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Thursday, May 26, 2011


Chances are that if you've never booked a golf trip 16 months in advance, you may not fully appreciate what I'm about to write...

I love the anticipation of a golf trip.  I imagine everyone that has ever been on a big trip or vacation of any type can understand this feeling, but I absolutely thrive on it.  I could make a case that I enjoy the anticipation of the trip as much of the trip itself.  I enjoy counting down the days, the weeks, the months, and yes even occasionally the YEARS leading up to a special golf trip.

Let's work backwards from my upcoming trip to Kingsley Club in June.  My suitcase is packed.  It's still May last I checked, and it isn't even Memorial Day.  Sure, my toothbrush and shoes and a few things that I'll use between now and then still need to be checked off and packed, but otherwise I could leave tomorrow morning.  I like to get the details out of the way in advance so I'm not left scrambling the night before the trip.  Some might call me obsessive, and I wouldn't argue.  I prefer to call it passionate.

Let's face it, if you read my original blog entry carefully, you already know that this entire web site came to exist simply out of the anticipation of this golf trip and from my joy of sharing that anticipation with others - in particular those joining me on a trip.  I love to research, plan, and organize every little detail and then watch it unfold in slow motion over the course of several months.  Always having a golf trip on the calendar means always having some hope on the horizon.

The golf trip is a wonderful thing.  But the trip itself is usually way too short.  I'm the type of guy that starts dreading that the trip is almost over before we even finish the first round.  It is the numerous hours of daydreaming and preparation that help rationalize the "value" of the trip.  

The beauty of being a regular part of something like Kingsley Club is that the anticipation becomes even more tangible for me.  I've played every hole; I know every green.  I can imagine in vivid detail the shots that I will play and the bed in which I will sleep following a long day of golf because I've been there and experienced it before.  And yet it will be completely different this time, as with every other visit in the future.

Of all my trips to Kingsley Club, past and future, I am certain my trip in June will always hold a special place for me because it will be my first as a member and the rounds will be played with my closest golfing friends.  Although my visit to Kingsley last Labor Day set a mighty high bar, I am sure this trip will become the trip against which all others will be measured.  I am also pretty confident that I will feel this way leading up to each and every trip I make to Kingsley.

Odds are that if you've never packed a suitcase a full two weeks in advance of a golf trip, you may not fully appreciate what I just wrote...

Guest Blog - Alan Gard on Anticipation

May 26, 2011 – Day (8): Anticipation Rising
8 days.  That is what separates me from my visit to the Kingsley Club.  The lead-up to a golf trip is almost better than the trip itself.  It’s that time where you can’t wait to get up in the morning because that is one less day between you and your trip.  You still have the optimism that somehow, someway you’ll be able to put up some good rounds even though you haven’t played a lot or been playing well leading up to the trip.  It’s that knowledge that for those days, your only responsibility is to help your playing partners find their golf balls.  As one gets older and has more and more stresses in life, that golf trip is an oasis. And seeing that oasis in the desert’s distance is where one feels the biggest rush; it’s not usually when you taste the water.
Kingsley is one of those special oases.  It is most importantly a fun golf course.  You have options, punchbowl greens, quirky bounces, long holes, short holes and everything in between.  It is not an easy course, but you aren’t going to be brutalized either.  It’s the kind of course that you don’t mind playing over and over during the course of a trip.  And it is a course worthy of anticipation.
This journey to Kingsley started back in 2008 with a bittersweet beginning.  The Kingsley Golfer and I played in a charity event benefiting Bob Labbance who was suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  The need for the occasion was the bitter part.  The sweet part was how people came out to support Bob, with many there like us who didn’t even know him in advance of that day.  Many people had donated items, and one of the auction items was a round at Kingsley with the architect, Mike DeVries.  I wasn’t that familiar with Kingsley, but a little research showed it to be a course well worth experiencing.  The Kingsley Golfer won the bidding, I wrote the check, and we then had a golf trip to plan.
And that trip to Kingsley turned out to be a very special one.  To be fair, by the time we got to Kingsley, I was already on a high.  The previous morning, in the Charlevoix, MI, McDonald’s, I was on the phone with my wife, and she told me she was pregnant with our now 2-year-old son.  But absent such life-changing news, Kingsley would still have been just as impressive.  
I didn’t play very well on the day, but still had some very memorable holes including birdieing the short par-4 13th and getting up-and-down for par on the wonderfully difficult 15th.  Even some bad shots were memorable, such as when I putted off the 16th green, which prompted my favorite quote of the day from Mike DeVries, “Sorry.”  Playing with the architect added a lot to the experience; I got so much more insight on how to play the course than what I could tell just by seeing the course with my own eyes.  After finishing that day, I was fulfilled but also sad as I didn’t know if I would ever get the chance to play it again.  Thank goodness The Kingsley Golfer has a very understanding wife and that he is so generous with an invitation.
So now I am left with 8 days before my return trip.  It’s fitting that I write this today with The Kingsley Golfer’s favorite number being 8.  Just a little over a week until I get to walk those fairways and hills, curse at those bunkers, and try to figure out those greens. And even though those 8 days will seem long, they will be some of the best days of my year.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Course Tour - Hole #18

