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Phil McDade

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Blue Mound Golf & Country Club, in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa, holds a special place in Wisconsin golfing lore. Prior to the PGA championship at Pete Dye’s Whistling Straits in 2004, it was the only course in Wisconsin to host a major golf championship – the 1933 PGA. Gene Sarazen, the Squire, won the last of his three PGA championships here, refuting the words of Scotsman Tommy Armour that he was “all washed up.”

The course is also the only one in Wisconsin, and one of only a handful in the Midwest (notably Shoreacres and Chicago GC, of course, and Camargo in Cincinnati), designed by Seth Raynor. The course bears the trademark template holes of a Raynor design, and the club has obviously nurtured and kept faithful to Raynor’s holes and design elements. In June, it hosted the 93rd Western Junior Championship, giving fans of Raynor and the course a chance to see it up close. (Next year, it will also serve as the alternate stroke-play course for match-play qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Championship held at Erin Hills.)

The course plays at 6,666 yards (par 70) from the tips (72.0 rating/131 slope). It also plays at @ 6,300 yards from the blues (depending on the sets of tees used on two holes; 70.5/127), and 5,895 yards from the “founder’s” tees (68.4/123). Yardages listed are from the tips and blue tees.

One might think a course that hosted a major won by a golfer the stature of Sarazen might pay tribute to him; instead, on the way to the first tee, sits this handsome bronze sculpture -- this is a course that takes its architectural history seriously. (The club offers a nice photo essay of its holes here:
http://www.bluemoundgcc.com/index.cfm?ID=119)


#1 (par 4, 398/385 – First, the Two-shot Redan)
The opening tee shot is to a broad and level fairway, pinched somewhat by bunkers left and right. Note, even from 300 yards away, the built-up nature of the greensite, just to the right of the golfer walking down the right side of the fairway.


Even though this bunker intrudes upon the fairway, it’s easily cleared by most players – Blue Mound’s constrained site doesn’t allow for many tees to be moved back and thus bunkers like this are sometimes not in play for the golfer of today’s length.


Raynor very subtly pushed the greensite here above the fairway level, and slightly offset from the fairway, making the green surface blind from 150 yards away. The red pin sits behind a deep bunker left.


Two looks at the built-up right side of the green at the 1st.



Although the right side of the green has the requisite kick-bank of a Redan, the green lacks the severe tilt found on most traditional Redans. The green here tilts from back to front, with the extreme left side higher than the middle of the green.


#2 (par 4, 415/400 – Double Plateau)
One of the tightest drives on the course leads to a blind outcome, as Raynor used a small ridge to hide the landing area of the fairway. While there is some room right, OB looms just a few steps beyond the tree line left.


The green at the 2nd, one of the best at Blue Mound (which is saying something, given how good the greens are here).  The large, triangular shaped green has three distinct sections – lower right, upper back, and front left. Although the front of the green is open, traps nearly completely encircle the sides and back of the green. The golfer not precise with an approach shot will often be putting from one section to another. Here are several looks at the green.




Here is George Bahto’s description of the Double Plateau green from the GCA archives, which fits the 2nd at Blue Mound nearly exactly: “The green was generally in an ‘L’ shape and contained at least three levels. A lower level in the center of the green, one plateau one and a half feet higher and a third plateau higher yet. The plateaux were most often right rear and left front but came in varied configurations. The lower level funnelled aggressive shots directly into the rear bunker beyond. Pin placements are very difficult because for what has been created is essentially three small greens on one putting surface.”

#3 (par 3, 220/200 – Biarritz)
The Biarritz – at Blue Mound, the front half of the greensite is kept as tightly mown fairway, not as a putting surface.



The course received quite a bit of rain the day before I was there, and thus didn’t play as fast and firm as it might have otherwise. Still, in watching several players take on the 3rd, not one attempted a ground-game approach to this back-pin location. With such a pronounced swale fronting the putting surface, I’d be interested to know how often the traditional approach to playing a Biarritz is utilized by the membership.


#4 (par 4, 388/372 – Alps)
 The Alps plays over dead-level ground. Golfers need to be conscious of two bunkers cutting into the fairway at an angle midway down the fairway right, but again they are easily cleared for most players, and the fairway offers plenty of width to avoid them.


Only an aerial approach will do here.


Another terrific green awaits the golfer on the 4th, a large oval with several horizontal folds.


Note the geometric symmetry to the mowing patterns of the green – a common feature at Blue Mound.


