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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Course Tour - Hole #10

Hole #10 description on the Kingsley Club web site is here.



The 10th green.  I paid special attention to this hole on my return visit to Kingsley because I had the least recall of it from my first trip.  It is a strong par 4 that provides a varied test from the gold, blue, and even white tees.

Here is my commentary from A Fan's Photo Tribute on Golfclubatlas.com:



#10 is a par four


446 from the gold tee
393 from the blue tee


Welcome to the back nine.  While the front nine has much more continuity in the same sense that exists at the front nine at Crystal Downs, I'm pretty sure I find the back nine more appealing than the front nine in total.  (Author's edit: After a return trip, I no longer find this to be true.  I think I enjoy the front nine more as a total nine though some of my favorite individual holes on the course are found on the back nine.  I'm sure this opinion will change frequently, so stay tuned!)


The tenth kicks off the back with a stern test for the mid-to-high handicapper - a long par 4 that plays slightly uphill.  Now I'm going to get some grief for saying this, but I think this is the least interesting and least memorable hole on the course for me (remember least is a relative term, and this is just a personal opinion!)  For me, the most important purpose it served was to eat up some land in order to get me to perhaps the best stretch of holes on the golf course (that being the rest of the back nine!!)


The tee shot is intimidating from the back tees.  The back tee sits adjacent to the practice area, across a small road from the rest of the 10th hole.  There is plenty of room in the landing area, and the carry isn't unreasonable, but combined with a tee that plays uphill the less than confident golfer may find that it looks like a "narrower" chute than was faced on some of the front nine holes.  The blue tee provides a better view of the fairway since it is elevated and it is much easier on the psyche, though ironically it may lead to a tighter landing area since the bunkers are more in play for the moderate hitter.


There is plenty of bunkering, both along the sides of the fairway as well as around the green.  The approach plays slightly uphill to a sufficiently sized green (much of which is obscured from view on the approach) with a good bit of movement.  This hole, while it won't yield many birdies to the average player, doesn't feel like it would play host to as many disasters as some of the holes on the front nine (or many of those to follow.)  In general, it felt like a tough test, but not as much of a match play thrill as many of the other holes on the property.  

From the back tee
From the next tee forward
Another view from the tee, but with a better look at the fairway
Looking down the fairway
The approach to the green from the right side of the fairway
Looking back on the green from behind the hole
 Comments on #10 from Mike DeVries:


"The 10th was originally a bunkerless hole with dense trees on the right between the 10th and 18th holes.  The existing back tee was added a few years ago and there is a spot to add another tee (for 465+ yards) along the entrance drive if necessary in the future.  The original back tee is the one at 393 and the regular tee was just in front of that on the same landform.  I really liked the hole in the original state and it was definitely more subtle than the bolder holes on the front.  The change in transition was magnified by making the turn to the back nine and this was ultimately one of the reasons for the changes I will discuss.

The right side of the fairway had agronomic issues for the fescue, due to the mass of forest to the south of the hole (between 10 and 18) and we thinned out the trees for a couple years to improve the turf quality, but it was still behind the open turf areas elsewhere on the course.  Owner Ed Walker recommended adding bunkers to help with the transition from front to back and we added the 3 (circular) bunkers on the left, the large bunker about 50 yards short and right of the green (tucked into a couple of large beech trees on a small knoll), and the large bunker at the left approach – these were an immediate improvement to the transition from the open front to the back.  But the turf issues continued and when we looked at thinning the trees some more, it would have been open, bare sticks and not appealing.  So we looked at taking all the trees out and adding bunkers on the side of the ridge to both holes – this openness really improved the flow from front to back and solved the agronomic issues for the fescue.  As to the circular nature of the bunkers on the left – there is a mainline on the left that affected their placement without changing a mainline routing and patching into big pipe (the pump station is in the range, so this is the main that feeds the back nine), but I think they have lost a little of their ruggedness since built and we should look into amending them a bit – thanks for the critique!  The new back tee was added a couple years ago to give some teeth to the drive for the bigger hitters and it does change the way you look at the hole – I have always liked the look uphill between the 2 ridges into the valley fairway – and now the large rolling mound at the beginning of the fairway can really defeat a poor drive or propel an average to good drive and it has more effect than the upper tee, which gives one a freer feeling to just let one rip.

The hole is all natural between the ridgelines and presents different looks, depending on which tee you play from, and the concavity of the hole is actually quite a bit narrower than the other holes on the front that repel balls on parts of their generous, yet convex, fairways.  The second shot is definitely uphill but gives you a glimpse of the right front of the green with the false middle that distinguishes the right plateau of the green and serves as a backstop for pins in the very front.  The big roll in the left approach allows for a running shot to feed into the left middle bowl or front of the green.  And a cautionary note, the last 20 feet in the back center falls away.  Putts on this green are difficult to read but very makeable and not that punitive (definitely not as severe as the Downs 10th!)."

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