Blackmoor Golf Club Feature

Blackmoor Golf Club Feature

Blackmoor Golf Club – Gary Player Meets the Grand Strand

Blackmoor Golf Club

Gary Player has played and designed golf courses all around the world, but there’s only one Gary Player Signature Course on the Grand Strand – Blackmoor Golf Club. Designed to be challenging, yet fair, Blackmoor features well-groomed fairways and greens and modest elevation changes, primarily through moving earth. The course was built on the historic Longwood Plantation, which runs parallel to the Waccamaw River.

Blackmoor Golf Club plays 6,614 yards from the back tees, with a course rating of 71.1 and a slope of 126. Blackmoor is also a favorite of female visitors to the Myrtle Beach area and plays 4,807 yards. Play from the yardage that best suits your game and you’re sure to have a good time.

Blackmoor Golf Club

This Gary Player signature course takes advantage of the natural terrain as well as beautiful vistas, producing a combination of shot varieties, which adds to your enjoyment no matter how good or bad you’re playing. Marshes, wetlands and/or water come into play on about half the holes and the green complexes are well protected with either sand or grass bunkers and swales. With all of the thought Player put into this course, he has made it challenging for low handicappers and enjoyable for high handicappers.

Easily the most memorable hole on the golf course is Number 8, a par 4 that plays 347 yards from the White tees – much shorter with Option B. “A Tale of Two Fairways” would be an appropriate name for this hole. The conventional, aka wider fairway is to the left, making this a dogleg right. You can leave driver in the bag with this route and hit a 3-wood or hybrid off the tee. That should leave a moderate chip shot into the green.

Option B is for the gambler in you. Number 8 gives you an option to go directly at the green, up a narrow alleyway which plays about 270 yards. Be warned, hit it straight or pay the price. Either way, you end up at a gently undulating green protected with bunkers left – or behind the green – depending on your route. Executed correctly, Option B could help you pick up a shot on the field.

The par 3, Number 4 is by no means the longest par 3 on the course -it’s a mere 130 yards – but at the same time this scenic hole is definitely no pushover. With a little bit of intimidation from the pond in front and the long, narrow bunker left of the green, this hole will get you thinking. It also has one of the deepest greens on the course, so proper club selection is essential.

Number 10, the only dogleg left at Blackmoor, is also handicapped as the hardest hole on the course. Favor the left side of the fairway on this 365-yard hole par 4; a well-placed shot of about 230 yards will leave an approach of less than 140 to a kidney shaped green that is well protected by bunkers. This is one of those holes where brains are better than brawn. A back left pin position is best attacked from the front right as the green is very shallow back there. A challenging hole that can be tamed with two well thought shots.

Even without the old slave cemetery that runs down the left side of this hole and dates back to the 1800’s, Number 13 (478 yards from the White Tees) would still be a good hole. Add in the cemetery and good becomes great! Calling this a dogleg right doesn’t do it justice; it’s more like a 45° right turn. A long fade off the tee goes a long way in lessening the burden on your second shot, where, depending on your length off the tee, you’ll have a decision to make. Anyone with a clear shot at the green needs to go for it; there’s not a lot of trouble around the green other than a bunker on the right side and trees on the left if you’re way off. The green slopes from back right to front left, so do your best to keep the ball below the hole.

Blackmoor also has an excellent practice area with a full length driving range where you can hit every club in the bag to your heart’s content, and a putting green. The clubhouse features a well-stocked pro shop with all of your favorite logoed Blackmoor gear and a grill and bar that serves all of your favorite libations and clubhouse food. The burgers are unbelievable.

Blackmoor Golf Club

There’s nothing not to like at Blackmoor Golf Club. From the moment you pull up to the bag drop to the last drink you order at the Grill, Blackmoor’s staff is friendly and courteous. General Manager Bob Zuercher has been at Blackmoor for 30 years and has ridden the roller coaster of Myrtle Beach golf. He is to be commended for having a great staff and for making an enjoyable golf experience that much more enjoyable. It’s no wonder the Myrtle Beach Golf Course Owners Association has seen fit to name Blackmoor “Myrtle Beach Golf Course of the Year”.

