Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Country Club of Birmingham (West), Birmingham, Alabama - Golf Course Review and Photos

Country Club of Birmingham (West)

Birmingham, Alabama, United States

Architects: Donald Ross (1929), Robert Trent Jones (1958), Pete Dye (1986)

7,122 Yards, Par-71

Rating/Slope: 75.2/140

My Quick Review: Unique in the world of golf course architecture - Donald Ross meets Pete Dye - a must see!

A short par-4 opener that quickly identifies the course as a Ross/Dye combo with the carry bunker and mounding near the green.

Back up the hill to near the first tee, the par-4 second features a fierce false-front and an angled and highly contoured green:

Strategic though not particularly aesthetically pleasing bunkering at the third, a mid-length, downhill par-4 played to a long and severe green:

The par-5 4th crosses the same stream on both the tee shot and second shot.  Challenging the hazard on the right will be very helpful to those hoping to reach the green in two as a deep bunker protects this front-right to back-left angled green.

The 5th is a monstrous par-3, stretching close to 240 yards from the championship marker.  From the tee, there appears to be no room to miss, though a small plateau short-left of the green will give the golfer some leeway.

One of several up-and-over par-4s, the 6th is a mid-length par-4 made longer by the fairway sloping back to the tee.  The approach must be all carry as another false-front / deep bunker combo awaits the short miss.

Up-and-over again at the 7th, a 450 yard par-4 whose approach is played severely downhill to another angled green, this one protected by a small stream on the left.

Like the 5th, the 8th is a par-3 that looks more difficult than it plays (though it's still pretty tough!).  

Not quite returning nines, the downhill par-4 9th ends a couple of hundred or so yards from the clubhouse.  Bunkering is staggered from the tee, and many golfers may well choose to lay back from the second set of fairway bunkers 130 yards from the green.

Up and over yet again at the short par-5 10th.  A surprisingly deep green guarded by water short and left:

Some interesting Dye mounding at the 11th and 12th.  Not so easy to see from the tee, but the 11th green sits in a 'tunnel' of mounding.  The 12th is a good short par-4, where the golfer that can play away from the Line of Instinct and near a stream leaves a clear view of a green protected short by mounding.

The stretch from the 13th through the 15th is a difficult one.  The 13th is a mid-length par-3 with a sharply angled green protected short by water.  

The 14th requires a tee shot over an angled stream, though the fear of hitting a tee ball into the employee car park will have most golfers playing well away from the trouble.  And the 15th is a par-5 whose interest is largely created by the rolling land on which it sits.

The 16th plays along the property boundary and the approach drops sharply to unique green with distinct front and back portions.

After semi-blind shots from both the tee and approach on the 17th, the golfer reaches the mid-length par-4 18th where golfers must challenge well-placed fairway bunkering to open up a green set in an amphitheatre and protected by a vast and deep bunker on the right.

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