Making the turn and heading for home on our easy back nine

Last week we took a look at the easiest holes on the front nine of our five local golf courses. We wrap up the series seeing if you can post a low score on the back side of Loudon Meadows, Seneca Hills, Clinton Heights, Nature Trails and Fostoria Country Club.

Jack Nicklaus once said if you took his lowest score on every hole at Augusta National he would have carded a 48. I did the same with Loudon Meadows which is where I have played the most rounds locally and came up with the same score. If you eagle all four par 5’s and birdie every other hole while throwing in two more eagles on either a par 4 or par 3 (yes, that would be an ace), then 48 is what you will come up with.

Whether you can post this score in one week of play — assuming you would play each course one day — is not very likely. Still, you can post a low round score on these specific holes.

Hole No. 10. We’ll start off with the 10th at Nature Trails. A short par 4 that can be driven off the tee, this is a birdie opportunity. A straight drive is required and a deft putting touch will not hurt either as this is a crowned and undulating green.

Hole No. 11. Consideration was given to the par 4 at Seneca Hills as it is short and accessible, but when you have a 98-yard par 3, well …

Clinton Height’s short par 3 looks and is inviting. A creek runs short of the green and over is no bargain, but come on, folks. The green is large and if your flat stick is working, you may be disappointed walking off with just a par.

Hole No. 12. Loudon Meadows gets the nod here. A par 4 that doglegs left is easy enough if you put your tee shot between the two fairway bunkers. Hook the ball and you can reach the green from the tee.

I have actually drawn the ball to a spot just in front of the green on a few occasions. Twice I actually did it ON PURPOSE! The green slopes and few putts are straight, but remember you almost got to the putting surface in one.

Hole No. 13. There are no “gimme” birdies on any of the areas 13th holes and perhaps that is because 13 is not a lucky number. I’m going to go with the 13th at Fostoria Country Club.

It is similar to the 12th at Loudon Meadows, as a hooked tee shot can get you close to the green. I have done this the last two times I’ve played the course which inevitably means I will not likely do it again. If I remember correctly, there was no birdie despite the two good tee shots.

Avoid the bunker on the left front and you can have a good chance at that elusive (for me, anyhow) birdie.

Hole No. 14. A short par 5 at Nature Trails is the pick. Two good wood shots and you will be close to the green if not on. Find the right level on this two-tier green and you might actually be putting an eagle on your card.

Hole No. 15. We will stay at Nature Trails for this hole, though it is a tricky one. A short par 4 that doglegs to the right, I once asked a guy how far it was to the corner. He replied that he had no idea as he had never played to the corner!

That is because you can go for the green on this hole from the tee. There is a lot of “trouble” doing this, but the distance is short enough that almost everyone tries it. The trouble is a rock pile and a lot of big trees. If you clear the rocks and avoid the meaty part of the trees you will be near the green.

The green, as our many at Nature, is crowned. Despite the risks, this can be a birdie hole.

Hole No. 16. Seneca Hills has a par 3 that plays around 125 yards. You must carry a pond, which SHOULDN’T come into play and you may only be able to see the top of the flag stick, but this is hole that can be birdied or even aced.

Imagine your surprise to round the pond only to “not” see what you thought was a great tee shot. My advice: check the hole!

Hole No. 17. Another par 3 that measures some 125 yards, a good tee shot will give you a putt at yet another birdie at Nature Trails.

I have birdied this hole and have also posted some “other” scores. Do not take it for granted, but it really is an easy hole.

Hole No. 18. Another par 3 to finish up the round, this one is at Loudon Meadows. Measuring some 125 yards from the deepest tee box (do you sense a theme here?), again you must clear a pond.

A big and sloping green, you can get some crazy putts if you don’t get near the pin. Actually you can get some difficult putts near the pin depending on its placement.

I have faith in you, though. Stick it close and walk away with another birdie. Add up those scores and smile. You have just played another round in what I consider to be the greatest game ever invented.

You still have time to play all five of our wonderful local courses this fall. If you have to wait until next year to get all five courses in, that’s fine. Play them, post a score and let me know how you did on the “tough” 18 as well as the “easy” 18.

Al Stephenson is the golf columnist for The A-T

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