Half of the holes at Blackmoor are doglegs and will require not only proper club selection but also good placement if you want to score well. Many greens are elevated and require you to fly it on the green as opposed to running it on. All of the greens roll fast and true.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable round with some great people, you need to consider playing Blackmoor Golf Club on your next visit to Myrtle Beach. For more information on Blackmoor Golf Club or to book your next round, Click Here.

Golf Life Contributor
David Theoret

Dunes West Golf & River Club Feature

Dunes West Golf & River Club Feature

Dunes West – An Arthur Hills Lowcountry Masterpiece

Dunes West

Although Dunes West Golf and River Club opened in 1991, the history of the land can be traced back to 1696, although the land wasn’t developed for another sixteen years or so. Shortly after being developed it was purchased by Captain John Vanderhorst, Joseph Vanderhorst and Thomas Lynch, the same family that owned most of Kiawah Island – in 1712. They kept it in the family for over 100 years. Fast forward to 1937 and Henrietta Hartford, one of the wealthiest women in America, buys the land and marries Prince Guido Pignatelli of Italy. The land would become known as Pignatelli Plantation and Henrietta – aka Princess Pignatelli – has a nine-hole golf course built.

Dunes West Golf and River Club is ideally situated along Wagner Creek and the Wando River, offering up some spectacular views of the surrounding aquatic life. The course itself was designed by renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills and is a “must play” for any golfer traveling in or around Charleston, SC. Dunes West has been proclaimed by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine as a “Top 10 Resort Course”.

Dunes West

The course plays 6,859 yards from the back tees, with a course rating of 73.0 and a slope of 134. Most golfers will find that the Blue Tees (6,100/69.0/122) will give them all they can handle and still maintain a little dignity.

Hills took full advantage of both the Wando River and Wagner Creek when he built this masterpiece. As you make your way around the course, you’ll see saltwater marshes and coastal tidelands; all commonplace for those who live in the South Carolina’s low-country, but visually stunning for those who don’t.

Dunes West

Although the current version of Dunes West does not resemble the 9-hole original course in any way, shape or form, the clubhouse does sit on the very spot of the princesses’ 32-room mansion. The oak trees that frame the drive up to the clubhouse, as well as the right side of the 18th fairway serve as a reminder of the properties history; they were planted by Princess Pignatelli herself.

Like most Arthur Hills, there’s a lot of mounding in the peripheries of the fairways and around the green complexes. Grass bunkers and swales are every bit as challenging as the light, fluffy sand you’ll find in any of the traps. Greens come in all shapes and sizes, most have subtle undulation and all roll true.

There were several challenging holes on the front nine at Dunes West, but none more memorable than the four finishing holes. Number 15 is a Par 5 that plays 481 yards from the Blue Tees has two sets of four fairway bunkers that challenge players off the tee and in the landing zones. The first set are on the edge of the fairway and shouldn’t cause much trouble; the second set bisect the fairway and catch a good deal of layup attempts. A shot from the left side of the fairway bunkers leaves an easier approach and somewhat takes out of play the greenside traps on the right side of a slightly elevated green. A long drive up the left side sets up a good opportunity to get home in two and go for broke.

Number 16 is the toughest hole on the inward nine and plays 369 yards from the Blue Tees. Water come into play over the trio of fairway bunkers on the right off the tee, but is more in play on your approach shot. An ideal tee shot is between the 150-marker and the trees on the left; that will leave a manageable yet challenging approach shot over sand to a small green with water waiting if you hit it right. The green is small with subtle undulations.

Number 17 is a par 3 that plays 169 yards and is by far the most challenging par 3 at Dunes West. With water on the right side and sand left and long, there is no room for error off the tee. Miss the left fairway bunker long and you’re facing a tough lie in a grass swale. The green is small and slopes left to right. Best of luck!

Number 18 is a great finishing hole. This dogleg right par 4 will give any golfer all they can handle from the back tees; from the Blue tees, it’s a manageable 383 yards. There’s not the usual plethora of sand you find on many holes; in fact, there is none. Your biggest challenge on this hole is to control your drive off the tee. Keep it in the short grass and leave yourself a clear shot into the green and you’ll finish strong; just be sure to avoid the marsh area short left.

Before your round, be sure to visit Dunes West’s practice facility. There’s a full length driving range with multiple targets that will let you hit every club in your bag. The short game area has a sand trap for extra practice and there is a large practice putting green as well. If you’re having troubles with your swing, set up a quick lesson with one of the club’s trained PGA professionals.

