Here’s your chance to post a low front nine score on area courses

In the last two weeks I have let you know about the toughest holes at the five area golf courses. Play these holes at even par and you will impress a lot of people. More likely however is that you will put some bogeys and “others” on your scorecard.

So this week we will look at the easiest holes from Seneca Hills, Clinton Heights, Fostoria Country Club, Loudon Meadows and Nature Trails. Let’s take a look at the best bets for success on the area front sides.

Hole No. 1. We’ll start our round by playing the first at Fostoria Country Club. This hole is a drivable par 4 that gives you a great opportunity to start your round with a birdie.

If you don’t drive it — I certainly can’t anymore — a short chip shot is in order. Get it tight and you are off.

Hole No. 2. A couple of options for the easiest second hole in the area: the par 3 at Loudon Meadows and the par 4 at Nature Trails. The latter is a par 4 that doglegs to the left, but only requires a short iron to the corner followed by an equally short iron to the green.

I’m going with Loudon on this one, though, as it only requires one shot to get to the putting surface. Let’s face it — every time we hit the ball there is a chance that something bad can happen. So we will go with a mid-length par 3 that has a big, relatively flat green, where birdies do happen.

Hole No. 3. Three area courses feature shortish par 4’s for their third hole. FCC, Seneca Hills and Nature Trails boast holes that give the golfer a decent birdie chance. I am going with Nature Trails for the first, but certainly not the last time, on our front nine “excursion.”

The third at Nature Trails will reward the golfer who can fade the ball. Your tee shot can get close to this green if a right handed golfer plays left to right. The green slopes from back to front, but this is definitely a birdie op.

Hole No. 4. We’ll stay at Nature Trails for a short par 3. A short iron will get you to a large putting surface at this 125-yard hole. Get it close and use your putting stroke to continue this great round.

The par 5 fourth at FCC was considered as well, but the “more you have to hit the ball theory” gives the nod to Nature Trails.

Hole No. 5. In a near instant replay with the fourth hole, Clinton Heights has a par 3 the measures some 125 yards. There is a difference here. Clinton’s fifth requires a shot to an elevated green. You can see the flag, but that’s about it. Then again, it’s only a short iron in, so a birdie can be had.

When you play this hole be sure to mark your ball. This is a hole where two guys playing it can hit great looking shots, but not see the results until you arrive at the green. It happened once at a similar hole where one ball was in the cup and the other was a few inches away.

Since both golfers were playing the same ball, and neither golfer marked his ball, there was no way of knowing for sure who got the ace. Do not let this happen to you!

Hole No. 6. No question about this pick. Nature Trails has a par 5 that measures less than 400 yards. Why it is a par 5, I’m not sure. On the other hand when you can reach a par 5 in two with a short iron …

This is your absolute best bet to shoot under par on the entire front nine.

Hole No. 7. This one was a tough choice. Nothing easy about any of the seventh holes in the area, but I’m going with Clinton Heights. A dogleg par 4, one can cut the corner on this hole. The rough is low enough that you can still get to the green if you do not get back to the fairway.

This is not necessarily an easy hole, but if you can hit your driver well, this can provide yet another birdie opportunity.

Hole No. 8. If my decision could be made by using the senior tees, I might go with Fostoria Country Club on this one. But from the whites this par 5 is not likely to be reached in two and the severely sloping green is tough to putt on as well.

So the choice is Nature Trails. A good drive will leave you close to the front of this par 4. A good chip and a birdie is a distinct possibility.

Hole No. 9. Another no doubter! Nature Trails Golf Course features a 200-yard par 4 to finish the front nine. You must hit your tee shot over some tall trees, but if you clear them, an eagle putt awaits.

This hole has been aced on more than one occasion so this would be a great way to finish up what likely will be a scorecard to keep!

Next week we will turn to the back nine.

Al Stephenson is the A-T golf columnist

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