Thursday, May 5, 2011

Course Tour - Hole #13

Hole #13 description on the Kingsley Club web site is here.

The 13th green is one of the wildest you will find on any golf course
Here is my commentary from A Fan's Photo Tribute on

#13 is a par 4
292 from the gold tee
271 from the blue tee

The walk from the 12th green to the 13th tee is probably the toughest transition of the day.  It isn't too long, but it is directly uphill.  The hill is just steep enough to really burn the calves and get you breathing hard during the 2nd round of the day

Walking off the green of #12, I remember thinking "How are we going to top that?"  Welcome to the short par 4.  You could hit just about any club in the bag off the tee (except for putter, unless you can hit it with a little carry) and still make birdie on this hole.  You could also drive the green and easily make bogey.

I was so focused on this hole from start to finish that in two rounds, I forgot to take a single picture of the hole until we were done playing the 2nd round.  While I was able to get some good photos of the green, I had to rely on John Mayhugh for the pictures of the tee shot and the approach.  There's a special feel to this hole from the moment you step to the tee.

The fairway is a subtle diagonal from the tee and has a bit of a cape hole feel to it.  The more direct line at the green you take, the more you must cut off.  In reality, most players with reasonable length off the tee don't need to worry about the carry, even when taking the direct line.  The view is imposing enough to make you think about it because most of the fairway in direct line with the green is hidden from view from the tee.  As long as the ball is struck solidly, you shouldn't have an issue.

There's plenty of room in this fairway.  There's a bunker guarding the front of the hole, but plenty of room to go around it and still find your way onto the green.  There's also a lot of playable area to the left of the green to bomb it up near the green.  This hole is really about the short game options, and I think it is best enjoyed with a tee shot that comes to rest inside 50 yards.  It's the half-wedge lob, bump and run, or putt 2nd shots (as well as the putts) that make this hole magic.

The green is... well, hard to describe.  The pictures will help, but the only way to do this creation justice is to go see it for yourself.  It is massive in scale - both in absolute size as well as in terms of the undulations.  Unless you stick it tight, a two putt is something to celebrate.  A three putt shouldn't be a surprise.  It's one of the few greens you walk up to and think that some pin locations could easily yield multiple 4-putts in the course of a day.  There is a couple foot drop-off to one large portion of the right side of the green.  There is a tiny shelf in the back that is pinnable and could cause fits.  There is more going on in this green than one could reasonably take in all in one day.  You could spend an entire day just playing this hole over and over.  Actually, you could easily spend a day just playing around the green - forget about walking back to the tee.

A great hole right in the middle of a great stretch of wonderful golf on the back nine.

View from the tee
The approach from the left side of the fairway
A shot of the green from the distant rough
From the lower portion of the green - even money on a three-putt from here!
Another view from a similar angle with a bit of the bunker in the foreground.  The magnitude of the change in elevation of the green is apparent from this angle.
View from the back right of the green
A mostly complete look back of the green from behind.  It is nearly impossible to capture the entire green in one close-up photo.  This angle gives a pretty good look at how much is going on here.

Comments on #13 from Mike DeVries:

"The 13th is a really fun hole and was always intended to be a short par four, but it evolved into its current state during construction.  The original concept was to have a sliver of green along the back rim of the deep bowl that is left of the green but during the clearing of the brush on the hole (this area was clear-cut regrowth) the contours of the current green became evident and I scrapped the original green site in favor of what appeared to be the natural choice for the green – it was too cool and offered too many great flagstick locations and options for play and, so, was easily the choice.  The large bowl was there and all the intricacies of the formation were essentially intact – all I had to do was refine a few spots and cut out bunkers.

The tees are arranged in a horseshoe shape, with the far right side occupying a peninsula above the twelfth green and looking at the right side of hole across a chasm of native rough.  This gives an aggressive look at the hole but blocks out a sightline to the left fairway bunker.  The middle of the horseshoe is the back tee and this tee was built with the intent that the leaning maple in front of it would be removed but the owners like the tree and, hence, the tee remains unused.  Just to the left of that pad is a similar length tee and this is on the left side of the horseshoe, set at a higher elevation and giving a full width view of the hole – seeing more of the fairway and feeling a bit more comfortable but still demanding a decision for how you want to play the hole.  Tee shots can range from a mid-iron to driver to get to the spot that is most desired by the player.

The fairway and maintained rough is 80 yards wide, with a full 35+ yards left of the green.  The gap in the right approach offers a narrow window but affords a better approach shot for most pins as the player can hit into the slope of the approach or on the green to control his shot better.  Many players prefer to lay up to a full wedge but this leaves an uphill shot with the cup blind 95% of the time, only visible on a very front pin.

The bunkers on the green offer a variety of penalties and opportunities.  The central front bunker and large bunker right of the green are not terrible spots to be in on the drive, as you usually have a nice uphill shot to the pin.  In fact, with the flag in the deep center right bowl, the right bunker might be one of the premier spots to “miss” the tee shot!"


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