Let’s turn our attention to other noteworthy holes on at Tallgrass….
1st Hole – Par 5 – 521 Yards
Look no further than your first shot of the day to be faced with your first strategic decision. For those looking to reach this green in two, a drive that hugs the inside left portion of the dogleg is a must. However, challenging the left side brings trouble into play and therefore the safe route is to play out to the right and which leaves an easy layup leaving nothing more than a wedge in. The green is protected by a single deceptive bunker in the front that looks like a greenside bunker but is actually about 20 yards short of the green. There’s some good movement to this green which can make for interesting hole locations.
5th Hole – Par 4 – 375 yards
The 5th hole features a downhill tee shot and an uphill approach. An arroyo bisects the fairway at the low point of the hole and sits approximately 220 yards off the tee. The safest play is a long iron or hybrid played out to the right of the wide fairway and short of the arroyo. This leaves a longer approach but the best angle as any approach from the left is visually intimidating as the golfer will have to clear a few bunkers. Longer hitters may be tempted to clear the arroyo off the tee but it’s a tough and risky shot. Again, with the best angle to the green being from the right, greedy players that try to clear the trouble and play from that side will face a longer required carry over the trouble.
8th Hole – Par 3 – 186 Yards
A great reverse redan par 3 awaits you at the 8th. A large intimidating bunker guards the front of the green (which is not visible from the tee) but a kickplate to the left will deflect balls onto the putting surface which runs from left to right. This hole is at it’s best when the course is playing fast and firm as a ball can travel 50 feet on the ground from left to right and feed to a difficult pin position. When the course is playing soft and slow, well played shots out to the left have a tendency to not get the full benefit of the slope which leaves a long and quick putt. When the course is playing soft, the best shot is something about 15 feet left of the flag. It’s a joy to watch a well struck ball clear the front hazard, take a bounce towards the pin, and then disappear. Driving up to see where it ended up is an absolute blast.
10th Hole – Par 4 – 345 Yards
The Par 4 10th is such a simple yet wonderful hole that should be a template found on every course. When playing downwind, big hitters can take an aggressive line straight to the flag and must clear a cluster of bunkers that sit approximately 70 yards short of the green. Those that pull this shot off will be left with a short pitch to a small and elevated elusive green that slopes back to front and right to left. As Hanse offers on many holes at Tallgrass, there is a safer option off the tee that leaves a more difficult approach. Rather than taking the aggressive line over the right hand bunkers, the golfer can play any club off the tee and keep it left. However, the further left you are off the tee, the harder the approach becomes as a 10 foot deep bunker guards the entire left hand side of the green. Furthermore, shot’s from the left will have a hard time holding this long and narrow green. It’s a short hole, but finding the green safely in 2 is no easy task and there’s plenty of work left once you’re up there as this green slopes severely. Try to leave yourself an uphill putt if possible.
11th Hole – Par 4 – 384 Yards
The 11th is arguably the most picturesque hole on the course that is framed with a 25 foot berm that plays up the entire right hand side of the hole and snakes around behind the green. Any ball is here will likely be lost. At the foot of the berm is a thin bunker that guards the right side of the fairway, and there’s a waste area left of the fairway. You’ll want to place your drive up the left hand side to give yourself the best view of this slightly sunken green that sits in an amphitheater-like setting. The green has a couple of tiers and lots of movement making this one of the more memorable holes on the course.
14th Hole – Par 3 – 143 Yards
The short and picturesque par 3 14th is everything you want in a par 3. Playing at less than 150 yards from the back tees, you’ll have a short iron or wedge into a small and well protected green. The slightly elevated green is entirely surrounded with sand and fescue and the interior contours of this green are great. You can use these contours to help feed your tee shot to the pin, however, if you find the wrong side of the green then you are faced with a tough two-putt.
16th Hole – Par 4 – 472 Yards
The dogleg right 16th is by far the hardest hole on the course and typically plays into a prevailing wind. The tee shot requires a power fade that flirts with a large bunker at the inside of the dogleg. A fade into the wind can quickly turn into something far worse making this a very intimidating tee shot. Drives that don’t challenge the bunker and are played safely to the left will leave you with a 200+ yard approach to a green that’s protected with bunkers in front, eliminating the option to run your approach shot up along the ground. Par here is a great score.
17th Hole – Par 3 – 217 Yards
Blind par 3’s are polarizing golf holes. Some will love them and others will hate them. The 17th at Tallgrass is one of these holes as only the top of the flagstick is available from the tee due to a large hill that’s about 40 yards short of the green. A long iron is needed here but you can likely get away with less club than the yardage indicates as shots that clear the hill will receive a generous bounce towards the green.
There are many other holes that could’ve been mentioned above as holes to note such as the 3rd, 4th, 9th, 13th, 15th and 18th. Overall, Tallgrass is a very fun course and presents a challenge especially when the wind is blowing and has a very tough stretch of finishing holes. However, since the course is on the short side and most holes offer a safe avenue of play, lesser skilled golfers will certainly enjoy the layout as well. The greens fees here are reasonable but they have crept up over the past few years. It would be nice to see them stabilize around $70 for the weekend but nevertheless is still presents a better value than many other courses on the island.
Image credit: http://www.tallgrassgc.com/