Hole #18 description on the Kingsley Club web site is here.

Nothing beats an early morning walk to the 1st tee from the cabins via the "warm-up hole" also known as the 18th. 
Here is my commentary from A Fan's Photo Tribute on

#18 is a par four
422 from the gold tee
386 from the blue tee

The 18th hole is somewhat of a transition hole back from the woods to the open ground.  The left side is tree-lined though the woods shouldn't really come into play.  The right side has the wild rough that is found throughout the course, but no trees (I believe it was originally tree-lined on the right side as well.)  As you get closer to the hole, it begins to clear up on the left side as well, bringing the golfer full circle on this excellent journey.

The fairway is extremely lumpy with plenty of rolls from tee to green.  There are a number of spots where the difference between a blind shot to the green vs. a visible one is only a matter of yards.  As one approaches the hole, the fairway begins to funnel in with a few bunkers tightening the approach.  

The green is well protected, both by bunkers, grass, and movement in the green itself.  There are bunkers guarding the front right and also the middle-to-back left section of the green.  Given the length of the hole, the surrounding native grasses must certainly snag a wayward shot or two throughout the course of the day.  Finally, the green begins with an upslope and goes up and over to somewhat of a bowl in the middle section.  There is another up and over near the back.  My impression was that the front and back both play a bit like a domed green, while the middle pin locations would likely be more accessible as some of the contours will funnel the ball toward the hole.

If this hole didn't happen on the tail end of the one of the wildest rides in golf, then it would probably be jaw-dropping.  As it stands, it is a fitting finish to a wonderful day of golf - and a world class back nine in particular.

The golf course at Kingsley Club has it all.  This is a must-play, and once you play the course it quickly becomes a must-return.  I've been hinting to my wife about family vacations in Traverse City since my trip last September.  [Author's Edit: Truly prophetic words since I will be returning frequently for golf trips AND my 2011 family vacation is planned for Traverse City!]

The view from the final tee
From the right side of the fairway
Another view from the fairway, this one from the center
Standing at the front of the green
View of the green with the middle left bunker looming.  The first fairway is in the distance.
Looking back on the green makes the approach appear even tighter than it feels
Looking back on the hole with the entire green surrounds in view.
Standing on the 1st tee provides a nice preview of where the day's magnificent journey will end - the 18th green.
Comments on #18 from Mike DeVries:

"The 18th plays down an undulating valley and across to or back up to a green set in an open amphitheater below the first tees and clubhouse setting.  The landing area rolls dramatically in big waves and then sweeps down to the left valley but many balls stay on the upper part / right side.  Choosing the high road on the right gets you above the green for the left front pins or to carry the big front bunker for pins in the bowl in the back.  I think the valley on the left is a better angle to attack the back right pin positions, and you are looking up at the bowled landform more directly, taking the left bunker more out of play unless you pull it to that side.  A big hitter who takes it down the middle / right middle will usually go over the last big roll and find a flat spot 90-100 yards from the green, but a slight push or fade may find the bunkers or gunch on the right while a pull may end up in an awkward lie in a mowed rough bowl on the left.

