Hartselle, AL 
Sparkman Park - Lakeside Share



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2-4    2/18/2018   2/7/2018
Review By: wericsson
Played: 38  Reviewed: 23  Exp: 4.7 Years
This review was updated on 2/19/2018
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Mach V baskets in pretty good condition, concrete tees on most holes and artificial turf on others, and detailed color tee signs, with a course map up front (take a photo). Total length measures just barely short of a mile, an appreciable figure for a par 54 course. Distances vary from 175' to 454', with the latter figure being uphill somewhat also.

Some nice technical holes: sharp doglegs force either dramatic shot shaping or smart placement on 5 and 7, 6 is a short, sharp dogleg that manages to feel like a must-get and yet also be surprisingly hard to hit just right, and 8 is 359 foot hole with a ~12 foot wide tunnel for the first 300-320 feet. Hole 2 was a nice uphill shot to an island green (ridgeline type deal)... but some of the later islands were less interesting. There is moderate elevation present on several holes.

This course's other big selling point is the lake. It is in play on 5 holes, with a creek/ditch on another 2. Some holes play as water carries, while others run along the lake on one side.
Cons: Mud/wet clay, and lots of it. There's been some hay spread in an attempt to grow grass, and it is starting to sprout, but it isn't enough to matter quite yet.

The rope-defined islands feel just kinda... ehh. Not remarkably challenging holes, and the islands don't really alter the strategy on them enough to be more than punitive measures. (For comparison, the island on 2 really reduces the appeal of risking an overdone hyzer toward the woods in order to avoid the water)

A couple holes are just dead open, without water or OB or elevation or vegetation... I mean, where's the fun in that? Hole 15, on which I started the round, is probably the worst example, though it could potentially be lengthened or made to hug the support for the high-voltage lines more closely without affecting any other holes.

Hole 14 was also a real doinker in my opinion: double mando inside the circle, not at all lined up with the basket, and a tee which points about 15 degrees to the right of mando, basket, or any reasonable route there.
Other Thoughts: Overall, a fun course, with the potential for improvement as time goes by, but with some weak links that keep it from being on the same level as the original at this time: in essence, it mixes really solid holes with ehh holes. Nonetheless, another good course in the same park as the (recently renovated) original makes for an attractive spot to come play 36.

I'm somewhat surprised the soccer fields alongside hole 5 aren't OB. Can't really think of a reason why not that overrides the safety/courtesy concerns.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.


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