Pioneers Golf Course Detail
The first hole is a par 5, playing 524 yards down hill. The fairway is wide enough to hit driver, and the rough isn't that punitive, so grip it and rip it. Be aware that the rough on the right also tilts right, so a severe slice can actually feed through the trees into the #10 fairway. On your approach shot, take note of the collection area fronting the green on the right, so favor the left side of the green.
#2 is the hardest hole on the course (at least it's handicapped #1). It's a 445 yard par 4, with a slight dogleg left. If you don't get a perfect drive, bite the bullet, and play it like a par 5.
#3 is a 419 yard par 4 that runs along the boundary of the course (don't ask why I noticed that). Favor the left side of the fairway, because it tilts right -- any slice near the right side will catch that slope and roll OB.
The fourth hole is a picturesque par 3 over a pond. It plays 186 yards, and the green is well-defended with burms, and traps. Furthermore, there's not really a good bail-out area because the pond extends so far out to the right. This hole is handicapped as the easiest hole on the front nine, but for my money, this is a well-designed hole.
#5 is a short par 4 at 366 yards. It doglegs right around a grass channel. The green is slightly elevated, so your approach shot needs to come in high and land soft. Play a club that gets you in the fairway off the tee. Missing right won't save you much distance despite the dogleg, and brings a lot of trees into play that you really don't need.
#6 is a short par 5, playing 494 yards. Because of the relatively short length, the green's defenses border on punitive. It's small, slightly elevated, and protected on all sides by burms covered in ankle deep grass. Get your second shot close, and make sure your third shot in is accurate.
#7 is a short par 3, plaing 159 yards. It's all about the tree on the left side. Miss that and this hole can be had.
#8 and #9 are twin sisters. They're both par 4s, they're both straight away. Hit it up the middle and they're easy. Not that I'd know anything about that.
#10 goes down the hill parallel to #1. It's a 411 yard par 4. The fairway sits in a chute, giving it a tight cozy feel, but it's plenty wide enough to hit your driver.
The eleventh hole is a 508 yard par 5, with a slight dogleg left. It looks exactly like #2, except #2 is a par 4. Keep the ball in the fairway, and you'll do just fine.
#12 is a shorter par 4 playing 359 yards. It's pretty straightforward, so play it like you see it. Keep the ball in the fairway, and you have a good chance of making par.
#13 is a par 3. it's 218 yards. It's uphill. It has a big hill on the left side that will roll your ball far away if you miss left. What a brute! There are three ways to play this hole:
- The touring pro way -- Hit a three iron next to the pin, make the birdie putt.
- The bogey golfer way -- Hit an eight iron straight at the flag. Hit a pitching wedge the rest of the way. Two-putt and be happy with your bogey.
- The double bogey golfer way -- Hit your three iron as if you're Tiger. Shank it. Take a penalty drop next to the tree. Skull a six iron off the side of the hill on the left. Try to hit a lob wedge. Try again. Three-putt. Write down BIPLOI (Ball in Pocket, Loss of Interest).
#14 is a great little hole. It's only 309 yards, but it is defended by the fiercest green on the course. First of all, there's a huge collection area with grass up to your shins short and right. Don't miss it there! Then it has a high burm on the left side, and the green slants away from it to the right. So if you wind up on top of it, you're trying to make an impossible downhill chip that's going to roll off the other side. The ideal way to play it is to come in from the left side, so you get to take advantage of the long skinny shape of the green. Coming in from the right leaves you staring at the collection area with the burm behind the green. Blech!
#15 is nothing but a brute. The scorecard lists #2 as the hardest hole on the course, but I think this one deserves the honor (could just be an odd/even thing with the handicaps on the front/back). It's a par 4. It's 452 yards. It's uphill. (#2 wasn't). Use your driver here, you need all the distance you can get. Furthermore, it pays to hit a fairly low trajectory because you're also hitting across a swale. A high shot coming down on the side of the hill won't get any roll. On your second shot, you're still going to need all the distance you can muster. Use your three wood if you get a decent lie off the tee. Even so, you're probably not going to reach, so follow up with a wedge or short iron, two-putt, and be glad if you make bogey.
#16 is another uphill hole, but this one's only 405 yards. It's a dogleg right. The hole sets up making you want to cut the corner, and go up the dry channel. Resist this temptation, and hit your tee shot up the middle of the fairway like the hole is designed.
#17 is a short par 3 with some interesting twists. There's a tree shortly in front of the tee that makes it difficult to start the ball up the right side. Then there's a collection area on the left side of the green that makes it unfortunate to miss left. The answer of course, is to hit it in the middle of the green.
The final hole is a 333 yard par 4 that doglegs right. Stay away from the right side of this hole -- the fairway tilts right into some baked-out rough that tilts even further right into a weedpatch. Hit something up the left side, even if you have to use an iron to do it.
This course is, again, pretty short at 6493 yards. But it has 6 par 4s that are longer than 400 yards, including #2 at 445 and #15 at 452. Plenty of challenge for the Bogey Golfer. As with most courses, you can score better if you don't worry about the length too much, and spend most of your time focused on a) landing in the fairway, and 2) keeping your chips and putts under control. Beatiful setting, good groundskeeping, good greens. A real value at $25.