In addition to a superb golf course, Dunes West also has a 6000-square foot clubhouse with full service dining. The Grille is open every day from 8am to 3pm; breakfast is served Wednesday – Sunday from 8am – 11am and lunch is served daily from 11am – 3pm. Brunch is available on Sundays from 8am – 12pm. One of the specialties at The Grille are the tacos, which come in several varieties, and the burgers are outstanding. On Thursdays, The Grille is open for dinner with delectable entrees of beef, chicken and fish.  There’s also a full array of country club amenities including swim and tennis.

Dunes West

Because of its location, Dunes West is a picturesque and memorable location for weddings. Their experienced event and culinary staff can help you put together your special occasion. It’s also a great venue to host your next tournament or golf outing.

For more information on becoming a member, you can call Dunes West at (843) 856-9000 or visit them online at www.duneswestgolfclub.com.

Golf Life Contributor
David Theoret

Royal Links Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada

Royal Links Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada

Golf Life visits one of the most unique golf courses in the Las Vegas area, as we tour the British Open inspired Royal Links Golf Club.

Legends have walked these same hallowed holes. Create your own Claret Jug moment and relive history at Royal Links Golf Club, an unrivaled union of fabled holes – like the “Postage Stamp” at Royal Troon and the “Road Hole” at St. Andrews – from the Open Championship’s eleven world-famous courses. This once-in-a-lifetime and, for many, life-changing golf experience can become a reality without a trip across the pond: It only requires a passion for the game and a quick, five-minute jaunt from the famed Las Vegas Strip.

Royal Links was built to honor the rich legacy and tradition of the game of golf. Designed by Dye International, this links-style course features holes inspired by eleven different Open Championship rotation courses, including the “Road Hole” and “Hell Bunker” from the Old Course at St. Andrews and the “Postage Stamp” from Royal Troon. Other courses in the loop include Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Liverpool, Prestwick, Royal Lytham, Muirfield and Royal Birkdale. Monuments were erected at various locations throughout the golf course indicating the spots where legendary moments in Open history took place, and a Champions Wall stands near the all-turf practice range as a tribute to the tournament’s American champions such as Three-time Open champion and owner of our course record, Tiger Woods

To book tee times visit www.royallinksgolfclub.com

Willbrook Plantation Golf Club

Willbrook Plantation Golf Club

Willbrook Plantation – A Top Grand Strand Track and The Ladies Choice in Myrtle Beach

Willbrook Plantation

When Willbrook Plantation opened in 1988, golf course architect Dan Maples referred to it as “One of my best”. The ladies seem to agree. In fact, Golf Digest named Willbrook Plantation as one of America’s Top 50 Courses for Women in 2010. Golf for Women Magazine has ranked the course as high as 25th in the US for women. However, all the guys I spoke with describe it to be a challenging layout, as well. In 2006, Golf Digest awarded Willbrook 4.5 stars in their “Best Places to Play.”

Willbrook Plantation is built on land that was once two Carolina plantations, dating back to 1798 as evidenced on their logo. As you make your way around the course, you’ll see several historical markers denoting the various historic points of interest. One tells about the mounding built by slaves in the 1700s that served as the property lines between plantations. All kinds of non-golf related facts that add to the round’s enjoyment.

Willbrook Plantation

Willbrook Plantation plays 6,722 yards from the back tees with a rating of 72.4 and 133. The White Tees at 6,292 yards (70.3/129) provided a great test for me. Ladies play from 4,981 yards (68.3/120). Pick the right set of tees and when it doubt, do what Jack says and play it forward.

The golf course at Willbrook Plantation weaves its way through lowcountry marshes, and natural grasses. Along the way you’ll encounter centuries-old oak forests and a blend of wildlife you don’t see at other venues. It’s not uncommon to see the occasional deer, hawk or alligator during your round. The course is very player-friendly, especially for those that have never played the course. Water hazards that may have gone unnoticed, are marked with large yellow flags, so the “I didn’t know there was water there” defense is no longer valid. Water is very much a part of the action at Willbrook Plantation; you’ll see it in some form or another on at least 14 holes, although it only comes into actual play on about half of them.