The left hillside is very tall and covered with trees, blocking any wind from a southerly direction, and it can be difficult to judge the effect on your ball as it gets past the trees and hill for the last 80-100 yards.  The right hillside between 10 and 18 was originally treed and this really created a tunnel-like effect and re-emergence into the openness of the front nine but the fescue certainly didn’t like it and the transition and blending of the two nines is much better without them.

One of my favorite shots on the course is a low punched iron shot from the high right hillside into the approach, watching it catch the slope off the front left bank and turn into the green– truly a high feeling of satisfaction when pulled off at the end of a round!

The green is a true punchbowl, the third on the course along with the 4th and 5th holes, and relatively small in size at less than 4500 square feet and skinny, angled into the landform from front left to back right.  The front section is domed with a kicker bank off the side of the bowl that goes up to the first tee.  Then the surface sweeps down into a middle bowl with a shelf at the back center of the green.  The right and back right sweeps up into the amphitheater that goes up to the clubhouse and there are frequently chairs or benches there with observers commenting on your play or match as it finishes up – great fun!

PS  I missed your thread before sending mine, George.  You and Ed mentioned that most drives end up down in the valley on the left and that is not my experience.  I would say that at most 50% of the drives are there in a foursome -- in fact, I can't remember 3 out of 4 down there, although I do recall 1 on the right, 1 on the left hill before going over, and 2 in the valley.  The pin position makes a big difference for me where to place the drive and I talked about the advantages above -- George and Tim are correct in that the view from the right (if you are on a crest and not in a trough) is down upon the green, although the back right of the bowl will be blocked by the front bunker and curve of the amphitheater. 

PPS  Many thanks to all for the great comments and discussion!"

Course Tour - Hole #17

Hole #17 description on the Kingsley Club web site is here.
Looking back on the 17th from the rough behind the hole

Here is my commentary from A Fan's Photo Tribute on

Hole #17 is a par 5
522 from the gold tee
476 from the blue tee

I can only imagine playing this course, not knowing anything about this hole, and walking up the fairway for the first time.  It must be shocking for those that don't know what looms ahead.  Even having seen pictures and having a decent sense for what awaited, I was blown away by the scale of the hole.  We've talked about scale and proportion quite a bit throughout this thread, but this one must be seen in order to believe it.  The immense 1st hole feels "small" in scale when compared to the 17th.

I'll leave it to Mike to comment on the actual dimensions, but I'll speculate with the following estimates - the fairway must be over 100 yards wide with the new clearing, the elevation change must be at least 50 - 75 feet, and the % grade at which the decline occurs is quite likely more severe than anything you've seen in a par 5 fairway.  Think roller coaster - not like we casually throw the term around, but in the sense of a real roller coaster.

The tee shot encourages the golfer to swing free, but there is trouble to be found in the form of bunkers short and right on the fairway and also in the form of bunkers that guard what used to be the left side of the fairway but now sit squarely in the center of the widened fairway.  From the tee, all the golfer can see is the end of elevated portion of the fairway and then some trees much further in the distance.   The fairway appears to end in mid-air.  For the big hitter, the drop-off is reachable from the blue tees, and for the bomber I am sure the cliff comes into play from the tips as well.  For me, the mega-boost is out of play from the tips, and MIGHT come into play on my best drive out of 10 from the blue tees.

The fairway then drops rather quickly into a valley.  I suspect many course designers would have used this elevation change to create the obligatory drop-shot par 3.  As you run down the fairway (or roll down like a child if you so choose) and then look back up to the top of thse hill, you can't help but be pleased to find something so different spread across this glorious terrain.  The fairway then swings back uphill (though not to the same elevation) to the green site.

