Hole 1 - "Blind Squirrel"
Your first swing of the day is an uphill “blind” one, with the design arching left over the summit of said hill. There’s more room out there than you think, but aim for the 150-yard marker to set up a gentle downhill approach. Don’t over-club in your descent, and avoid the front-right, green-guarding bunker. Try not to 3-putt to start your round. (Or 4)
Hole 2 - "Marsh Mellow"
A relatively easy hole if you can avoid the marsh fronting the back tees and all down the right side. The 150-yard marker is again a great aiming point from the back, and from the forward tees you can see the long, skinny green, so just aim for that or a little left of it and hope for a good lie.
Hole 3 - "Yard Bird"
Go “yard,” if you can, over the left corner of the natural tree fence guarding the right side of this dogleg right hole. Then again, the more you cut off over the trees, the worse your approach angle could be to a tricky, steeply-sloped, multi-tiered green. Birdie is better than par on this hole.
Hole 4 - "Corner Pocket"
The southwest corner of the property is also one of the highest points, with one of the shortest, easiest holes (if not “THE” easiest). No trick shots required, with few external elements to distract, beyond the late-evening summer sun and the occasional turkey call. Middle of the green is ideal, and don’t putt straight, as everyone knows straight putts don’t go in.
Hole 5 - "Down Dog"
A steep downhill drop turns into a sharp dogleg-left fairway running between two sets of towering trees. Ignore all negative swing thoughts on the tee and remember proper position is key, ideally on the distant side of the fairway. I’d tell you that front, right, greenside bunker is no threat to you, but I’d be lying. Maybe you’ll get a good lie in it.
Hole 6 - "Troubled Waters"
Many a player’s favorite hole on the course, a good wind assist can make this lakeside beauty considerably easier. On the other hand, an opposing breeze will kneecap your tee shot, making the 100-yard carry seem like a mile. Hooks and slices both end up gone and the front entry to the green is steeper than it appears. You CAN birdie this hole. But you can also triple it.
Hole 7 - "Double Duck"
This wraparound lakeside beauty offers not one but two chances for you to duckhook a long shot into the water. Birds on the lake are quite common, but birdies from the lake are quite rare. This hole has “scorecard wrecker” written all over it. Half the time the wind is against you on this hole. The other half the time it’s not helping you.
Hole 8 - "Go Fish"
The “relief” to hole 7’s “stress,” this short hole marks the intersection of Mink and Buffalo Lakes. In other words, it’s right on the water. Realistically the only trouble on this hole are the Canadian geese protecting their young and/or going way long. Oh, and sometimes there is wind, too.
Hole 9 - "The Road Hole"
Don’t Go Left. Don’t look left, think left or even breathe left. (And yell “FORE” if you hit right!) The only “Road Hole” on the course requires a short carry off the tee and any long tee shot (iron or driver) down the middle sets you up for a relatively easy birdie opportunity.
Hole 10 - "Goldilocks"
Mid round and you FINALLY get a long straightaway hole. You can not hit the ball long enough or straight enough here. Swing away freely but please avoid the houses to the left and respect the private properties. The green is perched on a hill and guarded by a shelf-like false front, making a good score tougher than it appears. NOTE: This hole is called “Goldilocks” because the next three are “Bears.”
Hole 11 - "Little Bear"
People who intentionally and repeatedly play 11 from the tips (Black Tees) are the same sort who go catfishing in river banks and pick rattlesnakes up by the tail (or hit 300-yard drives dead straight). It’s not an “easy” tee shot from any box, with trouble left and OB right, but it is possible to navigate your way to the green with two decent, straight shots.
Hole 12 - "Middle Bear"
Golfers playing the White or Red Tees (across the bridge) scoff at the notion of this being the 2nd hardest hole on the course. Black and Blue players don’t find the “joke” as funny. (More of a “Dad Joke” to them.) You have to clear a large swath of marsh but not go too far up the hill all while battling the inevitable gusts in your face from Mother Nature and facing a steeply sloped green to finish.
Hole 13 - "Big Bear"
The last hole of the “Buffalo Bear Trap,” it’s a Par 3 (yay) but a really hard one (boo). Trouble left. Trouble Right. Trouble Short. And hard to go long. Don’t bet on hitting this green with your tee shot. Then again, it IS possible to ace this hole, if you make it in the cup on your first shot.
Hole 14 - "Sniper"
Your ONE goal on this hole is to avoid hooking your tee shot into the left trees. Just as on hole 9, don’t even let “Left” enter your mind. Focus on the right side of the fairway…even the right rough. You can easily record a par on this hole if you can just get past that wooden left corner.
Hole 15 - "Panorama"
Another hole simplified by a right-side tee shot, this one is also another left dogleg (7th of the round). Launching out of a forested chute, the left side of the hole yanks you towards the ditch and wetlands. Should you manage to avoid those wetlands, you’ll face a steeply sloped green where downhill puts can roll all the way off the putting surface and never be seen again.
Hole 16 - "Gift Horse"
Officially the easiest hole on the course (even though 4 is easier), this beautiful little 3-par tucked back into the southeast corner of the course is loaded with potential for both wildlife viewers and for ace-seekers. Think positive, make a good swing, and then hope for a lucky bounce. Who knows…maybe today is your lucky day. But probably not.
Hole 17 - "Runaway"
Back-to-back Par 5’s close out the round, neither one all that hard if you can it the ball remotely long and straight. This 5-Par is all downhill—you really just have to get the ball started and forward momentum will carry you down the speed slot to the green. That said, be careful on the steep downhill approach as too far long is often too far gone.
Hole 18 - "Balled Eagle"
Many an eagle has been sighted on this hole—Bald ones circling overhead, and Balled ones following two solid shots and a one-put. A relatively easy closing hole, be careful of straying too far right over the hill (and please yell “FORE” in case anyone is coming down 10). Thank you for the taking the Wild Marsh Course Tour!