The Abercrombie Monster
Course’s second hole a brutal test
Hole at Pictou County golf club nominated for provincial list.
Hate is such a strong word. But with respect to the par-4 second hole at Abercrombie Golf Club, it might apply.
“Even the good golfers have a problem with it,” says Jonathan Garron, director of golf at the 98-year-old course.
“The distance (off the tee) makes you hit driver and it’s a challenge to get it into the fairway. If you somehow are able to make par on number 2, it feels like a birdie.”
A player who finds the rough or a bunker right of the fairway about 240 yards off the tee will probably be hitting from an extreme side hill lie. If he’s left of the fairway, it’s likely a blind shot to the green, as well — usually, with a long iron or fairway wood.
Even if a player manages to hit a good drive off the tee and finds the fairway, he faces a long second shot. Short and right is water, short and left is a deep gulch where golf balls are lost and stay lost.
Going long is somewhat more preferable, but the biggest issue with the hole is the lack of bailout near the green: a golfer who wants to lay up and take his chances on getting up and down for par has little room for error.
“There’s a little bailout short and left, about 15 yards long,” says Garron, who also states that the geography on that hole makes it virtually impossible to ease up on the punishment golfers must endure.
“You can’t make is less difficult.”
The green itself is multi-tiered and when you finally get there, there are some spots on the green that will have you working hard to avoid a three-putt.
“For a challenging hole, the green is very difficult, too,” says Garron, adding that the second hole is easily the one that Abercrombie golfers grumble most about.
Local pro golfer Brian Affleck has played Abercrombie hundreds of times over the years — and many other courses around Nova Scotia — and says the second is among the hardest in the province.
“It’s definitely up there. When you’re standing on the tee thinking bogey would be a good score, you know it’s a tough hole,” he says.
“It’s a hole that everyone who plays it would take a bogey and move on. It’s probably won or lost a lot of golf tournaments at Abercrombie over the years.”
The Chronicle Herald is doing a feature on the toughest 18 at courses from around the province — it will appear in Saturday’s edition of the provincial newspaper — and Garron didn’t have to think very long before deciding which hole at Abercrombie would get his nomination.
Jonathan Garron, director of golf at Abercrombie Golf Club, stands 200 yards from the centre of the second green. In front and right of the green is a large pond. Left of the green is a deep, tree-shrouded gulley.
A view from the tee: The bunker on the right is about 250 yards from the tee.