Willbrook Plantation

There are several holes at Willbrook that could be considered “signature-worthy” but here are my choices:

Most Memorable Hole: Number 6, Par 3, 127 yards (White Tees). A challenging island green gets your attention on this short par 3 hole. A large bunker guards the left side of the green and two grass swales guard the far end, so if you miss the green left, up and down becomes an arduous task.

Favorite Par 3: Number 17, 160 yards (White Tees). This hole may be easier from the back two sets of tees than the forward two, because you won’t have the large tree to deal with. The water in front of the tee should not come into play; if it does, you may want to get a lesson from Head Professional Kevin McGuire. A back pin location will probably require an extra club.

Favorite Par 4: Number 10, 356 yards (White Tees). Remember that Lynyrd Skynyrd song with the line: “Oak tree you’re in my way”? That seems to be the mantra on a number of holes at Willbrook, but none more so than on the par 4 10th hole. Not once, but twice. Off the tee you’ll need to avoid the large oak between the water and the fairway; hit the tree and there is a good chance it’s going in the water. Your best play is down the left side, This takes not only that tree out of play but also the large oak that guards the right side of the green. You’ll just have to clear two greenside bunkers on the left. Your choice: trees or sand?

Favorite Par 5: Number 3, 520 yards (White Tees). Number 3 is both challenging and appealing to the eye. With sand dotting the landscape down the right side, your best play off the tee is up the left. This is easier said than done as Mr. Maples planted a large oak tree near the edge of the fairway, so to maximize your distance up the left side, you’ll need to hit a draw. For the majority of players, this is going to be a three shot hole. As long as you keep your layup shot in the fairway and leave a manageable distance for your approach, you can score well here. A single greenside bunker guards the front left while two grass swales make for an interesting up and down from behind the green.

Pro’s Pick: Number 15, Par 5, 538 yards. A long tree-lined par 5 with a creek running through it that cuts the hole in half. If you’ve been waiting to show off that new draw shot, now’s the time to use it. Any drive landing in the left half of the fairway off the tee is going to provide the best angle into the green. Play your layup shot over the creek, avoiding the two fairway bunkers on the left to set up your approach. You’ll need to fly it on the green to avoid the two front bunkers that guard the putting surface. No wonder it’s rated the hardest hole on the course.

Last Word: It’s easy to see why Willbrook Plantation is consistently ranked one of the top courses in the Myrtle Beach area. Accuracy is at a premium, especially when avoiding large trees. It’s not the longest course on the Strand, but it is going to make you think your way around it. It’s also very peaceful and serene on the course; I think this is what Mark Twain was talking about when he said, “a good walk spoiled.”

In addition to the course, Willbrook has a great practice area and a grill that is popular with both visitors and locals. In fact, when I asked several players on the course which hole was their favorite, the majority said it was the 19th! For more information or to book a round at Willbrook Plantation, Click Here.

Golf Life Contributor
David Theoret

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

Caledonia Golf & Fish Club

To golfers in Myrtle Beach and those who travel from many miles away, Caledonia Golf and Fish Club is Myrtle Beach golf. Since opening to the public in January 1994, Caledonia has rapidly gained and maintained a reputation as one of the premier resort courses in America. In 2016, Golf Magazine ranked Caledonia as one of the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” and Golf Week placed it on its list of “Top 100 Resort Courses in America” for 2016 and 2017.

Its history can be traced back to a Scotsman, Dr. Robert Nesbit, who named it what the Romans called his homeland: Caledonia. Dr. Nesbit was the husband of Elizabeth Pawley, whose family owned a significant amount of property in the area (Pawleys Island).

In the early 1800s, Caledonia was one of the largest plantations in the area and the impressive avenue of live oaks that leads to the clubhouse steps still welcomes all who enter her gates. Although the original plantation house burned to the ground in 1931, descendants of the family continued to own and operate Caledonia until 1940. The current owners purchased the property in 1971 to use primarily as a hunting and fishing preserve, still today a gathering spot for their Thursday dinner and socializing.

In 1994, the late, great golf course architect Mike Strantz was commissioned to work his magic on the plantation land. A shaper for Tom Fazio, Caledonia Golf and Fish Club was Mike’s first solo project. He applied his artistic talents to the land, making great use of the beautiful oaks, ponds and streams he was dealt, and adding in green complexes that included imposing sand bunkers and surrounding waste areas to create a very challenging – yet very fair – golf course. In adding to the aesthetics of the course, thousands of semiannual flowers bloom every year about Masters time, creating unrivaled beauty.