Here’s Bahto again describing a Raynor Alps, which fits perfectly with what the golfer encounters at Blue Mound: “Seth Raynor built an Alps on most courses, but they were generally identified as having ‘Alps bunkering’ – meaning some cross-bunkering in front of the green. Instead of a blind approach over a ‘mountain,’ Raynor customarily positioned his Alps renditions just over the crest of a rising fairway – then cross-bunkering the green complex. Sadly, many clubs covered in the cross bunker because they did not understand the origin and concept. Alps greens usually had a spine of sorts running through the green to compound putting problems.

#5 (par 5, 497/483 – The Road Hole)
A faithful rendition of the 17th at The Old Course in St. Andrews; a series of bunkers, recently restored, represent the old railroad shacks at TOC. (It plays as a par 5, albeit shorter than the recently lengthened par 4 17th at TOC for this year’s Open Championship, and similar in length to the par 5 Road Hole at the National Golf Links of America.)



A look at one of the fairway bunkers; the golfer who fails to clear these will have a difficult time reaching the green in two on this short par 5.


A look at the green, another terrific Raynor effort. The road bunker guards the left entrance of the green, which tilts noticeably from left to right and back to front. Similar to the original Road Hole, the bolder drive to the right off the tee, successfully executed, rewards the golfer with an easier shot into this very difficult green. The safe tee shot left of the fairway bunkers makes the approach shot more difficult, particularly to any pin middle-left.


Here’s a good look at the tilt of the 5th green.


The large and narrow bunker that sits behind the 5th green, emblematic of the road behind TOC’s 17th. The 5th at Blue Mound is a terrific version of the original hole.


#6 (par 4, 335/327 – Strategy)
The club’s website says this par 4 is modeled after the 1st at the National Golf Links of America. The short, tight hole is littered with bunkers left and right of the fairway, making club selection off the tee a key decision about how to take on the 6th.


Bombers who choose to attack the 6th with length have to deal with this array of bunkering approaching the green.


A bunker fronting another terrific Raynor green; look at the dips in the green left and right of the bunker.


A closer look at the 6th green, full of bold contouring and several sections. Raynor made the heavily contoured greens at Blue Mound fairly large, which not only puts more pressure on the golfer’s putting game, but offers numerous pin positions on each green. As one caddie carrying the bag for his son at the Western Junior told me, “This course is all about the greens.”


#7 (par 3, 167/140 – Short)
Raynor courses almost always feature a Short, and Blue Mound has a very good one, faithful to the hole’s strategy. The tee shot is downhill (at least a club less than usual) to the largest green on the course. Sand completely encircles the green.


Another look at the green, and the distinct thumbprint in the middle. Again, Raynor made this green large enough to have pin positions in several locations both inside and outside the thumbprint.


A few more looks at this green; in the last shot, the golfer’s tee shot landed just left of the upper tier, and trickled down below into the thumbprint. Even the follow-up putt of less than 10 feet was tricky, as the player had to go up and over the thumbprint ridge. The 8th tee is in the background.




#8 (par 4, 445/406 – Punchbowl)
Most of Blue Mound sits upon very flat land, and therefore much of its challenge derives from the placement of its deep bunkers and those diabolical Raynor greens. The 8th is an exception, and it’s one of the best holes at Blue Mound. The fairway moves uphill all the way to the green. Trees lurk close to the fairway on both sides, and the rough here is some of the thickest on the course. The golfer declining to take driver off the tee to avoid the trees and rough will do so knowing he’ll be left with a much longer, uphill approach shot. Long iron, hybrid and fairway wood approaches were the order of the day during the Western Junior.


Gashing the fairway some 300 yards off the tee is this bunker complex, which is deep and penal. I didn’t see anyone come close to reaching it off the tee at the Western Junior; one hopes the tees are moved up a bit for next year’s Amateur championship qualifying round, in the hope that the long-hitting amateurs will try to take on what could be set up as a solid risk/reward hole.


A look back at the 8th fairway and the tee in the distance; the 8th is one of the few fairways at Blue Mound where the golfer is likely to encounter an unlevel lie in the fairway.


Another marvelous Raynor greensite, a true punchbowl. Although not depicted well here, the green features several internal contours (click on hole #8 on the club website scorecard above to see some of the countouring).


#9 (par 4, 375/349 – Ravine)
Modeled after the first hole at Raynor’s Chicago Golf Club, the 9th features a heroic carry over a deep ravine, with a series of three bunkers jutting in from the right side and a large fairway bunker left threatening the long hitters. Blue Mound’s stately clubhouse is in the distance.


