18 Great Holes – The Front 9

I am an avid public golfer in Ontario and will sometimes drive up to 2 hours to play a new course I`ve heard great things about. I play an awful lot of rounds throughout the season and it sure ain`t cheap but, I have seen plenty of great golf holes so I thought that I`d pull out my favourite 18 and see what kind of course I`d have.

Hole #1 “ Eagle`s Nest #1 / Par 5
This hole is challenges you right out of the gate. An imposing pair of bunkers dead straight in front of you dare your opening drive. Make it to the fairway and your second shot needs to be carefully placed in a narrow ribbon of green in order to set up your shot at birdie.

Hole #2 “ Woodington Lakes #1 / Par 4
If Eagle`s Nest #1 tests your might, this hole tests club selection and nerve. The hole is 410 yards from the back tees and you had better not role the ball much past the 150 marker or you`re dead “ the fairway severely drops off at that point into and environmental area. Your second shot is in to a green in a valley so judging the wind is key.

Angus Glen South 6th (foreground) and 5th greensHole #3 “ Angus Glen #5 / Par 4
Tee the ball high and let it fly. Watch it soar over shrubs that distort you depth perception and land it in a generous fairway “ that is, generous if you don`t push it in to the crap on the right or the trees on the left. Your second shot is just like hitting into and island green (except for the luxury of being able to go long).

Hole #4 “ Ussher`s Creek #3 / Par 3
Ussher`s Creek guards any errant shots to the left. A narrow vertical green calls for an accurate tee shot.

Hole #5 “ Silver Lakes #8 / Par 5
Your tee shot must stay well clear of a large pond on the right and you`re given a generous landing area to the right. Your next two shots need to thread the needle through mature trees that line either side of the fairway.

Hole #6 “ Silver Lakes #3 / Par 3
A relatively easy hole if you ignore the pond with the paper maché crocodile and the pin isn`t tucked directly behind the bunker fronting the hole.

Hole #7 “ Bigwin #6 / Par 4
This is the most beautiful golf hole I have ever played. Anywhere. Period. The tee box is at the highest point on Bigwin Island. Launch your tee shot and watch it fly for minutes on end before landing. Do your self a favour “ play this hole in the summer and again in fall when the leaves are changing. A breathtaking view of the Lake of Bays.

Hole #8 “ Willow Valley #8 / Par 3
Not a long hole but a severely tiered green nestled up against a pond tests your mettle.

Hole #9 “ Battlefield #18 / Par 5
To close out the front nine, I`ve gone for beauty with a testy shot into the green. A gorgeous white beach frames the right side of the fairway presenting an omni-present sand trap. A trap in the front of the green and water surrounding the other ¾ means a precise approach shot in order to make par.

Next week¦the Back 9

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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