Sand Hills Golf Club
Fifthhole,410 yards; The merit of placing a tee at a diagonal to the fairway is evidenced here. The hole is more fascinating from the back tee than the middle tee, simply because of its 45-degree angle to the fairway. Therefore, the line of play differs from day to day (even morning to afternoon), dependent on the wind. The middle tee points more in direct line with the fairway and thus,playsin amore straightforward manner.
Sixth hole, 200 yards; On a property with pronounced land forms, blind shots add to the enjoymentand variety of the challenge. However, too many blind shots and a course may ultimately lose some of its appeal. Conversely, too few blind shots andthe opportunity for the architect to create some uncertainty and mystery has been lost.Coore & Crenshawstruck the perfect balance at Sand Hills, with one example being their use of a ridge sixty yardsshy ofthe 6th green that obscures the left front half of the green.
Seventh hole, 285 yards; Nobody comes to Sand Hills Golf Club for just one round. Most members and their guests stay for several days and seemingly one of the worst things that can occur at the start of such a stay is to drive the 7th green. Downwind, this is not an uncommon occurence for a good player. However,the bravado it affordsall but guarantees that the golfer will have a disasteron this hole at another point during his stay, such is the penal nature of the green’s location on a knob and the deepbunker to its left.
Eighth hole, 365 yards; Much was initially made of having a pair of short two shotters back to back like this but such comments only highlight the general sad state of golf course architecture in the early to mid 1990s. Two more diversegreen complexes – eachposing widely different challenges – cannot be imagined than the ones at the 7th and 8th at Sand Hills.
Ninth hole, 400 yards; Sand Hills possesses an absurdly high number of world class holes, anywhere between 6 and 12 depending on one’s own personal definition.Though the 9th is not considered among them, it is one of the more uniqueholes on the courseand handsomely adds to the overall variety of the challenge. Principally, the large fairway enjoys the most humps and bumps on a human scale of any on the course. The chance of drawing a level stance for one’s approach to the green is slim and the potato chip green shrugs balls off onall sides. The need to control the flight of the ball off an uneven stance cuts to heart of the game’s origins.
Tenthhole, 470 yards; Lay of the land architecture at its best, as thishugetwo shotterfollows the tumbling land down the side slope. An ideal approach may pitch some twenty yards short and bound right and onto thewide green, atact that Coore & Crenshawhad successfully recently employedat the 5th, 17th and 18th holes at thePlantation Course at Kapalua. As with all Coore & Crenshaw designs, the architects encourage the golfer to try shots and just ‘play’ golf. The fact that golf is a game and it is meant to be fun is very much in evidence throughout the design at Sand Hills.
Eleventh hole, 410 yards; A wonderfully deceiving hole with everything in clear view from the tee – or is it?