Fans of Langford and Moreau’s work at Lawsonia will see the eerie parallels between their work there and Raynor’s nearly identical bunkering at Blue Mound.


A look back at the tee for the 9th and the ravine that must be carried.


Two looks at the green of the 9th; Raynor once again subtly placed the green above the fairway, and the less-than-accurate approach has to contend with a deep bunker right or severe falloff left of the green.



(Back nine to follow)

Phil McDade

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 10:00:47 PM »
(Blue Mound cont'd -- back nine)

#10 (par 4, 445/430 – Prize, Raynor’s prize hole)
This par 4 was the toughest hole during the Western Junior; the straightaway hole plays over some of the flattest land on the course, and features a pair of modest fairway bunker complexes easily carried or avoided. What gives?


Approaching the hole, one can detect where the challenge of this hole lays – one of the best greens I’ve seen in Wisconsin. The large oval green is split into three sections via a large inverted spine that runs from back left to front right, and splits into a Y. There are probably a dozen pin positions on this green.


A few more looks at this green; anyone interested in studying the classic old masters and how they approached green contouring needs to see the 10th at Blue Mound. A remarkable hole whose chief defense (and it’s a pretty stout defense) comes from a single feature – the green.





#11 (par 4, 382/348 – Cape)
An interesting version of a Cape, in which Raynor asks the golfer to play a fade off the tee to set up a draw on the approach shot.


This 50-yard long bunker complex cuts in on the right side of the fairway, and must be avoided for the preferred right-side position on the fairway that sets up the easier approach shot.


Closing in on the 11th green, the golfer is uncertain what lies beyond the green surface. Raynor sited this green at the very apex of the gently rising land over which the hole is routed. As is the case of a traditional Cape, trouble lurks just beyond the green.


Here’s the backside of the 11th green – a severe drop-off into a long and narrow bunker. In the second photo, this is what awaits the golfer who tugs his approach shot left – neither this severe fall-off nor the bunker is visible from the fairway.



#12 (par 4, 480/440 -- Hog’s Back)
The back tee on the 12th hole, to a sharply rising fairway. The club website says the hole is based on the 9th at Chicago GC.


Here’s the regular tee; to the left, the staircase bunker complex Raynor built into the side of the hill.


A look at the staircase bunkers, which shouldn’t come into play unless the tee ball is badly yanked left.


The approach is over flat land, to a green raised slightly above the fairway.


#13 (par 3, 185,178 – Redan)
All pretenders to Redans across the country ought to make a pilgrimage to Blue Mound to see the real thing. It’s all here – the kick-bank right, the angled green tilted sharply away from the golfer, the deep and penal bunker guarding the entrance left. Although I didn’t get a picture of it, an enormous bunker – the largest on the course – sits at the backside, and well below, the kicker ramp and green.


The green is deep but narrow by Blue Mound standards.


A golfer too bold with his use of the kicker bank contemplates a shot that barely dodged a dicier fate in the bunker.


#14 (par 4, 416/375 – Valley)
Modeled after the 12th at Garden City GC. An uphill drive from one of the lowest points on the course to a fairway that turns gently to the left.


The approach is similar to Blue Mound’s 12th – over dead-flat land to a heavily trapped green.


A look at some of the very muscular bunkering guarding the left side of the green.


Another green with geometric precision to the mowing patterns around the green.


#15 (par 4, 412/383 – Pond)
Said to be a modified version of the 12th at NGLA; a drive over a pond to one of the few fairways at Blue Mound with some movement.


Two deep bunkers flank the left and right front sides of the green, once again perched slightly above the fairway.


#16 (par 4, 355/340 – Leven)
Another hole routed over flat land, the 16th derives much of its defense from its extremely tight fairway corridor, pinched by this narrow, 30-yard long fairway bunker. The ball just to the right of the caddie is perfectly placed.


The green at the 16th is one of the smallest at Blue Mound, and heavily trapped left and right, with a creek not far from the backside. A real precision hole, for both the tee and approach shots.


#17 (par 3, 191/176 – Eden)
Raynor’s take on the Eden at Blue Mound features an open front, pinched somewhat on the right side, with bunkering on all sides.


The backside bunker of the Eden. The hole features another large and wonderfully contoured green, although it’s not tilted severely from back to front ala the 11th at TOC from which Macdonald and Raynor drew inspiration for the Eden.


#18 (par 5, 560/546 – Long)
The home hole doglegs gently to the left off the tee; a small rise masks the outcome of the drive, but the fairway is wide and accommodating.