The path to the green bottlenecks around 50 yards out.  A bunker awaits on the left side well short of the green to capture stray attempts at making a run for the green in two.  For those laying just short of this bunker, the half-wedge approach becomes a severely uphill shot to somewhat of a skyline green depending upon the position of your approach.  There is also a series of greenside bunkers on the right and one in the back right requiring precision from any location.  The green, like so many others on the course is interesting with plenty of good pin locations available.

From the tee
Zoomed in from the tee.  The fairway in view here is the "original" fairway.  The new fairway now extends almost and equal amount left of the bunkers pictured at the left edge of this photo.
View of the fairway from the top of the hill.  In 2008, the new left side of the fairway was still growing in.
View of the green and the surrounds from above.
Looking back up the fairway from down below.
A closer view of the bunkers and green complex
From this point the green nearly transforms to a skyline (except for a few trees).  The half-wedge approach is mostly blind.
Looking back at this massive hole from the green

An updated photo of the 17th from 2010 with the split fairway fully functional.  The blind "tongue" of thick rough in the middle of the fairway (seen at the top center here) is perhaps the only maintenance decision I'd disagree with on the entire course.  I think the golfer should be rewarded for directly carrying the bunkers from the tee.
Comments on #17 from Mike DeVries:

"Thanks for this great thread -- what a great discussion of the course and I really appreciate hearing all the comments.

As to the width of the fairway, I believe the new expanded 17th is about 65-70 yards wide at its widest, whereas the first's maintained cut is 110 yards wide with the bunkers in the middle of the drive.  Maybe the 17th "feels" wider due to the relative narrowness of holes 15 and 16?  The fairway on the 14th is 80 yards wide at the landing area over the bunkers and the maintained turf on hole 13 is 80 yards wide, with the fairway cut about 65 yards.

I think the drop in elevation from the landing area ridge down to the bottom of the valley is about 65 feet.  (I am on the road and don't have a topo to check the data.)"

In response to my surprise at his comment that the fairway was only 65-70 yards wide:
"I was out at Kingsley with Dan Lucas today, looking at the fairway cut and bunker finishing for the left side of the fairway . . . and a correction is in order.  From right to left, the right fairway is 40 yards wide at the landing area just short of the ridge, in line with the middle bunkers, then 20 yards of bunkers and rough, then 25 yards to the left bunker.  If you go back a little closer to the tee, it is 38 yards of fairway, 20 yards of bunker/rough, then 40-45 yards of fairway, with a complete width of about 105-110 yards between the outer native rough areas.  Short of the middle bunkers it is probably 85-90 yards of fairway -- I didn't pace that section.

Down the hill, it is 80-85 yards wide at the bottom and pinching in tighter as you get closer to the bunker short of the approach.  I didn't pace the section just short of the bunker, probably about 50 yards wide."


Friday, May 6, 2011

Course Tour - Hole #16

Hole #16 description on the Kingsley Club web site is here.

Shots around the 16th green are always a barrel of fun.
Here is my commentary from A Fan's Photo Tribute on

#16 is a par 3

225 from the gold tee
175 from the blue tee

Kingsley is full of fun, interesting, and sometimes confounding par 3s.  #16 is my favorite of the bunch.  It begins winding down my favorite stretch of holes on the course, which began with #12 (I can't decide if #17 gets included in this group or not - it is something to behold for certain but my feelings about it aren't as strong as the preceding holes.)

The transition from the 15th is a cool one.  The tee for this hole is up above and behind the 15th green.  From the tips, the tee shot is played somewhat over the green complex, though I don't really recall it being directly over the green itself.  There are several bunkers in place between the tee and the green, but only one or two should ever come into play for most golfers.  [Author's Edit: I have, of course, now found at least on of the ones "that should never come into play!"]

