No. 1 – 413 yard Par 4
A true test to see how prepared you are to play The Park. The first hole opens the day with a gentle dogleg right. OB on the right is a concern but so is the forest on the left. An accurate tee shot is a must if you stand a chance on this hole. A large green awaits the second shot with tricky pin placements galore. Back left behind the bunker is a traditional tournament pin, but the middle right placement is no gimmie. A par here is a great way to begin the day.
No. 2 – 472 Yard Par 5
A short par five where scoring is a must. Another tree-lined dogleg this time to the left is a great hole to be aggressive. A long hitter may not need a driver here, but it’s imperative to keep the ball on the right side of the fairway to have a good look at the green in two. Anything left or in the trees right and the focus has to be shifted from birdie to saving par. A small valley gives the illusion that the green is elevated and the green is well protected with two front bunkers. A small landing strip between the bunkers is an easy target to try. Like most of The Parks greens, it’s best to putt up the hill.
No. 3 – 395 Yard Par 4
A beautiful par four awaits you following your hopeful birdie on number two but don’t relax because again tee accuracy is so vital to playing this hole well. Once your drive finds the fairway on this mildest of doglegs right then you should be posed for a short iron into a very receptive green. Be cautious of bunkers left and anything right or long will shoot off a hill into real trouble.
No. 4 – 178/143 Yard Par 3
The first of The Park’s challenging par threes presents two very different holes depending on the green used. The upper green makes for a longer iron with the isolated tree on the right just waiting to snatch an errant ball. If you are lucky to find the green in one, you better hope it’s an up hill putt for this is on of the most severe back to front greens found at The Park. Finding the pin on the lower green should prove a bit of relief until you realize that any tee shot slightly left brings double bogey into play. Again, this green also has a pretty good back to front slope and depending on where the pin is usually determines the score on this hole. Whether upper or lower walking away with a 3 is a good achievement.
No. 5 – 576 Yard Par 5
Traditionally the hardest hole in the Summit County Amateur, number five takes all you got and then some. The longest hole on the course seems like the tightest hole as well. Finding the fairway is the biggest chore. On this uphill portion of the hole, the long tee balls usually run left into the first cut of trees while anything short is trouble and anything right is just plain jail. If you have not been in the trees up to this point in your round you are doing very well, but the locals will bet you end up in them on this hole. After the drive you then have a par four-dogleg right that does go down hill and then back up. The ideal position is to lay up to the 100-150 ranges to give access to the ample green. Although the back to front slop is not as severe as some of The Park holes, there are several great pin locations to make this hole live up to its #1 handicapping.
No. 6 – 202 Yard Par 3
After the longest hole it’s a bit of a relief to find a straight away par three with little obvious trouble. Wind can play tricks on your tee ball and it’s very important not to miss the green to the left. One trick is that the tee box seems to point you out to the right. Adjust accordingly. There is a club lengths difference between a front pin and back pin location. This long green has many great pin locations and just because you might be putting for birdie doesn’t guarantee a par.
No. 7 – 441 Yard Par 4
The resident “Pros” of The Park will tell you that this is where the course earns its respect with five of the most challenging holes in all of Summit County. At 441 yards with the slightly elevated tee box in a shoot of trees you find yourself trying to land the ball in the narrowest fairway. While you should get some roll out of the slight down hill landing area, keeping the ball in the short stuff is the hard part. The mid iron approach is to a great green protected on both sides by bunkers. Depending on the pin location, expect to be very pleased with a par.
No. 8 – 429 Yard Par 4
The Great #8… until 2005 the #1 handicapped hole. This slight up hill, dogleg left hole has changed many a rounds at The Park. One must think, “make par” on the tee and accept bogey should it come. The tee shot sets this hole up because a great one could leave you with a wedge in your hand while a poor tee ball could have you hitting a wood again. Ideally you hit your tee shot to the right side of the fairway about 260 yards. Anything longer runs the risk of running through the fairway and being blocked by the few trees on the right down the hill. Any shots left might as well be left for the “Golf Gods” because par would be a miracle. Two bunkers right and a hill long make this green the challenge in hitting in two. A good putting stoke should find the hole fairly easy on this relatively flat green.
