Playing the Course
By Assistant Golf Manager Bill Ogiego
Par 5 ~ 489 Yards
Your round begins with a Par 5 dogleg right…great chance for a birdie, but double-bogey is in play too. Playing the hole the way it’s designed calls for a 185-200 yard drive straight away to the dogleg…you never go wrong keeping it in the fairway! The big hitters will try and go for that “risk/reward” shot over the corner of the dogleg with a long, high fading drive; but remember the trees are getting taller every year, and the only in-course out-of-bounds lies down the whole right side of this hole…don’t say you weren’t warned. Your second shot is where you have to make the decision to go for the green, or lay-up short of the bunkers that narrow the approach to the green…this is why golf is a game of decisions. Laying up is the safe and probably smarter play. Now you’re left with a short approach shot at this hole…make sure you stay below the hole on the undulating green…an uphill putt is the way to go on this one. One putt birdie or two putts par and you’re off to the second tee…not a bad way to start off your round.
Par 4 ~ 331 Yards
Even though this hole looks easy from the tee box it does have its own little character to it. A arrowing landing area and a fairway that slopes right makes drives that look good from the tee tough second shots from the rough. When approaching the green you need to think MIDDLE… any shot just off center has a chance to roll off the green. Sometimes an easy 4 is hard to make.
Par 4 ~ 345 Yards
Welcome to Pottawatomie’s signature hole! The tee shot is more important on this hole than you may think. Only calling for a drive between 180 & 200 yards long, the distance for your second shot over the Fox River depends on how far left or right your tee shot went. The actual distance over the water to the island green is only 85 yards, but what makes this shot so tough is that it is all carry to the green, and the further right you go off the tee the longer carry you will have. Hitting the green on this hole is an accomplishment…if you par this one, congratulations!
Par 3 ~ 154 Yards
How can such a short hole be so difficult? With the Fox River bordering the entire left side of this hole, a green side bunker protecting the front right of the green and a green the slopes away from the tee and towards the river…this Par 3 can cause even the best of players fits. The tee shot to hit is somewhere to the front left of the green. Even if you come up short you have taken the bunker out of play along with any second shot that would have the water in the background… and we all agree a bogie on this hole is better than fishing balls out of the river. Remember when putting, everything breaks towards the water. 3 is great, but a 4 isn’t bad too.
Par 4 ~ 378 Yards
Out-of-bounds along the left side, a line of trees down the right side and a fairway bunker makes this hole a test of length and accuracy. On your second shot be aware of the bunkers guarding the green…there is some room to play with on the right side of the green, so going long right with an extra club seems to be the way to go on this hole. Thumbs up for a 4 on this tough par 4.
Par 4 ~ 368 Yards
With an elevated tee box overlooking the 5th Green, 8th Green and a downhill view back towards the river, the 6th hole is one of the most scenic places on the course. Playing this hole is all about position…position off the tee and position around the green. It can’t be stressed enough that your tee shot finds the fairway. With trees left and right on this hole, it’s hard to make par when you have to chip out from behind an oak! The second shot can be a little tricky with a downhill lie. Coming from the fairway, there is plenty of room to roll the ball onto the front of the green, or for those a little worried about the water guarding the left side of the green, you can bail out to a large safe area just right of the green. If you’re not on in two shots, believe in your short game… getting up-and-down on this green is very possible. A 4 on this hole will be well deserved!
Par 3 ~ 197 Yards
How have you been hitting the ball up to this point…with the opening to this green being so narrow and uphill, the decision is whether to fly the green 197 yards or lay up just in front and try to get up and down for your par…did I mention this green is protected by a large bunker front right and a pot bunker front left. Once again decisions need to be made. A 3 is a great score on this hole, but a 4 is nothing to sneeze at.
Par 4 ~ 325 Yards
This short par 4 can play harder than it looks. Accuracy off the tee more important than length on this slight dogleg left. Shaped with trees on the left and a fairway bunker on the right, this hole calls for a simple tee shot down the middle. The approach shot is key on this hole. There is a ridge that runs through the middle of the green so being on the correct tier can make all the difference between a possible one-putt or an adventurous (hopefully) two-putt. Get your 4 and then it’s off to the 9th.
Par 4 ~ 420 Yards
Handicap #1 and for good reason. Out-of-bounds down the entire left hand side, a fairway bunker 265 yards away at the dogleg turn, an elevated green and a few deep green side bunkers…like I said, handicap #1. A long drive down the right side of the fairway will give you your best look at the green for your second shot, but being right will also add length to this dogleg left. The second shot is very deceptive since it is definitely uphill…recommended one if not two clubs more, and aim left…everything that comes up short will kick dead right. Most play this hole as a par 5…if you get a 5 you played it well…if you get a 4 you have some bragging rights!