The Harvester Golf Club

The Harvester Golf Club – Played September 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #46, Golf Magazine Public #57
  • Location: 833 Foster Drive, Rhodes, Iowa
  • Year: 2000
  • Architect: Keith Foster
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,365 yards, Par 72, 76.0 Rating/140 Slope
  • Blue: 6,840 yards, Par 72, 73.1 Rating/132 Slope
  • White: 6,430 yards, Par 72, 70.8 Rating/128 Slope
  • Red: 5,180 yards, Par 72, 68.9 Rating/120 Slope

The next weekend after my trip to Oklahoma and Kansas I was on my way to Iowa.  I wasn’t going to see cornfields or the Field of Dreams site.  As usual, I was in the area to sample some great golf.

I was getting to play with some friends I made on GolfMatch, the social golf app I have written about previously.  It was great to have a group to play here.  It would have been sad to drive all the way to Iowa and get paired with some bozos.  This is the biggest benefit of using the app, so check it out if you haven’t already.

I couldn’t find a great deal of history about the course.  This Keith Foster design was opened at the dawn of the new millennium.  There is more elevation change than I would have expected for Iowa.  Quite frankly the course is stunning and incredibly enjoyable.

The course has a simply elegant clubhouse and an expansive driving range, which can be seen below.  It has all the facilities you could ask for. Continue reading “The Harvester Golf Club”

Advertisements

The Links at Spanish Bay

The Links at Spanish Bay – Played June 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #60, Golf Magazine Public #42
  • Location: 2700 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, California
  • Year: 1987
  • Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Sandy Tatum, & Tom Watson
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Blue: 6,821 yards, Par 72, 74.0 Rating/140 Slope
  • Gold: 6,422 yards, Par 72, 72.1 Rating/136 Slope
  • White: 6,043 yards, Par 72, 70.4 Rating/128 Slope
  • Red: 5,332 yards, Par 72, 72.7 Rating/128 Slope

6:10 AM?  That was my question when I was booking the tee time.  I said early, but I didn’t know tee times went that early.  They certainly don’t at home.  But hey, I figured I would be first off and get a quick round by myself.  Well guess what?  I did both, but I was not by myself.  As a great stroke of luck I was paired with two guys from the Chicagoland area.  They were gregarious and fun to play with.  We played very quickly as well.  That is a combination you cannot beat.

The first leg of my second California sojourn brought me to The Links at Spanish Bay.  The course is somewhat overlooked while in this area, but that is a grave mistake.  The course is in excellent condition and has some of the best conditioned greens at the resort.

Per the course website, the intention of the designers was to hearken back to the Scottish roots of the game in links golf.  With sandy soil running along the coast the course does a pretty good job.  To further the connection a bagpiper closes each day.  The other goal of the course was environmental preservation.  There are many protected areas throughout the course with free drops allowed.

The scenery and experience at Spanish Bay is top notch.  Let’s get into it!

Continue reading “The Links at Spanish Bay”

Mattaponi Springs Golf Club

Mattaponi Springs Golf Club – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #50
  • Location: 22490 Penola Road, Ruther Glen, Virginia
  • Year: 2004
  • Architects: Robert Lohmann
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 6,890 yards, Par 72, 74.2 Rating/147 Slope
  • Blue: 6,406 yards, Par 72, 72.2 Rating/139 Slope
  • White: 6,155 yards, Par 72, 71.0 Rating/136 Slope (Men’s), 77.6 Rating/144 Slope (Women’s)
  • Gold: 5,571 yards, Par 72, 68.3 Rating/129 Slope, 74.3 Rating/137 Slope (Women’s)
  • Red: 4,924 yards, Par 72, 70.8 Rating/127 Slope

On my way up to Merion I decided it would be nice to get a round in.  I will be honest and say that I am not beholden to the Top 100 lists, but I am trying to play them.  Financially, it makes sense to play them if given the option instead of another course in the area.  I try to say yes to any golf, but this one worked out well as it was a Top 100 and pretty much on my way to Ardmore.

The name of the course refers to the freshwater springs that feed into the river of the same name.  Traditionally the Mattaponi people used these springs for drinking water.  The property has a lodge and convention center according to its website, but I didn’t see it.  I believe I saw some lodging options, but I’m not sure.

