The 18 hole course at Hanna Hills is one of the best in the state in my book. Heavily wooded with significant elevation change on most holes, it has championship level challenges. There is a little water in play with a couple of small ponds, but it is not too hard to avoid.
The tee pads are turf, and make a nice surface to get out of the box. Tee signs have illustration, distance and elevation change for every hole. The baskets are also great. It may be the first course I have played with Russ's Monkey Trap targets, and my putts were falling so I liked them just fine.
I loved the mix of shots required from hole to hole. It will have you using every shot you have by the final hole. 7 par four holes and 2 par fives give good reason to play strategically and choose your spots. The first 3 holes are fairly open, and 10 tees across the pond so it is fairly open. All of the other holes have fairways cut through thick woods that demand precision over power.
The first tee is atop a ridge that drops quickly about 40 feet, and the basket it in front of the tree line below. It is pretty open, but there are a couple of tall trees along the way that can hang up a drive that is too low. It is a great starter, and way friendlier than the closer.
2 is a fairly flat hole, except for the small mound where the basket is planted. A mid range can do the job. 3 is a really cool hole, mostly open and not too long. The basket is on top of a cut in the rocks, and has good access from the front but is rather crowded by trees from the sides.
Hole 4 is where the teeth of the course begin to show. 4, 5, and 6 are all par 4. The fairways get narrow and the rough gets heavy. 4 is uphill out of the box, then finishes on the side of the slope with the left side low and right side high. The basket is nestled at the end of the fairway with a few trees to dodge on the way in. 5 pivots and turns downhill. It isn't steep at first but the last portion has a very tough curl that really drops off fast, and has a thick trees and rocks. 6 tees up a hill and starts open but funnels into another slender entry to the back half of the hole.
7 is a dogleg left, with a high window to go with a spike hyzer if you throw RHBH. If you go low, turn left at the stump, and try to be centered enough to set up your approach through the gap in the trees. The basket is set on another stump, so the putt is a bit unusual. If you go long it is a tough recovery getting back on the hill through the trees. 8 is uphill, but not too long. Pin position is tricky, with the basket in a slight depression that is tucked behind scattered trees.
Hole 9 is pretty epic. It is a par four, dogleg right with a mando at the corner, and then a run down the hill to the basket. Once you get around the mando, there is still work to do. There are a few more trees cutting different lines to the pin, which is protected on either side by a pair of evergreens.
The back 9 starts with a tee shot over a pond, and a couple of mature trees stand in the way as you start up the hill toward the pin on the far side. 11 is uphill, and reachable but not easy. I did manage my only 2 of the day here, converting on a 20 foot putt after a nice drive.
12 is a par 4 where the tee shot looks into a pinched down, narrow gap in the fairway. Once you get through that you can have a look at the pin, but there are still many trees to avoid. I got in them on the left side, but pulled off a miraculous recovery with my third throw, and saved par somehow. 13 is another par 4, fairly flat, with multiple lines available. There is a small pond on the left side of the fairway near the landing zone for the drive, so try to stay middle or right.
14 is a steady curve to the left to a hanging basket. A low kneecap hyzer with a nice flare skip can get you righties close. 15 is a monster par 4, and you can choose from the shortest line that crosses over the end of the holler, or take the right side end around and stay on a more level path. Either route has a lot of trees to be avoided. I went to the right side and made par.
I was one under par when I got to the 16th tee, and that is when things fell apart. 16 is a par 5, that is pretty straight, but long. I got hung up in the trees and stuck there for a couple of throws. Made a double bogey on the 2 putt. 17 is short but very woodsy, I bonked on the drive and 2 putted for another bogey. 18 is a wild one, par 5 to finish. The drive is downhill, with a big slope to the left. I was ok on the first shot, but my second was not great, and the third wan't much better. I made a decent approach and had a 30 foot par putt that hit chains and bounced out.