From the tips, a low runner well right of the target works rather well.  Mike teed his ball up on this hole and hit his shot well right of the green.  It was far enough right that I recall thinking he must have really pushed it out there to the right.  He seemed pleased enough with himself despite what appeared to be a lackluster effort.  Well, we all learned the lesson of "architect knows best" as we watched his ball land well right, bounce and roll to the left, disappear from view behind a small mound, reappear on the green, and trickle left until it settled rather nicely on the green not too far from the pin.

Mike's approximate line is highlighted in green. [Below, Mike actually explains that his line is even further right than I highlighted.]  His ball ended up just beyond the pin.  Balls struck at or to the left of the red line that land just in front of the green or on the front of the green will end up well short and left of the green in the red highlighted area.

Who would think that aiming to the green line (or even further right) is the correct play to this green?!?
Once we approached the green, the fun continued...  I left my ball down in the area short and left of the green, very near the bunker on the left of the green.  I could get cute with the false front if I wanted, I could hit the ball safely beyond the pin and take my chances with a lengthy par putt... or, as I decided, I could "be like Mike."  I chose to hit the chip shot intentionally right of the green to the same pocket Mike's tee shot found.  The ball faithfully funneled back to the green and gave me a nice par putt (which I then missed!)
The green arrow points to the spot where I played my 2nd shot.  The green circle indicates my landing area for a shot that fed nicely to the hole.
The final fun happened when Alan lined up his putt (don't recall the exact length, but it was inside 20 feet.)  Alan had taken a similar approach to Mike off the tee and was rewarded with a shot at birdie.  He hit a really nice looking putt that trickled a bit longer than intended.  The ball rolled a couple feet past the hole and came to what I would have sworn was going to be a complete halt when Mike offered up this gem - "Sorry!"  The ball took a half-turn, then another, one more, and then it was off to the races.  Alan ended up where you see him in the photo below... 
Mike DeVries is still all smiles from the result of the evil pin location.
More photos -
From the tee
From a shorter tee with less elevation this hole can play uphill
Looking up at 16 from the 15th fairway
View from the back right of the green.  The left side of the photo shows part of the funnel that Mike used to filter his ball close to the hole.
The 16th green with the tiny 15th green in the background
Comments on #16 from Mike DeVries:

"I am pretty sure it [Mike's tee shot] was further right than your green line.  I usually shoot for the cherry tree/bench on the hill, depending on the speed I want to attack it with and where the pin is located.  The hump in front of the green, the peak of it is just to the right of the red line, will really move a ball to the left if you miss the slot right of where the green line is.  If you don't carry enough speed and are short of the green, then the hump affects the approach shot as well.  The really difficult pin is just beyond the hump in the front -- very hard to stop it there.

The cut/fade into this green is a very good option for those that can play that shot consistently, but frequently the wind is coming at you and quartering from the right, so pretty tough to execute on a regular basis, at least for a low-ball runner type of player like me . . . 

This hole had about 25% of the dirt work on the course.  The green was actually in a steep valley/ravine that came off of the cart turnaround for #17 tee.  The fairway was a large roll and we cut down the fairway, pushing all the sand into the valley and building the green from that material.  We took about 200-300 yards down to #15 green to build the front of that.  These two greens are the most manipulated / created greensites on the course, with 15 standing out as such and 16 feeling more natural.  Both work really well and create some wonderful golf."

Course Tour - Hole #15

Hole #15 description on the Kingsley Club web site is here.

Never has such a small green caused such large fits!
Here is my commentary from A Fan's Photo Tribute on

The 15th is a par 4
465 from the gold tee
421 from the blue tee

This is a hole that can draw a strong reaction (only one on the course, right??)  It is a long par 4 that plays even longer than the yardage on the card.  The green is small and nearly impossible to land and hold - if you can even reach it.  If you hit the green in regulation on this hole you either have some serious game or you are playing a set of tees that is too short (like maybe the reds at 370.)  [Author's Edit: OK, so my big hitting buddy Jason McOlgan proved me wrong in 2010 by blasting his driver to leave only 130 yards to the green.  He then stuck the approach to 3 feet and walked away with his birdie.]  The best thing about it is that the putting surface is relatively tame with a good opportunity to make a one-putt par.

