Thursday, June 28, 2012

Longaberger Golf Club Course Review

Longaberger Golf Club 
Nashport, Ohio, United States

Architect: Arthur Hills (1999)

7,243 Yards, Par-72

Rating/Slope: 75.0/140

My Quick Review: A good set of greens, unwalkable routing and a boring set of par-3s.  Decent; not great.


Clubhouse -- understated from the front, anything but from the rear

Cool Basket Office Building

Unless otherwise noted, pictures and yardages from 6,500 yard blue tees (71.3/132)

Hole 1: Par 4, 377 Yards -- Lots of debate about this hole.  Line of charm takes the golfer near the bunkers on the right, but it's 240 yards over the first bunker, uphill, from the 6,500 yard set = not many people are playing over the bunkers.  Tree is a debatable feature, and Hills probably would have been better off leaving it out (some restraint is in order) but it's not reachable for many and it really isn't in play.  The first starts with a very good green, with interesting shape, a highlight of the course.

Hole 2: Par 4, 435 Yards -- The first in a collection of very good long/difficult par-4s at Longaberger.  Downhill the whole way, the bunker on the left protects the short line into the green.  Fairway contouring short of the green allows the ball to be run/kicked onto the green.

Hole 3: Par 4, 353 Yards -- well used varying teeing angles here.  Carrying the bunker on the left leaves both a shorter approach and a preferred (less blind) angle into the green.

Hole 4: Par 5, 530 Yards -- Lots of debate about this hole as well.  I seem to think it works better than most.  An extremely downhill tee shot (100+ feet) with a bunker guarding the ideal line.  Longer hitters will be left with well under 250 yards into a very well-protected green.  Though the approach is very difficult, it is difficult to lay-up with iron in hand (in my opinion).  If laying up the golfer must challenge the water to leave a flat lie on the approach.  My big criticism is the flowus interruptus in the routing.  With 500+ acres surely Hills could have done better.

Hole 5: Par 3, 188 Yards -- some seem to like this hole more than I.  I see it as an all-or-nothing long-iron par-3 that I've seen many times before.

Hole 6: Par 4, 287 Yards -- At 240 to the front-edge the golfer is tempted to go for this green.  There is more room to miss right than appears, though that does leave the most difficult recovery.

Hole 7: Par 5, 505 Yards -- Kind of a ho-hum hole, though a large grass bunker off the tee and cleverly placed bunkers in the lay-up zone do add to the interest. 

Hole 8: Par 4, 420 Yards -- The most controversial hole on the course.  Play left of the trees to the flat fairway and leave an approach over the water, or play to the right of the trees to the severely tilted fairway and leave a clear line but a very uneven lie.  The approach is played very downhill to a peninsula green -- lots of room to bailout right or long, though.

Hole 9: Par 3, 150 Yards -- Simple par-3 over water.  It was suggested that this hole is an Augusta's 12th replica.  I guess I could see that.

Hole 10: Par 5, 474 Yards -- another ho-hum par-5 with a good green.

Hole 11: Par 4, 335 Yards -- Cut off as much as you dare; the green is a long way to the right.  Very nice green site tucked in an amphitheatre over a stream.

Hole 12: Par 3, 158 Yards -- Out of the trees and onto a very boring golf hole.  The par-3s really are a weak spot at Longaberger.

Hole 13: Par 4, 464 Yards -- A big-boy par-4 and really a good hole.  The carry bunker on the right should not be in play and well-struck tee balls should roll a long way on this downhill fairway.  Large depression short-right of the green is a good, intimidating feature.

Hole 14: Par 3, 162 Yards -- Yawn.

Hole 15: Par 4, 404 Yards -- Strong hole with staggered bunkering on the tee shot.  Fairway contouring hides the gully short of the green, but it is one bad spot to be.

Hole 16: Par 5, 476 Yards -- This hole is easily reachable in two with a bold tee shot.  Fairway contouring (towards the water) makes the lay-up a difficult endeavour.  Green has a huge, HUGE ridge -- very interesting!

Hole 17: Par 4, 390 Yards -- An OK hole in my mind, but everyone else seems to think it's a very strong hole.  What's I miss?

Hole 18: Par 4, 434 Yards -- The finishing hole at Longaberger is a good one.  The strategy is sound, though I think each set of tees should be moved up a box (it's 240 yards over the left bunker from the 6,500 yard set) as most golfers have little chance of carrying the bunkers -- turns an interesting hole into a bit of a slog.  Extremely difficult green with the only(?) false-front on the golf course.  Make 4 here to win a tourney and you've earned my respect.

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