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GolfClubAtlas.com => Golf Course Architecture => Topic started by: Joe Bausch on December 04, 2017, 04:45:40 PM

Title: The par 4 16th at Rolling Road GC : one of my favorite holes of the year
Post by: Joe Bausch on December 04, 2017, 04:45:40 PM
I was fortunate to play Rolling Road Golf Club in Baltimore, MD twice this year.  It is a 1923 Willie Park, Jr design that probably slips under the radar a bit.  It has a fun routing that includes back-to-back par 3s on the front nine, and back-to-back par 5s on the back nine.

There are many good holes at RR with my favorite being the dogleg-left, down-then-up par 4 16th hole (434 yards).  It is the number 1 stroke hole and I'm thinking (by far?) the hardest hole on the course.  Frequently I don't find really hard holes to be really good holes, but this is not the case.  I love this hole!  Will you?   ;D

Here is the Google Earth aerial of the hole, running from bottom to top.  Yes, that is the tee down near the lower left corner where you tee off almost across the previous green (probably the best par 3 on the course, No. 15)!

(http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/mediafiles/l77.jpg)

A view from the tee with the 15th green nearby, a good line is a bit left of that bunker behind the green, and the dogleg  and steep slope down the fairway occurs around 270 yards:

(http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/mediafiles/l79.jpg) (http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/mediafiles/l79.jpg)

So do you just hit whatever club you can say 240 yards to stay up top and play a long 2nd shot (190 yards) across the big ravine to the green (high point to high point)?: 

(http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/mediafiles/l80.jpg) (http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/mediafiles/l80.jpg)

Or play for 5 and bunt your 2nd to the bottom of the hill (but not too far as a creek crosses at 70 yards short of the green) to leave a very uphill 100 yard shot in?

Or do you choose to hit driver off the tee and turn it a bit left and catch the slope and run all the way down to the bottom of the hill leaving that uphill wedge shot?  But if you hit driver and miss it even a little bit right you slide off the fairway right into the rough leaving a downhill, sidehill lie to an uphill green of about 170-200 yards!  So tempting to go for it many golfers is a fool's errand.

(http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/mediafiles/l81.jpg) (http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/mediafiles/l81.jpg)

The green isn't all that big and has a false front (!) to make matters even more difficult, and deep bunker right.  Finally, a view from behind the green:

(http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/mediafiles/l82.jpg) (http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/mediafiles/l82.jpg)

In 1926 the Baltimore Sun featured the 16th hole in detail:

(https://s3.amazonaws.com/PGAmagAmbassador/July11_1926_BaltimoreSun.jpg) (https://s3.amazonaws.com/PGAmagAmbassador/July11_1926_BaltimoreSun.jpg)

The entire photo album of Rolling Road is here:

http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/index.html (http://www.myphillygolf.com/uploads/bausch/RollingRoad/index.html)

The Baltimore area is pretty rich with good golf, Rolling Road being right in the mix.
Title: Re: The par 4 16th hole at Rolling Road: one of my favorite holes of the year
Post by: MCirba on December 04, 2017, 04:56:26 PM
Who would leave an orange golf bag in the way like that??
Title: Re: The par 4 16th at Rolling Road GC : one of my favorite holes of the year
Post by: Peter Pallotta on December 04, 2017, 08:27:39 PM
Really really well done, Joe - thanks.

I donít know the course at all, but that was the new gold standard for how to analyze a golf hole, and it was pleasure to read.

And we must share similar tastes. I couldnít handle a steady/endless diet of those kind of holes, but the stout Par 4 is for me a terrific part of the game

Title: Re: The par 4 16th at Rolling Road GC : one of my favorite holes of the year
Post by: Jim Sherma on December 04, 2017, 09:50:10 PM
Agree that Baltimore is more golf rich than anticipated. Iíve been working in Hunt Valley for 18 months now and have played BCC, Elkridge, Greenspring Valley, CC of MD and have a membership at Hunt Valley. I have Woodholme and Suburban on my short list for the spring along with some of the publics, primarily Mount Pleasant. Rolling Road looks worth a trip even if on the wrong side of town for me.
Title: Re: The par 4 16th at Rolling Road GC : one of my favorite holes of the year
Post by: MCirba on December 05, 2017, 06:01:33 AM
Jim Sherma,


I can say pretty unequivocally that you'd enjoy Rolling Road.   I'll be curious to see if it reminds you of the same course it reminds me of.

Ditto for Mt. Pleasant but don't overlook Clifton Park and/or Pine Ridge.  Gus Hook was the man!
Title: Re: The par 4 16th at Rolling Road GC : one of my favorite holes of the year
Post by: Tommy Williamsen on December 05, 2017, 09:48:55 AM
When I lived in the Baltimore area I played Rolling Road quite a bit. I played in a tournament there and needed to go even par for the last three holes to do any good. Sixteen can be a card killer. Bogey isn't difficult if you play smart but par for shorter hitters can be difficult. I'm not sure it is my favorite hole on the course but it is a good one.


Mt. Pleasant is fine, but lost some good holes when they put in a road. Pine Valley is my favorite Municipal course.
Title: Re: The par 4 16th at Rolling Road GC : one of my favorite holes of the year
Post by: Paul Ashton on December 05, 2017, 10:22:30 AM
Played in a MSGA fourball at Rolling Road a couple of years ago.  Partner was late to the first tee so I had to play #1 solo, not fun with OB left all the way down.  Managed to make par from the way right rough.


Definitely some good holes but not a fan of #10.


Add Hillendale CC to your Baltimore list (many don't like our #10 either).  Been a member for 18 years, contact me if interested in getting out to play.
Title: Re: The par 4 16th at Rolling Road GC : one of my favorite holes of the year
Post by: mike_malone on December 05, 2017, 10:46:35 AM
Looks like 18 at DuPont Nemours.
Title: Re: The par 4 16th at Rolling Road GC : one of my favorite holes of the year
Post by: Sinclair Eaddy on December 05, 2017, 03:28:17 PM
Joe, I have played the ďRoadĒ (as it is affectionately called by the members) as least a dozen times, proabably more. The amazing thing about the course is that it occupies just 100 acres, and I think that figure is generous...there is no driving range. The greens tend to be small and the club tries to keep them fairly fast. A number of greens have false fronts so certain putts are treacherous. 16 is the marquee hole for good reason... the drive is difficult and definitely requires a draw. If you can find someone who can hit and hold the green from the top of hill, and make par ...please report back. Any shot in the right rough is a lay up at best and Iíve seen balls roll back down the massive uphill approach... way back.