No. 9 – 222 Yard Par 3
The longest of the par threes has ruined many golfers day. Traditionally the final hole in tournament play because of the challenge and the fact it ends in front of the clubhouse setting up the dramatic finish in front of spectators. Find the most comfortable club to hit all of 222 and hope it goes straight because the tress right and left grab everything not on target. A large and deep bunker on the front right of the green helps make this one of the tougher par 3’s around. Chipping onto this green, which runs back to front, with a shelf 3/4th of the way back and left make pin placement key to this hole. You do not want to be 3 feet above the hole to have to make a putt to win! Take your par get a drink in the clubhouse and prepare for the back.
#10 Par 4 441 (2)
Arguably the hardest and signature hole at Good Park, number ten has made its share of memories and most of them not very good. One of the worst feelings is having to tee off #10 first thing if you are playing the reverse nines. With out of bounds on the left and a jungle to the right there just does not seem to be a place to drive it on this 441-yard hole. If you are skillful enough to find the fairway, a long second shot to an elevated green with anything missing left taking your ball straight to a hazard is your next chore. Perhaps the longest green at The Park with the standard back to front slope putting here is very difficult. Par is a premium.
#11 Par 4 422 (6)
The final piece to the middle five is a sneaky long par four. Again out of bounds left influences a lot of tee balls to head right where there is surprisingly some places that offer a look to the green should you miss the fairway. A great bunker and false front make a front middle pin placement so very difficult. This hole offers lots of problems should you miss the green left, long or right.
#12 Par 4 292 (16)
One of the most fun and frustrating holes at Good Park is the short and drivable par four 12. Lots of options standing on the tee at this 292-yard hole, but you better pick and execute the right one or bogey or worse can sneak up and haunt you on this very birdieable hole. Ideally, anything off the tee in the 200-220 ranges is all you need to set up a great birdie chance. A bunker front right and a green that runs away from you are the challenges here. Of course not too many play this hole “smart” and the driver off the tee provides the entertainment in the risk reward fashion.
#13 Par 3 173 (18)
The final par 3 is nothing more than executing the proper shot based on yardage and what the wind is doing. Almost the far end of the golf course property with views of interstate 77 the wind can add or subtract 3 clubs. Two bunkers in the front and nasty pine trees left make hitting the green very important.
#14 Par 5 523 (8)
Viewed from 77 the par 5 is reachable in two for the big boys. Three bunkers protect the fairway’s edges while out of bounds left is the hazard for most. Provided a solid tee ball then options come into play. Two more bunkers protect the front of the green with the smallest of landing strips all but taking running the ball up to the green out of play. The elevated green makes balls slightly off target turn into terrible shots. The large green is one of the easiest to putt.
#15 Par 4 353 (12)
Another shorter par 4 with loads and loads of trouble should you miss-hit your tee shot. A right fairway tee shot at the isolated tree is the most common approach to this hole. It takes a 190-220 carry to be in perfect position. Anything left is plain trouble and should you find the left fairway you could still be blocked from the green by the large pine 20 yards short of the green. The green itself on this slight dogleg left hole is very difficult to get a good read. The tree shadows play tricks and putts that should break left really break right.
#16 Par 4 365 (10)
The most severe of the doglegs at Good Park is really only about 300 yards “as the crow flies”, but trying to pull off this stunt is usually reserved for the four-man scrambles. Instead a 200-220 tee shot to the landing area is the norm. Be mindful it’s better to be long than short with this tee ball. There is a little room to bail out on the right but that then makes the second shot that much more longer. This green has a lot of room to run a ball up to it, but going long is an absolute “oh-no”. This smaller green has few tricks to it.
#17 Par 4 345 (14)
This par 4 looks open at the tee but quickly the landing area becomes smaller and smaller the further and further you try and hit it. Taking out the driving is not needed but again there is risk-reward based on how well you are playing. In need of a birdie then take out the big stick… protecting your lead then you can use your most comfortable club off the tee. Regardless, keep the ball out of the fairway bunkers to the right. Two bunkers on each side of the green don’t get much use, but they do come into play when you least want them too.
#18 Par 4 441 (4)
A great finishing hole where many a press has been won and lost. A new tee box has stretched this hole to 441 yards and it’s absolutely vital to find the fairway to have a chance at birdie (or even par!). One of the widest fairways also seems like one of the hardest to hit. The biggest of hitters have lasered a perfect drive only to find out they hit it too far leaving them an awkward down hill lie with 150 yards still to go. Ideally you have avoided the trees on the right and left and you are looking at a 180-210 shot to the finishing green. A bunker to the front left of the green has ended some dream rounds and the severe back to front slope of the green doomed many more. Spectators routinely see a three putt from anything above the hole. Par on this hole usually ensures your bets are won.