The play here is back toward the clubhouse over level land.


Two horizontal and skinny bunkers – one left, one right -- intrude upon the fairway and must be negotiated by the golfer on the way to the green. Here’s the right-side fairway bunker.


The green at the 18th is another good one – a large oval with two vertical spines running from back to front, yielding another slew of hole options.


Blue Mound is obviously quite faithful to Raynor’s original layout, and the template holes he utilized. A few quibbles: With limited land available for stretching tees, some of the bunkering appears obsolete for the longer player. The terrain of Blue Mound (with only a few exceptions) is unremarkable, and decidedly flat in most areas, so it lacks many dramatic or heroic shots over uneven terrain. Also, with few exceptions, most holes play straightaway, with little demand on the golfer to move the ball one way or another off the tee or on approach shots.

Still, it’s the kind of course that one senses you could play every day and not tire of it. Its look – all of those precisely laid-out bunkers, its geometric symmetry, and those familiar Raynor templates – is terrific. And those greens – you could have a good debate on your hands asserting they are the best set in Wisconsin. As good as Lawsonia? I think so. Milwaukee CC? I’d suggest Blue Mound’s are better. For the greens alone, and for very faithful adherence of Raynor’s original design, Blue Mound G&CC is a course worthy of study and play.

Mike Hendren

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 11:17:28 PM »
Phil, thanks for this excellent thread of one of my personal favorites.   The 2nd and 10th greens are absolutely ALL WORLD!

If given ten rounds to split between Blue Mound and Lawsonia, I'd go 7/3 for this Milwaukee gem.

Mike

Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Adam Clayman

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 12:01:58 AM »
Phil. How serendipitous. I literally just got off google maps looking at it. It was brought up today in conversation so i looked it up. The prevailinhg sentiment was WoW. Thanks.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

RJ_Daley

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2010, 12:31:10 AM »
Very nice account, Phil.  With all the rains this last 6 weeks or more, how did it play for the competitors.  I'm guessing a bit soft.  The two times I had the good fortune to play there, both times were soft as was the State Am the year they hosted.  I think that the everyday MM might be a wee bit bias to soft conditions.  I would love to see it nice and firm. 

I was going to name my fav holes, then got into naming pretty much every one.  Like you observed, 10 is a bit boring until you get to that fabulous green, and so is 18 a little boring until the green.  OK, I'll go with punchbowl as my fav, tonight.   ::) ;) ;D 8)

If anyone has the connection horsepower, I would take a trifecta of Blue Mound, Milwaukee CC, Lawsonia (no connection needed there) over any combo at Kohler courses and Erin Hills.  But, that is just me...  ::)
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Steve Kline

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2010, 06:26:58 AM »
I've never seen anything like that 10th green. Awesome!

Having just played at Camargo you can easily identify a Raynor course and the features. The bunkers don't look as deep and intimidating as at Camargo but that could just be because I'm only seeing pictures of Blue Mound. Also, Blue Mound is much more tree lined than Camargo.

Bill Brightly

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2010, 07:03:16 AM »
Great photos, Phil! Thanks for posting.


Phil McDade

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2010, 08:07:27 AM »
Bogey:

I like Lawsonia's terrain much better than BMound; with the exception of #8 and perhaps #9 at BMound, you don't see anything there with the majesty of Lawsonia's #6 or #13, the funky blindness of #2 and #8, or the way the land slowly reveals the charms (and challenges) of #15 and #16. Looking at some aerials of BM, and walking the course, I was struck that Raynor avoided some of what appeared to be really good and rambunctious land, particularly a triangular portion of land in between #s 6, 7 and 8.

Having said that, it'd be a tough split for me of 10 rounds between the two, and I love Lawsonia. The greens at BM really are quite a treat, and the stretch of holes at BM from #5 (the Road hole) through #13 (the Redan) is really quite exceptional.

RJ:

I had the same sneaking suspicion you did about the membership there and how it plays. My sense is that the course is kept a bit greener than the GCA crowd here might think is appropriate, but I'm guessing the green speeds are kept at a quick pace. It did get a lot of rain, but Milwaukee CC also got a lot of rain right before the Mid-Am there two years ago, and I thought MCC played a bit F&Firmer than BMound (and topography may have a lot to do with that; MCC is much closer to the big lake and the Milwaukee River, so it may simply be a drainage issue. I was struck by how flat -- really flat -- most of BMound is.)

