10 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Jones Gold is a wild amalgamation of Jones East and West. While it's nowhere near the hardest course you'll ever play, the overall distance and setting up your second (and sometimes third) shots is extremely important to score well.
Signage is excellent and all gold holes have gold DD Veteran baskets which is very helpful when you're mostly playing holes that are combining multiple East or West course holes. These either play directly to the gold basket, or have the gold basket as a long pin (or short pin in the case of 17). Most of the tees are plenty large and in good shape.
OB is used pretty well. There's water hiding to the right of 1's green, and more daring you to go for broke on 15, and other OB all the way down one side of several holes (1, 4, 9, 13, 14, 17)
The longer holes are mostly the better ones. Hole 1 opens really strongly with a long downhill par 5 which you have to get right off the tee or your second shot is going to have to be perfect, and then approaching the green is risky with OB to the left and right, and the steep slope of the green away to the right. The only way to improve this hole would be to add a tree that takes away the big flick line and forces the shot up the middle.
Hole 8 is another one that stands out. With the direct line to the pin obscured by short trees, you'll be forced to hyzer one way or the other.
Hole 14 is a tough par 5, fighting through the three trees is a tough ask off the tee, follow that up with people's backyards all down the left side and a pond sitting on the right of your second shot's landing zone, and you've got a good difficult hole.
Lastly hole 15 is a great redo. An extension of West 18, it extends the already long hole down another 100-150ft. The water is taken mostly out of play, but it's always there waiting for a bad cut roll or flipped over backhand.
There are some tough greens, both to get to and to play.
Hole 4 is a small green that would be easy to either hyzer out and miss for a backhand player, or skip into the trees for a forehand player.
Hole 6 has a small gap in the trees that needs to get to the right fast to get in putting range, or a risky over the top line.
On hole 11, the thin gap in the trees takes out both hyzer lines, but you also have to slow the disc down before it skips OB.
Getting to the green of 14 is made difficult by the low branches of the tree about 40ft from the pin with the water right underneath them.
Maintenance is excellent. There's no question between in/out on the tall grass, and grass is kept up to where there is hardly any mud in the park.
Cons: For all the good I've mentioned, there's also a lot of average. Eight of the holes are a just long pins for East/West holes, and the only brand new infrastructure is the tee of 9.
Some easy to explain downers are the field of nothing to throw into the corner on 3, and the very open 600ft par 4 of hole 10 which doesn't utilize the water at all. While a lot of the long holes are good, hole 18 that combines two holes from East is less than great. As long as your first shot ends up somewhere in the vicinity of the tee of E8 (which is not difficult) you're just playing E8, which isn't a great hole on it's own.
Hole 5 is a little disappointing, your first shot is rendered not very important so long as you can make the water carry on the second shot and get somewhere close. Laying up to the water is the only option off the drive, and the upshot isn't long enough to be overly difficult.
Funky navigation all over the place. Hole 2 to 3 is a long walk down a road, or having to walk in front of the tee (which is always a bad idea), to get to tee 11 you're walking most of the way back up 10's fairway, hole 13 is the only one across the road, then you just come straight back.
Why does hole 17 play to the short basket and not the long? Just, why?
The potential was limited by only using the existing tees and baskets. Looking forward to seeing what the full re-design will bring.
Other Thoughts: The expectations set by a name like Jones Gold is the main reason I'm so harsh on this course. It's a good course (see my rating) but it pales in comparison to a Country Club or other top courses. I do have to keep in mind that the design was limited by the existing fixtures, however omitting the area of 10 and 11 East, and mostly avoiding the pond of 4E/6W are confusing when you see some of the holes that were left in (unless it was a safety concern).
This is a very long course. Plan for upward of two hours for a card of two.
There isn't much dramatic elevation besides holes 1 and 14. Up to you if that's a pro or con. The difficulty is made up for by the abundance of OB.
This is a course definitely worth playing while in Emporia to challenge your distance and placement. Don't come expecting a world-class facility, but do come expecting a fun challenge.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
0 Helpful / 6 Not
Jones Gold Review
Pros: Got to play this for the USAMPC in 2020. Long, technical, lots of OB. The OB is not the same as the Jones East/West layout. The course challenges you and really makes you decide how to attack certain holes.
Total feet: 11074
Get your arm ready to throw.
Cons: A lot of walking! You play on the Jones East/West course. I would not consider this a con but it is for some.
Other Thoughts: Championship level course and I am so happy I got to play it. There is a lot of OB so if you play it be aware of where it is. In tournament play Eric McCabe set up flags and spray painted the OB so we'd know. The Gold Course is open for anyone to play and I highly recommend it if you are in Emporia.
0 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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