many options for shot selection.
The first and last nine holes of this course flow through the same area, with multiple cross-country ski trails and overhead high voltage lines running throughout. The middle nine is a different animal entirely. Its easiest to explain it bit by bit, from outside-in, like a geography sandwich (better than it sounds)
(Bread)- Half the front nine and very last few holes are like a good warm-up and cool down for the rest of the course. They play through the more open and slightly less hilly area directly under and weaving through the infamous power lines. The fairways are slightly wider here, and the trees are 20ft tall pines, vs the canopy of 100ft monsters that abound on the rest of the course. Don't get too used to shooting over the trees, it won't last long
(Mayo/Lettuce)- More towards the middle of the course, the end of the front nine, and start of the back nine (19-23ish) move into the "real" woods. Now, the trees and elevation changes get bigger, as the fairways get tighter and you have tunnel shots with ceilings to work with instead of just blue sky. This is the bulk of the course, and is every bit as good as the other two parts, full of diversity and good stuff.
(Meat)- The middle nine kicks this course into a higher gear that you didnt even see coming. From start to finish, all nine holes traverse the steep, heavily wooded slopes of a mountainside. I challenge anyone to find more than one hole in the middle nine that would not be a signature hole on any other course. These are the holes that will stay with you in your mind, that you see when you close your eyes at night. Including a shot uphill to a pin up a 20ft shear cliff face. Also, an unforgettable drive off a mountaintop, through a fairway cut through majestic, giant trees, to a blind pin far below around the gradual right-curving fairway. And then there's hole 14. Look at the pic on here. Cant see the pin? Ill give you a hint, its on the left, and the line is a sweeping, C-shaped curve uphill to the right and back down the steeeeeep slope. Good luck.
Overall, this course is a ton of fun to play, with loads of variety. It has no water as far as i can tell (hard to say in winter), but it more than makes up for it with everything else it throws at you. The tonals mixed in are actually not bad at all. They actually psyched me out from time to time, which kept me on my toes, and further added to the variety of the course, rather than counting as a black mark against it as they could on a lesser course.
Cons: Its probably just because of the snow, but the tee boxes for the front nine were hard to find. Never saw the little numbered posts sticking out of the snow, just drove from the most tramped down area in snow. Rest of course ok in this regard, but printing a map would probably be a good idea before heading out here.
As much as I love this course, it is not perfect. In fact, it has a fundamental frustrating flaw. Hole length.
The holes on this course are all short to medium length, which makes the course not nearly as challenging as it could be. The few longish holes have huge downhill elevation changes, so they merely count as ego-boosting short holes.
The frustrating thing about this is that on many holes, there are obvious (to me) tee locations further back that would add some distance to many of the holes, and get players to flex their arms a bit. I played this course with most midranges and fairways drivers, seldom taking out my big guns, and this is really too bad, as it doesnt need to be this way.
With the addition of longer tees on even half of the holes, this course would easily go to a 4.5 if not a 5. Its that good, it just needs the option for a bit more challenge.
(See Tex's Challenge Tee Guide below)
This course is so close to taking its place among the legendary DG courses, which is why it saddens me to see such an obvious well of potential laying only partly used. This is why I cannot rate this course higher, and it is something that could be easily fixed. Many of these potential tee locations are already flat areas, that just need a wooden post set up. Just thinking of this course with eight to ten 330-400ft holes sends a shiver down my spine.
I stop short of calling this course easy, but Ive never had so much fun playing a course that i scored so well on, lets just put it that way, which can be both a pro and a con, depending on your perspective.
Other Thoughts: The strangest thing about this course is that there didn't seem to be anyone playing it when I was there. Not even any fresh footprints in the snow of the course, though another cross-country skier would whip by every few minutes. Even with the great snow up on the mountain, I am shocked that so few find time to play this course in the winter. That means undisturbed peace for those who do venture out into the winter wonderland, which is open 12 months of the year (as far as i can tell).
If you do choose to play this course in the winter, be sure to wear snow boots and snow pants, as the snow gets really deep, especially off the fairways a bit. I went in up to my knees on several occasions.
Also, regardless of the time of year you go, make sure you bring a camera and a friend. That way, you can prove to your buddies back home that you didnt make it all up when you tell them about this course.
UPDATE: TEX'S CHALLENGE TEE GUIDE
Decided to put my money where my mouth is. I said there seemed like several holes where a longer tee was obvious, well, here's a list of the one's I saw. Use them if you want to add some distance to this already great course. All locations listed in relation to current tee.
Hole 2: 10m downhill
Hole 3: Further back up along the ridge 12m
Hole 4: Flat area by orange flags
Hole 7: About 6m back
Hole 8: Back and to the right 10m
Hole 12: Downhill and to the right 10m
Hole 13: On top of the hill 25m behind tee
Hole 21: Back along the trail to the right, 8m
Hole 22: Uphill to the left 20m (past prev pin)
Hole 23: Back up to the edge of the trees
Hole 25: Back 10m to trees edge
Hole 27: Downhill 8m.
Its just one man's opinion, but I enjoyed playing from these made-up tees when i tried it, and figured someone else might too.
17 of 21 people found this review helpful.
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