Mike told me as we walked the hole that this one draws some harsh criticism from good players.  Some strong players feel that two well struck shots on a hole should entitle the golfer to a GIR, and that isn't the case on this hole.  The strong player will still have an ample opportunity to make a par with a good up and down, but there probably aren't too many birdie putts per day from the tips on this hole.  Like #9, some may call this hole "unfair."  I thought it was terrific!  Except for the stupid tree that Mike decided to leave on the right side of the fairway... that was a bit unfair.    Just kidding; you had to be there.

The hole plays as a subtle dogleg left if played to the center of the fairway.  Aiming down the left edge is the most direct line, but missing more than 10 yards left will put your ball in the scraggly stuff, and also potentially bring a giant wall of trees in play.  The left side of the fairway also has a nice sized hump in it.  Balls will funnel hard right, and once the hump starts it continues on up the left side to the green site.  The right side has plenty of room.  Just don't leave your ball directly behind the lone tree as I did.  It makes the nearly impossible long approach totally impossible.

There is ample space to miss the tiny target on the left.  There is a tight grass recovery area (or grass hazard - take your pick with terminology) that will funnel shots closer to the green, but which could also leave for some tricky downhill lie chips.   

The green sits several feet above the fairway.  Even with the firm and fast conditions found at Kingsley the front of the green compounds the fabulous problems the golfer faces with his approach.  If you've got enough heat on a shot to run up the face, it is probably equally likely it will run all the way through this small green.  If the shot doesn't have enough oomph it will not find its way up in the first place.  The greenside bunkers are all guarding the back half of this green.  I would suspect that more mis-played third shots find themselves in the bunker than second shots.  The green itself is tamer than many on the course, but still interesting.  There is a small "mini bowl" that makes up the front left section - you can see it around the pin in the photos below.

Chalk this up as one more hole that is beautiful from behind the green.  Looking back, the green fits wonderfully into the surrounds on both the left and the right.  The photos from behind the green are amongst my favorites on the course.

John Mayhugh and I teed off +4 on this hole in our match against Alan Gard and Mike DeVries.  I made back to back pars on #13 and #14 to give us what we thought was certain victory...  Alan and Mike each made a par from the tips (Mike had to do so in order to prove the hole was fair) which completely swung the momentum of the match.

From the tips
From the next tee forward

The center of the fairway.  There's still some work to be done!
A closer look at the approach.  
One more look at the approach from an even shorter distance.
Similar view with better lighting and shadows
From directly in front of the green.  Notice the rise to the putting surface.
From behind the green looking back at the tiny bowl in the front of the green
A wider view of the entire green complex and fairway
A similar view but from down lower where the rear bunker is hidden.
Looking back on the 15th green with the 16th hole and green on the right side of the photo.
A look from the bunkers bridging the 15th and 16th holes

Another angle from the bunkers between the 15th and 16th holes with a good look at how the fairway runs out all the way left of the 15th green.
 Comments on #15 from Mike DeVries:

"The 15th turns around and smacks you in the face, with its long four to the smallest green on the course.  The tee and landing area are at the same elevation, but the drive feels all uphill due to the long gentle slope of the hole from in front of the tees.  A good drive will find the shelf on the left side, giving the player a better angle to the green but still requiring a mid-to-long iron approach.  Indifferent drives slide to the right and present a good lie but demanding a cut shot around the trees on the right.  A good second shot play here is safe to the front or side approach or to a distance one is comfortable playing for a precision pitching wedge.

Most third shots are from somewhere around the base of the green, facing a variety of shot options to a small target on top of a domed shelf.  It is an unnerving play and even I have been subject to going back and forth a couple of times (never did get to double digits, though).  The small green has quite a bit more contour than you would expect for such a demanding hole and pars are well earned while birdies are few and far between.