According to the website the goal of architect Bob Lohmann was to utilize the natural terrain, preserve natural attributes of the property, and highlight the natural elements when possible.  The fairways and tees feature zoysia grass while the greens are bentgrass. Continue reading “Mattaponi Springs Golf Club”

Trump National Doral (The Blue Monster)

Trump National Doral (The Blue Monster) – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #84, Golf Magazine Public #100
  • Location: 4400 N.W. 87th Avenue, Miami, Florida
  • Year: 1961, 2014 (Update)
  • Architect: Dick Wilson (Original), Gil Hanse (Update)
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddies Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,590 yards, Par 72, 77.4 Rating/146 Slope
  • Gold: 7,034 yards, Par 72, 75.0 Rating/140 Slope
  • Blue: 6,698 yards, Par 72, 73.5 Rating/139 Slope
  • White: 6,334 yards, Par 72, 71.7 Rating/139 Slope
  • Red: 5,463 yards, Par 72, 72.9 Rating/138 Slope

The final course of this trip was to be The Blue Monster at Trump National Doral.  The course is now the former host of the WGC Cadillac Championship on the PGA Tour.  It has been around since the 1960’s, but had lot some of its original luster.  I wasn’t really sure where this property was located from watching on TV.  I was surprised to learn that it is in a pretty industrial area with a lot of business around it.  Then you make a few turns and boom you are there.  It is also very close to the Miami airport.

The firebrand Donald Trump bought the property a few years ago and The Blue Monster underwent a complete redesign from Gil Hanse.  The property also has 54 other holes as well as the Jim McLean Golf School and a hotel.  I can’t really go into much on the hotel since I didn’t stay there, but I can show you some pictures of what surrounds the course.  Below is the clubhouse, understated right? Continue reading “Trump National Doral (The Blue Monster)”

World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)

World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens) – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #76, Golf Magazine Public #19
  • Location: 17590 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Brooksville, Florida
  • Year: 1993
  • Architect: Tom Fazio
  • Course Access: Public
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Yellow: 7,237 yards, Par 71, 75.3 Rating/133 Slope
  • Black: 6,817 yards, Par 71, 72.5 Rating/131 Slope
  • Green: 6,316 yards, Par 71, 70.2 Rating/125 Slope
  • White: 5,891 yards, Par 71, 68.5 Rating/118 Slope
  • Orange: 4,983 yards, Par 71, 68.4 Rating/114 Slope

We had a little longer drive from Palm Coast to Brooksville.  I will say that I didn’t expect to find much in this town as I had heard it was in the middle of nowhere.  While it was certainly not a metropolis, there were plenty of places to eat on the main drag.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Let’s go over some of the history of this complex.  Opened in 1993 by the World Woods Corporation, the land it sits on was purchased from Florida Crush Stone, Punta Gorda Isles and several privately held properties.

The name came from the ideal of providing world class golf to the masses.  This includes a massive practice facility with a 23 acre, circular range, 36 hole putting course, an iron range, and more putting greens. Continue reading “World Woods Golf Club (Pine Barrens)”

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #83, Golf Magazine Public #75
  • Location: 200 Ocean Crest Drive, Palm Coast, Florida
  • Year: 2000
  • Architect: Jack Nicklaus
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,201 yards, Par 72, 75.5 Rating/144 Slope
  • Gold: 6,723 yards, Par 72, 73.8 Rating/141 Slope
  • Blue: 6,371 yards, Par 72, 71.7 Rating/135 Slope
  • White: 5,811 yards, Par 72, 69.0 Rating/126 Slope (Men), 74.2 Rating, 135 Slope (Women)
  • Red: 5,115 yards, Par 72, 70.3 Rating/132 Slope

After a short drive down from Sea Island and a good night’s sleep it was off to the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach.  This is another resort course, but if you book through teeoff.com you can gain access.

As you will see from the pictures this course stays true to the ocean in its name with six holes along the water.  It is always interesting for me to play courses designed by Nicklaus.  He was a fader of the ball and a lot of times that shows up in his work.  For me, a definite hooker, his courses can be very challenging.  I was interested to see how this one would go.

The course has received plenty of accolades as evidenced by the photo below.  They have also received praise from Conde Nast Traveler, Golf For Women, Golf Magazine, Golfweek, and Links Magazine. Continue reading “The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort”

Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside Course)

Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside Course) – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #36, Golf Magazine Public #23
  • Location: 100 Cloister Drive, Sea Island, Georgia
  • Year: 1928, 1999 (Update)
  • Architect: H.S. Colt & Charles Alison (Original), Tom Fazio (Update)
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts & Caddie Available

Score Card Information:

  • Blue: 6,657 yards, Par 70, 72.6 Rating/139 Slope
  • Green: 6,323 yards, Par 70, 71.1 Rating/135 Slope
  • White: 5,980 yards, Par 70, 69.4 Rating/132 Slope
  • Silver: 5,546 yards, Par 70, 67.4 Rating/127 Slope (Men’s), 72.3 Rating/136 Slope (Women’s)
  • Gold: 4,978 yards, Par 70, 65.0 Rating/121 Slope (Men’s), 69.1 Rating/123 Slope (Women’s)

The first leg of the Georgia/Florida trip would be in Sea Island to play the host of the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic, the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club.  The location also houses the Plantation and Retreat courses.  You will need to stay on the property to get tee times.  I did not stay in the wonderful accommodations, but I managed to get on.  That will be a state secret, but I did get some pictures from their wonderful public relations people to show you what it looks like.  Check out the picture below for a sample of what you get if you stay there. Continue reading “Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside Course)”