Holland Hills is an enjoyable and demanding country track to the south of the city. Take the 400 and turn right, moving past the town’s Speedway. HH moves across side hills in a unique fashion, making the course both logical and unforgettable. Each nine descends into a grove-like setting, meanders frequently along a river, then ascends up to the clubhouse at the end.
This hole seems to go on forever, and is as stern an opening test as you will find in WNY. Length alone is the challenge, as sand does not come into play. Green sits atop a bluff, unprotected against the wind, which seems to come from the East at all times. Use the old Travelin’ Duff theory here: play for five and you might make four; try to overpower the hole and six comes into play.
200 yards to carry the sliver of creek that crosses this fairway. OB way right, so stay a bit left, although not in the trees that separate #2 from #3. Putting surface sits above fairway a bit. One bunker front left tends to push approaches to the right.
Tricky little hole, with a thin strip of water crossing fairway, and a bigger bit off to the right. A three-wood lay-up will keep you short of the wet stuff, leaving about 150 yards to the elevated green. Carry the water off the tee and you have wedge left. Putting surface is fairly large, so proximity to the hole is beneficial.
A good-sized hole, up to a crest, down to a vale, then up to the green. Two good pokes get you within wedge from the green, then it’s left to your short game to determine par, birdie or bogie! Stay left into green, as cart path, mounds and tiny trees present problems on the right.
A neat little par three, especially when the wind is pounding your face! A harmless 141-yard shot to a green ringed by water becomes a merciless gauntlet of nerves when the wind is blowing. Regardless of the conditions, par is a good score. Bunker behind green stops ball from swimming, but that’s the only salvation.
A free-wheeling tee shot here, as the prevailing wind works to keep your ball in bounds on the left. Aim it at the trees to the right and let it fly. You’ll need all the distance that you can muster, as the hole plays some twenty yards longer than its measured length uphill. The second shot from below or on the upslope is blind, so take a walk to the top to get your target. There is room to miss this green on all sides, although a testy recovery remains.
One of the fun holes on the course. Same theory as on the last one, except you aim at the trees left, then let the wind return it to the right. Bombs away, and you might drive the green. There is water beyond, but if you hit it with your tee shot, you can brag about it. If you hit it with your second shot, that’s not good. Think birdie here.
Similar to number six. Tee ball up the slope, approach up the slope again, but fairway begins to slope down (not up) to green.
Similar to seven, albeit 100 yards longer. Carry the crest with your tee shot, and you will benefit from gravity, even on a wet day, as ball bounds toward green. I had a 3/4 nine iron left to this green, and put it some 20 feet away off a downhill lie (those can be testy.) A nice finish to the front side.
Go all the way back to the left for your tee shot. Placing the pond in front of you makes the knees a bit weaker. The ample fairway rolls down, then up to the green, situated a distant 415 yards away. Into the wind, it’s a darned tough par.
Coming back the other way, number 11 does not demand nearly as much as its immediate predecessor. Running downhill, this par four leans gently right. Do not be suckered into cutting the corner, as trees and other impediments await.
Doglegging back to the left, up the same slope as number ten. No visible hazards, although the mound at the front left of the green is situated some fifteen yards shy of the putting surface. Go with your distance, not with what you see, and your approach will come up level with the center of the green.
A neat, short par three. With the wind against, play enough club. If not, the shot will balloon against the wind, and fall short into the pond.
Another hole where the merit of clearing the creek must be measured. A lay-up will leave some 140 yards to a green situated back in a clearing. Truth be told, anything left or short is threatened by water, as the hazard traverses the fairway horizontally. 225 yards are needed to carry the wet stuff. On the approach, best hit from the left, the green is well-framed by trees left and right. The clearing is ample enough to allow for a bit of wildness.
Terrific par five. Water to carry off tee, lots of room to the left to bail out. After tee ball, hole sets off cross country some 300 yards down tree (left) and water (right)-lined fairway. Green sits at end of alley, bunker-less. A fair end to a difficult hole.
This is a very good (and demanding) par three. Similar to #13, albeit longer and minus the H2O fronting the green. If you can keep a 3-iron low and straight into the wind, you’ve got all the shots. Putting surface falls off to sides, with a bunker front left.
A sweeping par five at the end of the round is a wonderful thing. This hole plays uphill on the tee ball, and a strong poke is encouraged to roll by the downward trend of the fairway, beyond 265 yards. The big lake to the right suggests a safer route to the left. The green sits above a swale, and a run at the hole in two can be made from the left side of the fairway. Sloping noticeably from left to right, many a ground fade has helped or hindered players here.
A strong end. Keep tee ball left–lots of fairway out there. Corner-cutters deal with big and small trees, OB, and water on right. Green is long and L-shaped; over 100 feet from front to back. Keep approach left to avoid grass bunker greenside. Par is a terrific score at end.