The contrast of the short par four 13th with its huge green, the reachable par five 14th, and the long par four 15th with its small green makes for an enjoyable sequence of holes and I really like the juxtaposition of options available on all of them."

More on some of the green sizes:
"The 15th green is about 3700 sq. ft. -- smallest on the course, although 8 others (#2, 6,8,9,11,12,14, & 18) are from 4000-5000 sq. ft.  The average green size is 6000, due to the 3 large greens -- #3 @ 10,500, #4 @ 12,300, and #13 @ 12,400."

Course Tour - Hole #14

Hole #14 description on Kingsley Club web site is here.

Looking back to the tee from the 14th fairway provides a good look at the opportunities for a well positioned drive to catch a "turbo boost" for extra yardage.
Here is my commentary from A Fan's Photo Tribute on

The 14th is a par 5
567 from the gold tees
510 from the blue tees

This one is caught in the middle of a stretch of fantastic (and potentially controversial in the case of the 15th - more on that later) holes.  It is a nice mix with a bit more subtlety than 13, 15, 16, and 17 which all have something pretty wild going on.  It's not a hole you would probably call subtle on many golf courses, but that's the best word I can think of for it here.

The tee shot is yet another where the carry looks more intimidating than it plays.  There is plenty of room with little to no carry on the left side, which will lengthen the hole a bit.  The hole eventually turns right, so the more you care to bite off from the tee, the better position you will be in assuming you execute.  The left side of the hole is heavily wooded, but there is plenty of width out there before the trees.

The fairway way has an up and over shape to it.  Depending upon where your ball comes to rest, there is a good chance the landing zone for your second shot will not be visible.  Once you get over and around the hump, the final couple hundred yards play downhill as the hole begins to narrow.  There is another charming stone wall along the left side of the hole, which plays as OB.  While there is room surrounding the green, the OB is definitely in play for a stray shot left.  Bunkering is in place on the right side, both short of the green and greenside which combined with the stone wall creates a tighter feel than most approaches on the course.

The green site is another nice one to walk off, turn around, and look back on the surroundings to put the hole in perspective.   The setting is very nice.  The green has plenty of movement and a big hump to get over to get to the back tier, but may feel extremely small and flat after the #13 experience.  Hopefully you made par or better on the last two holes because you face a stern test as you walk to the 15th tee.

View from the back tee
View from a shorter tee
The over and around view from the fairway
Once you get around the bend, here's what you see
The approach to the green
View of the approach from the right side
The 14th green - the contours are evident from this angle
The view from the back right side of the green
From directly behind the green
One more picture from behind the green - this one from the left side.  The 15th fairway is seen on the top left of this photo.
Comments on #14 from Mike DeVries:

"These back-to-back par four and a half’s [holes #14 and #15] provide some great golf and tease the player into trying certain shots that they often shouldn’t.  

I always look forward to the drive on 14 and trying to blast one over the bunkers, hoping to get the kick forward that will lead to a chance to go for the green in two.  I am not a long hitter but am confident with a 3-wood and have reached the green and its surrounds on several occasions.  It is a fun rip at the ball and more fun to see it run up the approach toward the flag.  Recovery shots are demanding but fair.  The lay-up poses its own issues, as the bunkers 80 yards out pinch the right side of the fairway.  I don’t worry too much about the out-of-bounds on the left, although it is certainly in play, and the stone wall has a nice effect and will ricochet a shot occasionally.

The green is small but with considerable contour that can be used to advantage in getting a ball closer to the pin.  The front has a backstop that brings the ball back to the cup and is one of the easier pins on the course.  The middle has two levels, left and right, that are separated from the back by a broad mound.  The back is dished between the mound and the up-sloping back of the green and fringe.  The target areas are small, but if you are on the right level, you have a good chance at a one-putt.  Definitely one of the birdie holes on the course."


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