8 Helpful / 1 Not
A Great Course
Pros: Very fun and challenging course. Hard, long holes with interesting pin placements and enough OB to keep you cussing. Tee signs mark the red tees and are surprisingly accurate despite the arrow and dot format. Very steep hills with punishing drops if you tank it.
Cons: Apparently a new course, the back nine has some rough tees and fairways. Lots of thorny things and low stub growth. No real trails marked out between holes (they did orange dot trees to let you know you're on the right track, tho). 12's tee is in front of 11's psychotically hidden pin. Very steep hills (makes me feel old :) )
Other Thoughts: Hole 1: Behind central pavilion. Blue tee behind red tee. Fairway slopes to left. Tight wooded channel around the pin, which sits to left of big stone "No skip aces here". From pin, descend a not-quite there-yet trail which leads to cobblestone path. Go left to next tee.
Hole 2: Red tee to left of path, Blue to right. Path is OB. Woods to left are dense. Pin is to right of path, on the edge protected by mature trees. Ground on right of path slopes upward. From pin, follow path around to right to find next tee.
Hole 3: To left of path. Blue behind red. Pin is at far end of grassy expanse. Woods to the left, OB path on right. Drop-off behind pin which probably holds water in the rainy seasons. Mind the phone pole. Aceable, or a bogey. Whatever. From pin, cross road to find next tee.
Hole 4: Blue behind red. Throws up a hill. Lots of trees. Pin sits over the hill on far edge with drop off behind that leads to OB road. From pin, cross road to find next tee.
Hole 5: Blue back right of red. Throws up a steep hill with lots of trees. Woods on left. Pin is at top of hill and sharply left, tucked into trees. If this is aceable, I'll eat my roadrunner. Follow around to the right of pin to find next tee.
Hole 6: Blue on left of big tree (which will swat your drive), red on right. Fairway cuts hard right and drops down to basket. And then the world drops down behind that. Left of pin is the next tee.
Hole 7: Blue left and back from red. Short hole, pin sits to the lef, nestled in the woods. Woods on right as well. Behind pin, an Indiana Jones drop-off, so go for the ace, but be warned. From pin, follow hill down to the right and across road, then back up hill (there is what will one day be a path from the access road, but it is steep) on the other side to next tee.
Hole 8: Blue straight back from red. Shoot down the chute of trees on either side of fairway. Ground drops off on either side if you tank it, so be careful. Pin is straight ahead protected by a couple three trees. Next tee is straight past the pin about 150 feet.
Hole 9: Longest hole on the course. Numerous trees along and throughout fairway. Woods to right, slopes down to road on the left. Pin sits at the far side, protected by a few trees and OB road directly behind. Next tee is across road to the left of pin.
Hole 10: Blue straight behind red tee. Creek and woods to left, OB road to right. Narrow channel near tee opens up to pin, which sits to the left protected by three (four?) big trees. Creek directly behind pin. Blue tee throws through tight channel to another tight channel (red tee) before it opens up. From pin, cross creek to left and look left again for next tee.
Hole 11: Blue tee behind and to right of red. Blue tee can throw either left or right. Red tee has to throw left to right. Fairway goes straight, then hooks sharply right from the red tee(if you miss it, you're in the woods/creek), then left again across rough ground studded with thorny brush and lots of low growth, and trees/woods and back to the pin deeply nestled to the left in quite a lot of scrub brush. From the blue, the left channel is same as the red tee, but the right channel looks for a hyzer around a copse of trees and into the thorny scrub as mentioned above. Seriously, the pin is almost in the creek. Be warned, you will throw past 13's basket to get to 11's. Check the numbers. Also, 12's tee is actually in front of 11's basket, which will probably change as they mature the layout.
Hole 12: Blue behind red. Ground is very thorny and scraggly. Hard to get footing for a drive. Drives up a hill and to the left. Woods on both sides. Pin is at top of hill, pretty far to the left and nestled at the edge of woods, with more ground drop-off behind. At the top of the hill, this ground is kinda scrubby as well, but in a fun way. From pin, turn around and go up to the clearing and turn right.
Hole 13: Blue tee behind and left of red. Pin is to right (remember?) of woods and down slope. Big trees between you and chains. From pin, go back up slope for next tee.
Hole 14: Blue behind and left of red. Another long one. Ground slopes down to right. OB road to left (shouldn't come into play). You throw through several big trees, then it opens up and slopes down. Then you come into more trees. Pin is through all of those trees, to the right and against the OB road on that side. Cross road behind basket and veer left to next tee.
Hole 15: Red tee throws from open ground downward and into a narrow chute of trees (left side is a small copse, but the right side is a line of dense tall foliage), which opens on the other side to a basket you can't see because it is cradled by 5 big pines. The blue tee, however, as far as I could tell is shared by both 15 and 18. It is across the field, about 2 o'clock of the red tee and tucked into a stand of trees. From the blue, you throw along the dense tall foliage on the right side, then hook sharp right into the narrow channel that opens up to the 5 pines and the hidden basket. From pin, go right and slightly up for next tee.
Hole 16: Blue is back and left of red. Trees on right side, some on left. Throwing across a gully to top of next rise. Basket is protected by what? Trees, of course. From basket, look right. You'll see the next tee.
Hole 17: Blue is behind red. Throwing back across same gully, this time the woods are to the left as you near the pin, which is also to the left on the tree line. Four big trees and rough are to the right and near the tee. From pin, cross creek and re-enter 15's blue tee fairway. The blue tee is the same, only going the other direction. The red is straight in front of it. You are throwing the second longest hole now. Up a steep slope, between many trees. The pin is at the other side of the hilltop, to the right with a sloping drop behind to OB road.
All in all, a very fun course that will surely improve as it is played.
Funny note: It seems as if they placed the red tees, then turned around and looked for as many trees as they could find, then put the blue tees behind them.
I would, and will, rate this course higher once the rough grounds are beaten in and maybe some trails are marked out. Of course, I guess I'll have to do my part.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
11 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: FANTASTIC design! Even though the course is mostly par 3's, they are VERY tough par 3's. The risk/reward factor is phenominal on the first 9 especially. (Holes 6 and 7 have treacherous hills behind the pins that will murder your score and your legs if you miss your approach/putt.)
Great use of the hills, and the park as a whole. The layout requires a precise combination of power and control/luck.
Tee signs show suprisingly accurate descriptions of where the pins are and what obstacles you have to go around.
A much-appreciated bridge has been added between 10 and 11 to make traversing the creek easier.
Personally, i think this is the most well-balanced course in St. Louis.
Cons: Couldn't find parking? (the roads to the park proper were closed for Christmas decorations, so we parked on one of the access roads.)
The city of Alton, for some reason, likes to leave said decorations up for MONTHS after x-mas. This, again, seals off the big parking lot and forces golfers to park by the tennis courts (with multiple signs posted saying that lot is for tennis parking only) and forces a 1/8 mile, uphill walk to the first tee. What gives Alton???
Needs a righteous bathroom and water fountains, and stuffing a potra-john in somewhere on the back nine would be great. A couple more trash/recycle cans should snuff the minor litter problem
SEE OTHER THOUGHTS BELOW
Other Thoughts: This course is still new and being developed. Even missing all of those amenities, this course is an AWESOME challenge and still a pleasure to play. When all of the other goods go in, this will be one of the better courses in the country IMO.
UPDATE 3/15/2010: Added half a disc as trash cans are appearing, debris is getting cleared, and Alton put in superb big red concrete pads. I'd assume blue pads for the blue tees are next, but man, these reds are the grippiest i've ever played, and a vast improvement over the natural pads before.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
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