My input is a little late this week, but I was busy working some overtime so I could play Terry Hills on Wednesday. The Southtowns masses have spoken, and our poll seems to have identified Holiday Valley, Tri-County and Byrncliff among the favorites. In keeping with that theme, my two 4th hole omissions will head towards the Snow Belt.
Elma Meadows ~ 353 yard Par 4
One of the best designed short par 4’s in the area, illustrating the best principles of strategic design. Options abound off the tee, and the more risk taken off the tee, the easier the approach.
The most prominent feature of the hole is a single large and wide maple tree 210 yards from the tee to the left-center, creating a slight dogleg left with a relatively narrow fairway. However, an out-of-bounds fence runs the length of the hole to the right, causing many slicers additional worry. The hole does allow room to bail out left of the maple tree, but a group of tall trees just short and left of the green precludes any airborn approach off that conservative play.
The ideal tee shot flirts with OB down the right side of the fairway, leaving the best angle to the green, especially when the pin is hidden in the back left corner.
Holland Hills ~ 521 yard Par 5
The vertical movement of this hole makes it one of my favorites – up a crest, down to a vale, then back up to the green. The view from the drive landing area is one of the best in the WNY area.
The 2nd shot landing area features some severe slopes and a narrow creek, forcing you to keep focused more than many par 5 offerings. Even after navigating this zone, the extremely narrow green adds challenge to a wedge approach.
Too bad Elma Meadows is a terrible course.
AJ must be a) Scrambler’s ball-busting friend or b) ready for a battle. I’ll let Scrambler have at this one first. Thanks for being so honest, AJ.
It’s not the former, since I’m not sure who AJ is.
AJ – Terrible in what way? That’s pretty harsh without any deeper insight.
Is is terrible in your eyes because it’s not the greenest or best-maintained course? If so, can’t you separate the design from the conditioning?
If you think the design is terrible, we’ll have to disagree. The course tests all clubs in your bag. The par 4s range from stout to attackable, and the par 3s are a good mix as well. Yes, the green sites are limited, but I find dismissing the whole course as terrible is misguided. Besides, this was about the 4th hole, which is as well-designed as any 350 yard hole in WNY.
I’d be glad to hear more of your reasoning.
Just thought about responding, probably won’t see this, but here it goes. I don’t like the course because I have to end up playing this course for school golf in the fall and by that point the course is in downright putrid shape. The bunkers haven’t been looked at for weeks on end. The fairways and roughs are cut at just about the exact same length. The greens aren’t much better. Once they’re aerated it takes weeks on end to get back to the below average shape they were in. It seems like a groundskeeper hasn’t been there for weeks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was true.
I can understand your concerns about the conditioning. It certainly does fluctuate throughout the course of the year, with a pretty dramatic fall-off at the end of the season (but, not much you can do about aeration). Still, it is a fairly low cost course, so I don’t hold the same expectation level for conditioning that I do for other courses. Hopefully, you’ll see an improvement this year with a Golfing County Executive who may pay more attention to these issues.
But, what do you think about the design of the course (separate from how it’s maintained)? I tend to focus more on that than the conditioning. Put another way, there are some courses in the area that are perfectly manicured, but do nothing for me from a design standpoint (i.e. repetitive, uninspired, boring). I’d rather play Elma in its shabbiest condition than some of these.