Golf Vacations - - Front Page -

It’s not how you start, it’s…

Wait a minute. Per­haps it is how you start, es­pe­cially when talk­ing about golf cour­ses. Like the first chap­ter of a book, the first hole in­tro­duces the lay­out and of­fers a glimpse of what is to be ex­pected through­out the round.

And be­lieve us, there are some open­ing holes that are mem­o­rable and re­ally get play­ers amped up for their rounds. Avid golfers know all about the open­ing holes at St. An­drews, Machri­han­ish and Beth­page Black (the warn­ing sign by the first tee is still the best), but there are some oth­ers – es­pe­cially in the U.S. – that are daz­zling and mem­o­rable.

1) The Sports Club, Cot­ton­wood Val­ley Course – There’s noth­ing re­sound­ing about the tee shot at this Irv­ing, Texas course, which is part of The Sports Club that in­cludes the TPC Four Sea­sons. What catches our eye is the green shaped like the Lone Star State. If that’s not cool enough, a bunker re­sem­bling Ok­la­homa is above the green, with wa­ter (mim­ick­ing the Gulf of Mexico) front right. Tough­est pin place­ments: Amar­illo, El Paso, Brownsville and Hous­ton.

2) Desert High­lands Golf Club – Think of this hole as a beauty and a beast. The beauty is off the tee, as a gran­ite grotto shel­ters the tee box and frames an amaz­ing view of the desert val­ley. The beast: golfers need to carry their open­ing tee shot 200 yards over desert and rocks to a fair­way 125 feet be­low. The hole is true desert golf, which means there’s also trou­ble on both sides of the fair­way. The ap­proach is no slouch ei­ther with a drop-off be­hind the putting sur­face.

3) Pound Ridge Golf Club – The­atrics al­ways seems to be the name of the game at Pete Dye-de­signed cour­ses, and the open­ing hole at this New York City area gem doesn’t dis­ap­point. Stretch­ing to 453 yards, this hole has trees dot­ting both sides of the fair­way, with a mas­sive bunker guard­ing the green on three sides. To add more eye-ap­peal – a serene wa­ter fea­ture frames the back part of the green­side bunker.

4) Telluride Golf Club – Pic­ture stand­ing on an el­e­vated tee 9,400 feet above sea level, with glo­ri­ous moun­tain views and tow­er­ing firs lin­ing the fair­way. You’re at the first tee at Telluride Golf Club in Colorado. Another at­trac­tive fea­ture of this 377-yard opener: The thin moun­tain air and down­hill tee shot make go­ing af­ter this green with the drive very tempt­ing.

5) Top of the Rock – This Jack Nick­laus Sig­na­ture De­sign and amenity of Big Cedar Lodge near Bran­son in South­west Mis­souri may have the only open­ing golf hole in the world framed by a wed­ding chapel and hon­ey­moon cabin. And that’s just for starters. Perched high above Ta­ble Rock Lake, the hole of­fers sweep­ing sunset views across the wa­ter and is lo­cated just steps from the Buf­falo Bar pa­tio. The beauty of the set­ting and scenic vis­tas ap­peal to new­ly­weds and golfers alike.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.