Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Course Tour - Hole #11

Hole #11 description on the Kingsley Club web site is here.

This angle from behind the green provides a nice look at the movement of the 11th green
Here is my commentary from A Fan's Photo Tribute on

The 11th hole is a par 3
180 from the gold tee
141 from the blue tee

This is a fine par 3, but it is tough to stand up to the par 3s on the front nine and the 16th to follow.  This holes claims the unfortunate task of batting lead-off for back-to-back all-world par 4s.  Because of the other standouts on the course - not because of the weakness of this particular hole - I find this to be the least entertaining of the short holes on the course.  For me it really completed what felt like a two-hole transition for me.

To the left of the tee is a nice stone wall, which can also be found on the left boundary of the par 5 14th hole.  When we played the 14th in the morning I asked Mike about the walls.  His response was that the owner wanted them included because they reminded him of Ireland (or something to that effect.)  During the afternoon round, Jack Crisham, who didn't join us for the morning round, mentioned how the wall on the 11th was reminiscent of Ireland.  I guess they pulled off the effect pretty well!

A single bunker guards the front center of the green, and another guards the rear.  To the left is some native grass and smaller trees - just enough to lose a stray ball as our group discovered.  A slight miss left will funnel the ball back to the green, but more than a few yards is not a good place to be (unless you perfectly plan the bounce off the skinny tree.)  The back left portion of the green (where the pin was located the day we played) is very small but relatively flat shelf.  Missing just off the green in that area was a great place to be - much better than most spots on the green to that pin.  

The larger portion of the green is well contoured and can provide some wild and fun putts.  I would have enjoyed a pin tucked just over the front bunker, as the green looks receptive to using the slope in the middle of the putting surface to feed the ball back to the hole.  Missing short and right or just right should funnel the ball further away from the hole.

All-in-all a fun, but less spectacular hole than the other par 3s on the property.  

View from the back tee
View from a much closer tee box
Closer look at the green from the front
A look from the left side of the green.
Looking back from behind the green

The 11th green was a great short par 3 from the 18th tee.  With the left red pin, it is really tucked behind the bunker and the false front comes into play.  It can be played under 100 yards with the full green in view or about 120-130 nearly blind to the green.
The 11th can also be played from a different angle from the 18th tee.  With the pin on the left side, as seen here, the bunker and the false front both challenge the golfer.  It can be played from under 100 yards with the green fully in view or from 120-130 yards to a blind green.

Comments on hole #11 from Mike DeVries:

"The 11th is a wonderful hole with a slight southeasterly direction, similar to the 2nd hole’s direction from the shorter left tees but playing longer at about 175 yards from the back tee.  The left bank of the approach can be used to effectively bring a ball down to the left side of the green, where the flagstick is located most of the time.  An aggressive tee shot to the left may kick forward, though, and leave a delicate chip back to the pin.  The back pin plateau is very challenging, as the location is small and perched above the surrounds as well as having the bunker left of it.  The pins just behind the front bunker require precision to get close on the tee shot as anything a bit too long or right of it will run completely off the green and short grass to the mowed rough.  I like the fact that the right side looks benign from the tee but presents numerous problems for those players experienced with the hole.  Although we have removed many trees on the hole for agronomic reasons since the course was built, I think the hole still represents a more traditional view of a par three for many, with trees around it and a nice green setting on a hillside just past a valley. "

In response to a question about the "change of pace" for holes 10-12:
"The rhythm and flow of the golf course is all important to any good golf course and I do look at sequences of holes a great deal more than one specific hole.  Where that pace goes up or down is different on every course, depending on what the land gives you and the transition from front to back nine here does this well.  #12 hasn't been discussed yet by everyone but from the reaction I get from a lot of players is that it is not low on the impact scale -- many people go on about it quite a bit.  Yes, it is not unconventional like #13, unless you consider bunkerless holes unconventional (people don't really mention that when they talk about the 12th), but it makes an impression, whereas some of the comments on 10 and 11 have been "connector hole" type of responses.  There is nothing wrong with that and, in fact, I think good solid connector holes are critical to raising a golf course's level overall.  Too many courses try to have each hole outdo the last hole and it overwhelms the player and ignores the importance of the rhythm and cadence of the course.

I think 10-12 offer many different options for play and are solid holes and stand on their own, just maybe not as dramatic as the front nine.  The difficulty level of the holes is as stout as, or more, than holes 13 and 14, which are really half-par holes to the easy side -- maybe their perceived difficulty in relation to par makes them more difficult?"


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