A quick look at the scorecard tells you that at 6,526 yards from the back tees, Caledonia is not likely to overwhelm the long hitter. But consider that it’s a par 70 course and the rating/slope from the tips is 71.8/138, and you quickly learn this course is no pushover. In fact, the White Tees at 5,710 yards (67.6/127) will show most golfers a challenge and a good time.

Caledonia Golf

Ask any newcomer to the course which hole was their favorite, and the majority will choose Number 18. It’s a 377-yard par 4 that requires something less than driver off the tee. The goal here is to avoid the water and leave yourself a second shot, over water into an oddly angled green that has two tiers. The top tier tends to funnel back towards the water. Bunkers surround the green and to top things off, you may have a gallery watching your approach and putt from the balcony directly behind the green. It’s fun and intimidating at the same time!

Caledonia Golf

I asked several members and Assistant Professional Mike Foley the same question and, interesting enough, all agreed that the risk/reward par 5, Number 8 was their favorite. At 512 yards from the Blue Tees, a well-struck drive off the tee over the left fairway bunker on the right leaves you with a decision. The rest of the hole plays downhill and a good drive will leave around 225 yards to the green. Again, it’s downhill, which makes it play shorter, however there is a pond in front of the green that you must carry. Something else to consider is pin location. If it’s front, it is slightly above water level. If it’s a back pin, the upper level of the green sits about four feet higher. It’s the ultimate risk/reward hole on the course.

Caledonia #10

My favorite was Number 10, a 531-yard par 5 that I almost reached in two. Fairway bunkers on either side create a narrow landing area for your drive and the waste bunker dotted with grass islands that make up the right side of the fairway is an imposing obstacle to overcome on your layup. The double-tiered green demands a good long look if you want to score well here – unfortunately I did not!
Even the short par 3, 9th hole (110 yards/Blue Tees) requires a certain amount of distance control and accuracy. Although it’s short, it’s all carry over sand, and with the green being very shallow, the two back bunkers see a lot of play.

Number 7 is a short but interesting hole. It plays 346 yards from the Blue Tees and, with a right-side pin placement, 9 out of 10 players will have to play their approach shot over or under a massive moss-draped oak tree. Find the fairway bunker on the left off the tee and big numbers await.

Caledonia Golf

These are just some of the holes I have fond memories of, however I’m sure every hole out here has special meaning to somebody. After all, Caledonia realistically has 18 signature holes. No houses infringe on your play; it’s just you, nature and that darned little white ball.
After your round, do what many locals and other golfers do and visit the restaurant in the Old South-style clubhouse. They have a tremendous menu and, of course, your favorite post-golf libations. Now it’s your turn to sit in a porch rocker and offer encouragement on fellow golfers’ approach to the 18th green.

No round at Caledonia is complete without a souvenir of the day’s events and the pro shop can hook you up with a hat, shirt or towel from your favorite designer, complete with the Caledonia logo.

Caledonia’s mission is to provide each and every golfer with a unique experience that will let them reflect back on their day with fond memories of their Lowcountry experience. For more information on Caledonia Golf & Fish Club, give them a call at (843) 237-3675 or Click Here.

Golf Life Contributor
David Theoret

SentryWorld Golf Course

SentryWorld Golf Course

Sentry World

SentryWorld, located in the central Wisconsin town of Stevens Point has long been known as the state’s first true golf destination. This area, commonly referred to as the “Gateway to the North Woods” is the link between the rolling farmlands of the Badger state and the lake country to the north. The vision for this grand daily fee parkland layout originated with the late (and former Sentry Insurance Chairman) John Joanis. Joanis hired Robert Trent Jones Jr to design this midwest beauty that opened to rave reviews back in June, 1982.

Sentry World

It was Joanis and RTJ II’s collaboration that led to the creation of the Par 3 signature sixteenth known as the “Flower Hole”.

After a damaging wind storm destroyed numerous trees on the 200+ acre property over a decade ago, Sentry contacted RTJ II Design to come back and evaluate what was needed to restore SentryWorld to it’s former gloryThe firm summoned its young and talented design associate (and native Badger) Jay Blasi to make the assessment.

