Tuesday, October 17, 2017
I'll admit I have become a bit of a inland link aficionado in my Coore Crenshaw quest. Many of their courses are set up links-style (few trees, lots of natural undulations in the fairways and greens, etc.). However, Clear Creek Tahoe is so good that if I could play that course every day rather than a links-style course, I would!
Nestled amongst tons of pine trees and not much else, CCT is one of the best, most relaxing courses you have ever played. The scenery is outrageous, the routing is fantastic and the course is challenging and fun which is the best combination of all.
First off are the practice facilities which are some of the best anywhere. They have undulations, elevation gains and losses and chill Adirondack chairs just for sitting. Honestly you could spend all day just at the range.
Every touch of this course strikes the right note with me, even right down to the tee markers.
and then you step up to the tee and see that you are in for for the rest of the round. Wide fairways, pine straw and fescue abound, blue skies and plenty of pine trees.
The course goes over hill or dale but none moreso than the 3rd hole
where the fairway drops away over 200 feet from the tee box
and then even more as it doglegs right to a downhill green.
This hole will give you all the eye candy your golfing heart desires but the course doesn't just end on the third hole, there are many more awesome treats to come.
All the holes are fantastic but many will point to the par 3s as the superstars of the course.
Uphill, downhill, 120 yards to 225 yards, the par 3s give you variety, challenge and fun in very small packages.
The fact that you are golfing on top of a mountain comes into play with the bunkers.
While most golfers see bunkers as penal, here, they keep your ball near the green because if they weren't there, your ball would be going down some pretty severe slopes! The bunkers have the classic C&C rough edges to them and while it is windy at CCT, the sand is soft and deep allowing you to play a variety of sand shots if you find yourself in a bunker.
The green complexes are sneaky good. Rolling true and fast but not too fast there are enough undulations to make you think but also enough flat parts to give you a good shot at the hole. It is just another example of how this course can be challenging yet fair and fun.
Of all the holes of CCT, my favorite hole by a country mile has to be the par 5 13th hole which plays to a dogleg right
and then ending in a green that has an infinity pool effect.
The views down the mountain are worth the price of admission and this hole will stay with me for a long time.
To say that CCT is one of my favorite courses of all time is an understatement. It has all the classic hallmarks of a Coore Crenshaw course, using the land to a naturally challenging effect, outrageous bunkers and intriguing green complexes and a fun but playable design. Putting it over the top is the mountain setting.
As much as I love the new in-land links courses, a course like this with the trees and the mountains really gets my heart racing.
For more information about Clear Creek Tahoe check out the info: http://clearcreektahoe.com/
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Colorado Golf Club is an intriguing Coore/Crenshaw nestled in the undeveloped hills outside Parker Colorado. The course uses the topography in very interesting ways with several of the holes either descending or climbing the hillside and then leading to rather flat-ish holes in a valley before climbing the hill again.
The views are impressive and the fescue is fierce but keep your eyes on the fairways and you will be fine. There are a lot of forced carries here at CGC which reminded me a lot of the C&C course at We Ko Pa.
If the driver in your hand is working then you will score well at this course, otherwise you will be rooting through the fescue for your ball.
One of the best aspects of the course are the short par 4s that Ben and Bill designed. There are two, one uphill and one downhill and each make you think about club selection, placement and pin position rather than just bombing and gouging it. Really fantastic stuff!
The greens were in great shape (especially for late summer) and had both severe false fronts and undulations to challenge any golfer. Thankfully, the pins were set in flat valleys making the putting a little easier. Not to be biased but I made a 50 footer that curled downhill on my last hole which means I LOVE the greens!
The superstar hole at CGC is definitely the 16th. A par 5 with fairways split by a stream and then becoming sort of a Cape Hole as it bends around the stream to the green, this hole has it all!
Overall, I really liked CGC. There are 5 holes on this course that you can put up against 5 anywhere else in the world. While some of the holes are repetitious and the valley holes aren't the strongest, together the 18 holes exceed the sum of their parts and is worth a play if you can get on.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
I never think of Indiana as the home of great golf courses but I won't think that again after playing the fantastic Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Indiana. The routing takes the golfer over a great mix of land between hills, ponds, streams and heathered rough leading to forests which gives it a very English vibe.
The first hole is emblematic of the course as a hole. C&C frame where you need to go off the tee but thin out the rough and trees in case you miss the intended line.
I played a lot of golf courses during my recent midwest trip but the greens at Warren definitely were the best. Fast but not too quick. Pure rolls off the putter. You could bump and run it or hold the green with wedge shots.
Aside from the greens, you also have the amazing Coore/Crenshaw bunkers jutting out from time to time, keeping you honest as you knock the ball around the course.
I also didn't realize how much water was on the course. From ponds to streams, water factors into a lot of your shots but doesn't seem contrived or tacked on (thus more kudos to C&C for their design).
My favorite hole by far had to be the 16th which starts an amazing run of holes leading up to 18. 16 though is a short par 4 with a great creek and heathland features which slowly slopes uphill
For more information about Warren, check out this link: http://warrengolfcourse.com/