We started the deabte last issue with the front nine of Memphis Sport’s first ever edition of the Holes of Fame–the very best holes of golf in the entire Mid-South area. This issue we finish things off with the back nine.
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Note: All yardages are from the back tees.
10. Windyke Country Club West Course No. 9
Par 4 – 355 yards
The back nine opens up with much the same verve as the front nine closed. Another par 4 – the only back-to-back par 4’s on the course – starts off what will be an extremely challenging back nine. At 355 yards, length is not the concern with this hole. Not only is the front of the green protected entirely by water, but there are also bunkers surrounding it, requiring an extremely accurate approach. This hole brilliantly proves that par 4’s don’t have to be pushing the 500-yard mark to be difficult.
11. The Club at Northcreek No. 13
Par 5 – 491 yards
Without a doubt, the attention grabber on this hole for most will be the double green it shares with Northcreek’s No. 15 and the cart path that ventures underneath it – the only such green in the world. But there are plenty of other standout features to this truly links-style hole. “You have to hit a draw off the tee, which is tough for most people,” said Golf Pro Alan Hickam. The dogleg left shape to the hole certainly provides challenges off the tee and on the approach shot, with bunkers in play both in the fairway and in the front and back of the green.
12. Plantation Golf Club No. 18
Par 4 – 437 yards (Pictured on page 13)
This 437-yard par 4 can play either longer or shorter, depending on how daring you want to get with your tee shot. A relatively wide fairway is guarded on the left by a large lake and on the right by bunkers. “The left side of the fairway will give you a shorter approach, but bring the water into play,” said Golf Pro Quincy Morrison. “But the right side makes for a longer, more difficult shot to an elevated green.” The approach will have to go over the lake no matter which side of the fairway you’re on, but the green slopes back to front and is also protected by a bunker on the front left.
13. Colonial Country Club South Course No.12
Par 3 – 230 yards
To say this is a long and difficult par 3 would be putting it mildly. Yes 230 yards is a long tee shot for most average golfers, but throw in the fact that those 230 yards are all carry over water which also happens to cozy up right to the front of the green and you’ve got not only an incredibly difficult hole to play, but one that is just as hard to visualize from the tee box. Golf is mostly played in those six inches between your ears and this hole will put pressure on every one of them.
14. Ridgeway Country Club No. 18
Par 5 – 550 yards
This fantastically difficult par 5 is the start of a brutal five-hole closing stretch to our Memphis Holes of Fame. A large lake and two fairway bunkers linger to the right, a smaller lake guards the left and yet another lake stares right back at you from the middle, around 300 yards out. Reaching this green in two shots is made more difficult by an approach that will probably range between 260 and 290 yards. A large oak tree stands guard in front of the green, ready to swat down any wayward approaches.
15. Stonebridge Golf Club No.6
Par 5 – 578 yards
This hole is intimidating right from the start. Trees border both sides of a fairway that winds slightly to the left and back to the right to an elevated green. Water comes into play on the left side of the fairway and again on the right near the green. With a bunker also protecting the front of the green, this hole provides a number of challenges, not the least of which is its length. Three smart, well-played shots could result in a birdie opportunity. Hit one bad shot, however, and you could be ripping up your scorecard.
17. Quail Ridge No.6
Par 3 – 220 yards
Our first par three is a difficult one. Its 220 yards provides the first challenge in club selection on the tee box. That’s a long way for average golfers who will probably have to decide between a long iron and a fairway metal. The elevated tee box is tucked into the trees, giving an almost claustrophobic feel. The area around the green opens up, but there is trouble with a bunker short left and another on the right. There is also a drop off behind the back-to-front sloping green, making short the much safer and smarter play.
18. Spring Creek Ranch No. 18
Par 5 – 564 yards
The finishing hole of this dream course is both beautifully brilliant and spectacularly challenging. Don’t let the clear, flowing water of Spring Creek – which babbles along the entire left side of the fairway – lull you into a state of golfing bliss because you’ll need all of your wits about you for this one last task. The undulating fairway could both help or hurt depending on where you land, so it’s probably best to avoid getting too close to the creek. The right side, however, offers little respite with woods lining most of the trek to the green. Most golfers will be laying up, which will set up a slightly uphill approach to a bunker-protected green. Par at this finisher is a great score. A birdie is like stealing. And bogey or worse is probable.
16. The Links at Cottonwoods No. 16
Par 3 – 181 yards
The attention-grabbing view from the tee box includes an amazing view of the Harrah’s Resort in the backdrop. This daunting tee shot has water seemingly everywhere, as it protects nearly the entire green. Somehow there is room for three bunkers between all that water and the green, with bunkers front right, back right and back left. While the distance of this hole may be somewhat more manageable some of the other par 3’s on our course, the amount of trouble promises to wreck havoc on most scorecards.
By Jan Michael Hartelust, Photo by Michael Cardwell.