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NGLA - Golf's enchanted journey

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Taking Bradley Anderson's suggestion, I thought I'd write a hole by hole description of my general play of NGLA, paying no attention to a specific round

A number of factors determine your fate and the day's play.
Wind direction, Wind velocity, temperature, moisture in the air, ground conditions, green speed and HOLE locations.  Yardages will be provided from the red and green tees.

NGLA's practice range and green could best be described as spartan.
One usually spends some time on the range, but, not an inordinate amount of time.  The same could be said of the small practice putting green that was enlarged a few years ago.

The first hole, "Valley" is a short, 327/307 yard par 4, down hill that plays from west to east.

As you exit the proshop or practice putting green you have to ascend wooden steps leading to the highly elevated 1st tee.

The views from that tee are inspirational.
The golf course lies in front of you, as does the massive clubhouse.
The 18th green, surrounds and approah along with Sebonic Bay in the distance lie to the north providing a splending view of land and sea.   And, that magnificent, huge flag pole that sits to the right of the 18th fairway, with its majestic American flag is quite a site.
Behind you, is a fascinating coastline and the Bay.  On a clear day it's alleged that you can see New York to the west.

The visual on the tee is interesting, a shouldered rough hides an intricate bunker complex that parallels the left side of the hole just out of view.

Portions of the fairway, a ribbon like feature, are visible, as is a yawning right side bunker just 54 yards from the center of the green.  The green is also visible, although its unique contouring isn't yet apparent.

The hidden nature of the left side of the fairway and left of the fairway with the punitive bunker complex, lull many golfers into a false sense of security.

Further left, but still in the golfers range, lies a fountain, lawn, hedges and parking lot, all of which are in play.

I've seen golfers hit 5 irons, 3-irons 1 irons, 3-woods and drivers off the 1st tee.

All have their own way of starting the hole.

The safer one plays his tee shot, the more cumbersome or blind the approach shot.

The fairway is undulating.

Drives to the right, with the shorter carry are almost always blind into the green.

Heroic drives left, with the longer, more dangerous carry, are faced with a clear view of the green.

The green has to be one of the greatest greens in golf and certainly in the top 5 amongst 1st hole greens.

There are numerous bowls and plateaus.
An elevated spine runs down the center of the green with bowls feeding off it left and right.  The old back left bowl, which was next to impossible to stay in, has been softened/removed.

It's fun to stand on the 2nd tee and watch the approaches into that green.

The green is flanked with deep bunkers to the left and rear and shallower bunkers to the right.

The green is elevated above the fairway, but, as part of a seemless inclined plane extending from the fairway, as opposed to a sharp seperate structure/foot pad.

Those hitting their ball to the right are left with a relatively short shot of between 108 and 54 yards.  But, the shot is blind, as the back of the right side bunker rises up to obscure any view of the green from the lower fairway.

I've always opted to take my driver off the tee.
I aim at the right side bunker which begins 54 yards from the center green.
If I draw my tee shot, my prefered flight, I'm going to be on the front of the green or just short of the green, with anywhere from 54 to 10 yards from the center of the green.

If my drive is hit to the center or left center I have an interesting dilema.

I can now choose any one of my 14 clubs to play my next shot, depending upon the hole location.  That's really a neat feature at NGLA.  I can literally hit any of my 14 clubs to get to the hole.

If the hole is on the spine/plateaus, wedges with spin are almost useless.
If the hole is in one of the bowls, pick your poison.
With the front of the green having a pronounced slope, hit it too gently and the ball will come back at you and probably end up further down the slope.
Hit it too hard, and now you face a putt, wedge or chip to a green that runs away from you.

If I drive into the bunker, I'll hit my sand wedge.  If I drive right of the bunker, I'll hit my sand wedge.  Since the right side bunker is on the upslope leading to the green, to reach it, all carry is usually needed.
Thus, it takes a carry of approximately 277/257 yards to reach the bunker.
While it's slightly downhill, the wind and moisture in the air can make it play longer.

At 327/307 the hole produces many bogies, double bogies and worse.
It can ruin your day before you've barely gotten started.
A bad score can cause the golfer to take irrational risks on the first few holes resulting in a disastrous round.

I've seen golfers drive the green, only to score a 7.

The green is insidious with its spine, bowls and plateaus.

When the greens are at pace, 9 and higher, this green is frightening.

Three putts are common.

Approaches missing the green can be left with incredibly difficult recoveries depending upon the hole location.

As with many of the greens at NGLA, they slope into adjacent bunkers, the rough or back into the fairway.  Hence, shots hit to the perimeter often meet a dire fate, as do marginally hit shots.

My goal when playing the hole is to be lucky enough to make par.
If I birdie the hole, that's an unexpected bonus.
My main thought is, DON'T take a big number.  Don't throw away the round before you get into it.

Other than my drive, I play the hole very, very defensively.

The hole offers great variety, in club selection, line of play and method of play.

If you go to Google Earth, it will give you some idea of the configuration of the hole and it's features.

Could someone please post the aerial and I'll incorporate it in my initial post.


Let the questions begin.


I haven't even read your first post yet but God only knows you've both started more threads and had more to say about NGLA than anyone else on this website by a mile but you can definitely have this pulpit about the hole by hole intracacies and nuances of NGLA, in my book; particularly after that remarkable qualifying round you shot when you were physically laid low. I still had a lot of confidence and pride in my game back then and I know I sure didn't beat you on that course on that day!

That still kinda pisses me off but I'll learn to live with it someday and somehow! ;)

Charlie Goerges:
Hole 1

(Patrick, if different view or smaller images would be better, let me know. I've been gradually pulling together "bird's eye view" images of various courses and NGLA is one of them.)

What's the carry over the bunker on the left?
(Understand that the picture doesn't take the undulations of the ground into account)

There seems to be the opportunity to bomb it down the left and  leave a lob wedge out of the rough.

It's interesting how little the aerial tells you about the incredible contours of this hole, starting way down the fairway.

The rough in this aerial doesn't look anything like as penal as the stuff I was in my first go at NGLA #1 when I pushed my tee shot out to the right, 50 yards short of the fairway bunker and 120 yards to the center of the green.

I was very happy to make a 6.  What a brutal starting hole.  In the afternoon round I was on in 2, happy to make a 5.


Tough hole for 307 yards.


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