Blasi informed the leadership at Sentry that the storm actually was beneficial to the course and suggested the removal of a thousand additional trees (thus allowing for open corridors, angles for more strategic play and improved air flow & sunlight exposure for healthier turf). Also, upon further discovery, Blasi learned there was a serious need to replace the outdated irrigation system, drainage, bunkers, and many of the green complexes. Finally, in 2012 new Sentry chairman Pete McPartland came on the scene with passionate energy and big picture vision to implement the plan that was previously outlined.

There was really only one hurdle to leap for McPartland to bring it all to fruition – RTJ Design was the company commissioned to do the renovation, but Blasi was no longer part of their stable, he had left and started his own firm (Jay Blasi Design).

Blasi was McPartland’s choice to oversee and implement the major improvements to the courseTo make a long story short, McPartland made it happen, Blasi would be his point guard on the renovation as the Project Architect (along with RTJ II designer Bruce Charlton). To spend an hour with Pete McPartland is to realize that this is a person, and a leader of the highest order (a lunch meeting with Jay and Pete is not just a treat, it’s an honor).

Blasi and the RTJ staff quickly got to work, Jay himself spent the better part of 28 straight weeks on the property. The removal of trees opened up site lines, vistas and enhanced the strategy elements for better players – thus, also allowing for more enjoyment for all ability levels. Also, several hole routings were changed or modified – utilizing some parcels of land that were previously untouched. For those playing the forward tees, the distance was reduced to 4696 yards to increase enjoyment. The challenge for those who aspire to conquer the sternest of tests (from the back tees) was increased to 7145 yards. The new expansive driving range no longer faces the early morning sunrise glare of the east, and accommodates a greater number of enthusiastic linksters.

Sentry Company The renovation completely closed the course for two years, in the fall of 2014 the facility re-opened for a preview. But it wasn’t just the course that re-opened, McPartland and the Sentry Company went a giant step further, they decided to created an entire mega complex, devoted to golf, tennis, outstanding local cuisine, and the best reception facility in the area for weddings, banquets and corporate meetings. A jewel that would serve not only as a company asset but also as a community treasure.

 

Sentry WorldPJ’s restaurant serves up the local flavor. Anything with cheese in Wisconsin is a big hit, as well as the native fresh catch. Jay Blasi’s go to comfort food when in town is the tomato soup and grilled cheese. I chose the soup as well, along with cheese curds and salmon tacos. For just getting off the plane and driving 2 1/2 hours from Milwaukee (we were in town to also cover the U.S Open and visit Sand Valley) – this was the perfect pre-round experience. Delicious is an inadequate description of how outstanding the food is here (outstanding service as well).


Sentry World

 

 

A SentryWorld staple – Farmhouse Ale Cheese Curds

 

 

 

 

Sentry World

 

The staff were setting up for a large reception during our visit, this is one of several halls equipped to handle any special occasion at SentryWorld.

 

 

Sentry World

 

1st Hole – Make sure you get a good warm up, SentryWorld starts off with a challenging 424 yard dogleg left par 4 (blue tees).

 

 

Sentry World

2nd Hole – One of the new designs at SentryWorld is the 473 yard par 4 second. Easily the bully of the front 9, Blasi used part of the old eleventh to craft this hole that offers great flexibility for tournament play (it can play as a 598 yard par 5 for professionals). A long accurate approach shot is required here, the green offers a fair amount of back to front slope.

 

 

Sentry World3rd Hole – Any sign of significant elevation change is absent at SentryWorld, but harmonious natural surroundings like this “infinity green” at the par 3 – third is an early indicator of how special the experience at SentryWorld will be. Once a vacant pocket in the woods, this lakeside parcel is now the setting for the shortest hole on the property. At 151 yards from the tips, it’s the perfect chance to catch your breath after the challenge of the opening holes.

 

 

Sentry World

 

4th Hole – The 299 yard fourth is a fabulous example of a risk reward drivable par 4. Avoid Blasi’s subliminal invite to go for the green and play less club to the proper position on the right side of the fairway . . .

 

Sentry World

. . . here’s the correct angle for an easy wedge. *Blasi took on his own challenge and paid the tariff when his well-intentioned high draw fell just short of clearing the hazard. I chose the less risky route, but taking the “low hanging fruit” option doesn’t require an apology after notching the first circle on the card.

