Here is your back nine challenge from our five local golf courses
Last week I gave you my opinion of the toughest holes by number from Seneca Hills, Clinton Heights, Nature Trails, Loudon Meadows and Fostoria Country Club. If you recall, Nature Trails had the toughest opening hole, while the ninth at Seneca Hills provided the toughest test to close the front nine.
This week we head to the back nine to chart our challenge. Let’s take a look.
Hole No. 10: Before the green was dropped off the little cliff, Loudon Meadows had by far the most difficult hole to begin the back nine. Well, the hole is easier now as shown by an eagle 3 recorded by one of my buddies this past week.
It still is the toughest though as three of our courses offer reasonable par 4’s. Fostoria Country Club offers another par 5 with a small and difficult green, but I’m still going with Loudon.
You must hit an accurate tee shot to get to the corner. Serious trees will gobble up anything hit left off the tee and a hill with some smaller, but also problematic trees is your target line. A good drive makes the hole fairly easy. A bad drive and double digits can come into play.
Hole No. 11: The winner here is Nature Trails. A somewhat lengthy par 4, the 11th has water to the left (assuming you don’t hit the tree that protects the water) and a building to the right (again assuming you are protecting against going into the water). The real problem with this hole is the green.
The green is smallish and crowned with plenty of undulation. If you do get there in two, a two putt is not automatic.
Hole No. 12: Perhaps the most difficult hole in the area, the 12th at Fostoria Country Club has been made easier with the removal of one of the three bodies of water found as you make the right turn to the green from the fairway.
A long tee shot to a narrow fairway begins your adventure. Placing the second shot at or beyond the turn, means avoiding the water, though you no longer have to find grass between TWO ponds.
The third shot will have to cover another pond that is located just in front of the putting surface. The green is no bargain either, as it is large and undulating. Going long on your third shot will give you pause as chipping back towards the water is never fun.
This hole is tough. A par here sends people to the next tee with a smile on their face.
Hole No. 13: Back to Loudon Meadows for this “left turn Clyde” par 4. A tee shot to the end of the fairway is a must. From there it is a short iron in. When you have to negotiate the trees to the left of the tee and the field to the left of the trees, well this hole can give you fits.
The longer hitters just blow the ball over everything and end up right in front of the green. For the rest of us mere mortals, this hole can be a challenge.
Hole No. 14: If you hit the ball long and straight — geez, just one of those things ought to be enough — the 14th at Seneca Hills is not that tough. The par 5 has water to the right, a field to the left, a creek that can come into play on your second shot and a tree that makes you shoot for the right side of the green.
Many of you may think this is not a tough hole and perhaps you are right, but the other courses don’t have anything tougher. Before you mark down an automatic par or birdie on this hole, play it. I have seen some big scores here.
Hole No. 15: Another candidate for toughest hole in the area is the 15th at Clinton Heights. A long par 4 that requires one to avoid a large body of water to the right off the tee, the second shot will likely be very long because you were avoiding that water!
The green is on the small side, so chipping may be paramount on this hole. Par is a very good score.
Hole No. 16: I’m going with Loudon Meadows on this one as the other choices seemed easier. Notice I said easier, not easy. On the 16th at Loudon you will have to play around a large pond. It can come into play on the tee shot or the second — I did say it was a large pond.
The green is huge and if the pin is on the right side of the green some severe break will be included in the challenge. Again the longest hitters can drive the green. Did I mention I don’t like those guys?
Hole No. 17: This decision came down to Clinton Heights or Fostoria Country Club. Clinton’s 17th is a par 5 that has tree issues and an undulating green, while the 17th at FCC has a kink in the fairway and a green that slopes severely from back to front.
The green at FCC wins out. If you get to the corner and can see the green, you still have to be careful where you hit your second shot. If you are above the hole — good luck. Your fourth shot may be a chip back to the green!
Hole No. 18: Three of our local courses provide par 3’s to finish up, while the other two have par 4’s. The winner is the 18th at Nature Trails.
This par 4 requires a tee shot threaded between trees to a point where an unobstructed view of the green can be found. Finding that point is the problem! Many a second shot involves punching the ball from under some kind of tree or bush.
The green here is no bargain either as it is crowned. The major problem though is the tee shot.
Someone suggested that I do the easiest holes. So tune in next week and we will give you a chance to shoot a really good score!
Al Stephenson is The A-T golf columnist.
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