Continuing from our earlier post: Harbor Links Course Review Part 1. Here are some holes to note.
2nd hole – “Hidden Instinct” – Par 4, 437 Yards:
The dogleg right second hole features a downhill tee shot and an uphill approach shot. Off the tee, the golfer must decide if he wants to play for the middle of the wide fairway and leave himself a longer approach, or to challenge the right side which would offer a shorter, albeit blind, shot into the green. The elevated green features a small false front and is protected with a bunker on the left hand side. One should ensure that that they enough club avoid the temptation to fire at a flag that’s on the left side of the green.
5th hole – “Imagination” – Par 4, 367 Yards:
This short par 4 is built into a side of a hill and features two fairways and a challenging green location. The direct route from the tee would be to play the elevated fairway to the left which would leave you with a view of the green for your approach. However, there is trouble left and the fairway gets progressively tighter as you approach the green. At its narrowest, which happens to be the landing zone if using a 3-wood or driver, this fairway is about ten yards wide and the left to right cant of the fairway tends to deflect balls into the rough which would leave an awkward approach from a sidehill lie. The lower fairway to the right is visible from the tee but approach shots from there play about 30 feet uphill and only the top of the flagstick will be visible from there. As you’ll see from the bird’s-eye view of the hole below, one can also play an iron off the tee into the fat part of the upper fairway. However, any “safe” shot that leaks right and ends up between the fairways in that area can result in a lost ball as the rough and fescue is very overgrown there.
Aerial view of the 5th hole
There are plenty of options off the tee, including ignoring both fairways and bombing one short of the green and having a wedge in from the rough. As for the green itself, there is a false front and it plays fast left to right with about a 20 foot dropoff to the right. However, any misses left will lead to a pitch out of heavy rough to a green that runs away from you. A lot going on here for a sub 400 yard hole.
6th hole – “Risk Reward” – Par 5, 521 Yards:
Similar to the 5th hole, the 6th is also built into the side of the hill and offers a choice of two fairways. However, this hole presents a much greater risk reward element than the previous hole as it could be a reachable par 5 for longer hitters. Off the tee, the golfer wishing to take the shortest route to the green will opt for the fairway straight ahead. However, that fairway is not only tight, but OB looms to the right. Hitting a good drive to this fairway will give you the option for a heroic second shot to a green that protected by OB to the right and a drop off and pot bunker to the left. While playing the hole this way does reward you with an option to go for the green in two, it’s not an easy shot in. The safer route is to play for the lower fairway to the left and make this a 3 shot hole. However, the hole plays much longer this way and the golfer’s second will have to flirt with a well-placed bunker and their third shots will play uphill and possibly over the pot bunker to a narrow green (from that angle). The green itself has two tiers and plays fast if you are above the hole. This is a great hole where 5 is always a good score, 4 is attainable, but double and triple bogeys are only one poor shot away. It’s the number 1 handicap hole for good reason. Note: I have made more birdies playing the “safe” route rather than the risky route.
Above: View of the 6th hole with the lower fairway to the far left and the elevated green in the distance
Below: Aerial view showing two different ways to play the hole
10th hole – “Deception” – Par 4, 440 Yards:
The back nine starts with the toughest hole on the course. From the tee, the landing area appears very tight as there is a fescue covered berm that protects the left side of the fairway. Balls that end up in here will most likely be lost but those who flirt with danger are rewarded with a better angle and safer shot into the green. The tendency is to push drives to the right though if one gets away from you, you can end up in a water hazard. From the right side of the fairway, your approach is much more difficult and will require you to carry a small ravine and two bunkers in order to get to the putting surface. Opting for a safer drive will result in this difficult approach angle that will requires a well struck long iron with nothing but bad thoughts in your mind.
12th hole – “Arizona” – Par 3, 172 Yards:
This picturesque par 3 plays longer than the yardage into a unique green site. There is a huge embankment less than 10 yards to the right of the green so accuracy is your primary goal here. A bunker protects the front left portion of this undulating green and there are a plethora of interesting hole locations here. Par is always a good score here.
13th hole – “The Dunes” – Par 5, 501 Yards:
This par 5 plays less than it’s yardage as the green sits at least 50 feet below the tee box. The tee shot is reminiscing of a cape hole in that a direct line to the green makes you flirt with the diagonal right edge of the fairway. You can shorten the hole by keeping your tee shot to the right edge of the fairway; however, being further right requires a longer carry. Golfers laying up have a choice of two routes to take as this hole features two fairways as well. Those going for the green in two can run their ball up the right hand side as the green slopes right to left.
17th hole – “Oasis” – Par 3, 208 Yards:
This very difficult par 3 will likely determine your match. This peninsula green is surrounded by water and requires a long iron or hybrid to get to the green. Any miss will be punished. An elevated tee box would drastically improve this hole as it would not only play a bit shorter, but would be much more picturesque and daunting as all the trouble would be visible.
17th hole from 18th tee
18th hole – “Final Passage” – Par 4, 454 Yards:
18 is a strong finishing hole that’s slightly doglegs around well placed bunkers. The best line off the tee is just to the right of those bunkers as that’s the most direct line to the green. The green itself is about 50 yards deep and features a few tiers so club selection on your approach is very important.
Check out Part 1 of the Harbor Links Review, here.
Harbor Links: http://www.harborlinks.com