 

Sentry World

7th Hole – The par 3 seventh is the toughest of the one shotters at SentryWorld (it played 211 yards during our visit) the slightly elevated shallow green requires the proper club selection. Avoid any tucked pin location here and aim for the center of this green, 3 is a great score here.

 

 

Sentry World

8th Hole – The 340 yard eighth is another example of variety at the new version of SentryWorld. This tight tree lined hole lends itself to precision over might. The superb flash bunkering does a fabulous job of framing the landing areas and defining depth. Simple beauty, nothing tricky here.

 

 

Sentry World9th Hole – The re-designed 508 yard par 5 ninth gets my vote for the most fun hole on the property. Using the original tee and green locations as well as the existing creek, the design team crafted a fairway slot down the right side to encourage aggressive play to this well guarded green. Although it’s listed as a long par 4 for professionals, I personally don’t think it should be, the hole has a thirteenth at Augusta like essence – it’s beauty and temptation all neatly wrapped in one glorious setting . Hit two masterful shots and you’re likely rewarded, miss just slightly (as I did) and you’ll be kicking yourself for ruining a good opportunity to get healthy on the card. My immediate thought after walking off that green was I want to play that hole again.

 

Sentry World

 

Another view of the ninth, this one from behind the green shows all the elements of strategy, beauty and recovery.

 

 

Sentry World

 

10th Hole – Although the tenth offers back to back par 5’s on the card, this is an entirely different test than the ninth (playing 612 yards from the back tees), survival is the theme here – par is a solid score on this monster dogleg right.

 

 

Sentry World11th Hole – If there is a drivable par 4 on the course to take on – it’s the new eleventh. It Played 280 yards during our visit, and features a green that’s now located in front of the water (previously it was tucked further back and right of the hazard. Longtime RTJ II designer and SentryWorld co-project architect Bruce Charlton gave his thoughts on the hole, “Creating the new eleventh really allowed us to focus on increasing the fun factor”. Pick the appropriate tee (who says you can’t move up a box to make the hole more of a risk reward challenge) and smash a low bullet fade tee shot that leaves nothing more than a chip and putt to this well undulated infinity green. This well crafted design gives you every chance to put another circle on the card.

 

Sentry World 12th Hole – Perhaps the biggest change to the updated design at Sentry World is the 139 yard (161 yards from the tips) par 3 twelfth. Located in a previously unsullied parcel on the property, the design team created a fantastic short par 3 on a peninsula that requires your full attention – especially if the wind is blowing (Blasi striped his mid-iron shot here that played much longer than the number thanks to a stiff hurting breeze that came up just as we reached the tee). Don’t over club as I did here, plenty of room has been provided to the left for a viable path to escape with par.

 

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14th Hole – A view of the green complex at the par 5 fourteenth shows off the variable patterns and heights of cut – brilliant work by Superintendent Matt Smith and his grounds staff. *Look for our Q&A with Matt Smith coming soon in our “Masters of the Moss” section.

 

 

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The presentation of colors at the “Flower hole” can be distracting to the task at hand, so take a few photos and enjoy the scenery on this one of a kind mid- length (168 yard) par 3 that was inspired by RTJ’s visit to Holland’s Tulip festival just before getting started on the original design 35 years ago. Blasi and I took a few minutes to discuss the flora and all of its splendor, then settled back into our match that was knotted up at All Square.

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Ground level view of the hole gives you a better idea of just how much effort the Agronomy/Landscape staff put in to create this iconic scene each spring.

 

 

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17th Hole  – The new seventeenth hole is a much friendlier than the previous version with more room off the tee and a short approach to a severely sloped green that runs away from the player. This view from behind the green is among the most serene at Sentry World.

 

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18th Hole – The 18th tee, a 439 yard uphill right to left dogleg is a worthy finale. Midwest conifers and evergreens guard the corner, while fairway bunkers on the right catch any flared drives that fail to draw. Your two best are required here to finish strong.

 

SentryWorld The back center pin sits just over a rise on a shelf, an uphill recovery from short of the green allows for an aggressive shortgame play – miss this green deep, and the round will likely end with a miscue.

SentryWorld is a must play when traveling to the midwest. If you’re planning a Wisconsin golf vacation, put this re-imagined parkland Top 100 daily fee gem on your list, and tell them who sent you . . .

 

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For more info: https://www.sentryworld.com/

 

Picture
Jason  Bruno
LinksNation.com & GolfLife.com

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