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One of the easiest on the course, Trask Burn is a classic starting hole, a textbook right-to-left Roc. The creek that runs along the right side and winds left to front the green as a lateral hazard is virtually identical to the Swilcan burn on hole #1of the Old Course. There is no "rough" so it’s easy to get that first drive in play, essential for a good start.
The newly added Alternate Pin changes this from a relatively innocuous starter to one that can bite back. A line drive of 300ft must miss an early tree on the left and a late tree on the right - a shape that may cause some pros to waffle between a midrange and a driver. Although the shot value is somewhat higher, the overall result is a fairway that is equally challenging for right and left handers.
Atom Bomb is a seemingly typical short and sharp dogleg left, but getting the disc to glide far around the corner is a challenge. As with all good par 3 holes, positioning your drive on the green is the key to getting a birdie putt opportunity. The guardian trees fronting the pin punish short drives and make holing out quite interesting. Watch the locals for the correct line, it’s high and deep using as much fairway as possible. There is also a mandatory for those who would cut the corner with a tomahawk.
One of the few interior holes where the basket is visible from the tee, Deer Trail gets its name from the leftover pieces of a deer stand that Old Man Trask used for hunting. Play into the right center of the split fairway to the large landing zone for a reasonable approach. The left side is serviceable as well, but tricky. You will play up to the green through a tight neck and across a small tributary. A lone tree fronts the basket. Three here is a solid score, since deuces are rare.
The Alternate Pin for this hole is shorter and thus provides a better shot value (more birdie attempts). The length is not as much of a factor as the number and placement of trees guarding the green. It's still one of North Carolina's most challenging par 3's.
Corkscrew is the first true multiple shot hole you will encounter and one of our easier par 4's. Drive a right curve and slightly down to the sidehill sloped landing area. This is a reverse-dogleg hole. The slope at the corner banks away, making hyzer shapes skip dangerously close to O.B. Your next shot will most likely be a touch-flex to maneuver around the trees guarding the left front of the hillside green. Beware the creek behind the pin, it is O.B. There is also an artificial O.B. line along the right side that connects with the creek.
Bent Elbow is a nice compliment to the previous hole. #5 is uphill and to the right. It’s a par 3 but very difficult to deuce. Like hole #2, the green is well guarded. The front, back and right side are flanked by trees so land your drive on the left side of the fairway, or very close to the pin.
Screeny Meany is a long, arcing left curve that requires finesse to skirt by the early trees on the left and raw power to fly the green. The big pine in your field of view marks the outside right apex of the corner. Aim to miss it left and you’ll find the fairway. A flip-up hyzer shape (power fade) will allow one to turn the disc late in the corner and die into the green on a mild fade. A conservative drive leaves an intimidating upshot around a single center tree to a pin guarded by two more trees, front right and back left.
Making it through the 6ft wide gap on Bad Clown is really not that difficult, especially considering that it’s only 35ft from the front edge of the tee-pad. Drive to the left-center of the fairway for the best look. A shot that is short and right leaves a blind approach that is difficult to judge. Once in position, the green is visible on the other side of a ravine and accepts shots most readily from the front. This is another par 4 that is well within most players’ birdie abilities.
The Alternate Pin changes this from a reasonable par 4 into an extreme par 3. Now, your drive must carry at least 320ft to have a good look at birdie. If you so chose, a conservative shot to the right side gives the best angle into the green. However, missing short and left will most likely cost you a stroke.
Without a doubt, this is the signature hole, and our toughest. Switchback is a challenging double dogleg par 5. Eagles are rare. A birdie should be easy though, since three 225ft tosses are all that's needed to yield a routine birdie putt. Easier said than done.
As a short and sharp dogleg right, Reverse is the "good" twin of hole #2. A respectable drive here is rewarded with a wide open green. Birdie fest?... Not until you make the corner - high and tight.
After warming up on the front nine, you should now be ready for the real test. The best you can do here on Crossover is a long, left fading drive that will skip you into the pocket shaped landing zone on the left. From there, it’s a basic up-and-down. Miss the drive or throw short, and you'll have a touch shot that needs to go straight and bleed right at the end.
The Alternate Pin changes the shape of the approach shot and adds yet another challenge to the hole. The basket is elevated to over three feet and puts a premium on putting. Take into account the swirling winds that constantly play at this end of the park, and you may find yourself laying-up for a drop-in par 4.
Cross the road to enter the first of three holes, respectfully referred to as "Amen Corner." This isolated parcel contains one each of the three varieties of golfing fun - a par 4, 5 and 3.
Climo's Alley is a classic strategy hole that requires professional touch from tee to green. With a generous but blind landing zone, the placement of your drive will determine what type of shot shape you must use into the green. A miss to either side will dramatically change the approach angle. A center positioned drive suggests a Ken Climo styled strategy - a low hyzer shot down the alley with a strong left-flaring finish. As you might expect, the green is one of the toughest on the course, with its menagerie of trees rarely giving a standard putt.
Railroad Hole is the short par 5, but not necessarily the easiest. Eagles are found here more often than on hole #8, to be sure. However, the penalty for missing any shot is severe as a deep and wide gully defines the left side of the fairway and the forest to the right is impenetrable. The thumber is statistically the safest shot to the 90 degree turn that defines the landing area. Once there, a heroic shot to the pin will yield a look at eagle. If fate is on your side, you may get to enjoy the train that frequently runs the tracks on the other side of the gully.
There are no gimme deuces on this course. And Mindbender provides all the proof you need. It is a double curving shot, if you wish to card a tweeter. Or just make it through the gap for a par 3. A deuce here is often one stroke up on the field. If you make it through the final test of the "Corner" at even par or better, pat yourself on the back because you’ve done something special. Amen.
If ever a hole were a par 3-1/2, this is it. Tweener is a classic placement hole disguised as a par 3. The late turning 90 degree dogleg suggests a high hyzer that will curve around the corner and actually fade slightly back towards the tee pad. The pin is guarded by the typical lone pine, front left.
The alternate pin, blue, has been removed.
Horse Shoe is currently in its par 4 pin position. A recently widened fairway gives the golfer more than a good chance to place a drive at or just around the 90 degree right turn. Bombers will go to the high anhyzer shape for a look at 3. But be careful, the corner is farther up than it seems and a slightly short drive will end up deep in the jungle thickets.
Castle may be the most technical par 3 on the course, and a chance for the short gamers to get one back on the bombers. It is typical of many North Carolina wooded fairways, straight and narrow with a fluke tree at the far end splitting the chute. You want to miss that tree to the right for a chance at birdie. As in chess, you may chose to “castle” your tee shot and shift to the newly opened right side - a tighter, hyzer fairway for those who need options. Throw smooth and low and your birdie will certainly feel like a checkmate.
Temptress is unique in that it is the only par 4 on the course with a basket that is visible from the tee. The recently widened left route offers the possibility of a long anhyzer for righties. The drive is straightforward, but the second shot is brutal due to the sporadic tree placement. Even a good drive can leave a scary approach. Aggressive play here can cause a meltdown so stay patient and take your par with a smile.
The Green Monster resembles many of the great finishing holes in the world of golf. The Blue Monster at Dubai certainly comes to mind. There is no water here, but instead a curving fence along the left side defining the OB area. And if your tee shot finds the rough along the right side, a bogey will most certainly follow. Add to that a blind green and a right-to-left tail wind, and you've got all the ingredients for a real nail-biter.
Many tournaments have been lost on this hole. Many minds have been lost on this hole. Now go back to #1 and do it all again.