Steve:

I spent a lot of time looking at John Mayhugh's pictures of Camargo before posting this. Clearly Camargo sits on more rambunctious land, which I think plays a role (from what I could tell) in the depth of some of the bunkering. A lot of the bunkering at BMound is either level with the surrounds, with built-up mounding facing the golfer, or dug into the sides of built-up greensites.


Andrew Lewis

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2010, 08:14:41 AM »
Phil -

Great work on the photos!  I've been curious about this course since moving back to the midwest.

Quite remarkable how well the greens seem to fit the land given -- or perhaps because of -- the contrast between their rather dramatic form and the property's lack thereof.

A couple questions, if you don't mind:

First, how long was the total fairway+swale+green on the Biarritz hole?  I ask because I'm curious as to whether the running shot is even an option...I feel like it would be almost as challenging to get a ~180 yard shot to release back through the swale as it would to fly the thing to the green.

Second, many of the greenside bunkers appear more shallow than those I have encountered on Mac-Raynor courses.  Was that true, or is this a case of the camera flattening things out?

Thanks again for sharing!

Best, Andrew

Mark McKeever

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2010, 08:21:46 AM »
Thanks for the photos Phil.  That 10th green is jaw dropping!!

Mark
Best MGA showers - Bayonne

"Dude, he's a total d***"

Phil McDade

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2010, 08:48:25 AM »
Phil -

Great work on the photos!  I've been curious about this course since moving back to the midwest.

Quite remarkable how well the greens seem to fit the land given -- or perhaps because of -- the contrast between their rather dramatic form and the property's lack thereof.

A couple questions, if you don't mind:

First, how long was the total fairway+swale+green on the Biarritz hole?  I ask because I'm curious as to whether the running shot is even an option...I feel like it would be almost as challenging to get a ~180 yard shot to release back through the swale as it would to fly the thing to the green.

Second, many of the greenside bunkers appear more shallow than those I have encountered on Mac-Raynor courses.  Was that true, or is this a case of the camera flattening things out?

Thanks again for sharing!

Best, Andrew

Andrew:

I don't have much to compare, in terms of BMound vs. other Mac/Raynor courses -- looking at photos, my sense is that the bunkering at BMound is similar to what one might find at Chicago GC, maybe Shoreacres, but as Steve Kline mentioned, not at the depth of Camargo. There is some real depth to the bunkering at BMound on several holes -- notably the right-side bunker at #1, the backside of the Cape (#11), and a few others like the left side of the Punchbowl (#8) -- but on the whole, the depth of bunkering isn't as severe as the bunkering at Lawsonia, a course I'm pretty familiar with. As I noted, I think the terrain has a bit to do with this -- a very flat piece of land, for the most part, so the bunkering depth is more of a product of built-up greensites.

I was a tad disappointed in the Biarritz at BMound -- the longest tee is at 220 yards, and it's shoved back about as far as you can get, because the hole sits right up against the western border of the property. For the membership, at that length, I'm guessing a fairway wood/hybrid played along the ground is still an option. I think it played around 200 yards for the Western Junior, and I didn't see a single player play it along the ground (probably in part due to overnight rains, but then again, I'm flabbergasted at how long some of these high school kids are ;)). And that was to a tough pin -- back right the day I was there. But I saw one kid stick what looked to be a 4-iron within 5 feet of the hole, so maybe it's just one of those features that very good players ignore. The tee is on the same level as the green, and it looks like a hole that plays as a long par 3 with a funky dip in front of it, as opposed to a Biarritz where the ground game is an option. But I also think the height of the grass before the swale, combined with a very deep swale and conditioning that (perhaps) is greener than what might be favorable for a Biarritz, leads to the hole playing the way it does.

Tom_Doak

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2010, 08:56:50 AM »
Blue Mound is very flat except at one corner of the property (4-5 holes).  Making all the bunkers deep would have been unnatural, and expensive.

I haven't played there in many years.  Looking forward to playing it and Milwaukee CC in October for a small event among a bunch of our other consulting clients.

Philippe Binette

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2010, 09:18:13 AM »
man, that looks like a golf course to me...

no crap, just golf

Steve Kline

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2010, 06:35:51 PM »
I can't imagine trying to run it through the swale of a biarritz green. I've never tried it at Camargo and the hole is 225-230 yards long. I would have to choke up on a 3 wood, punch it, carry it 180-190 and get it to scoot through the dip. Keeping that shot straight would be difficult. It's much easier for me to hit a hybrid, which I couldn't quite carry to the green, leave it in the swale and chip it close.

Now, when I go to Old MacDonald it may be a different story.

Phil McDade

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2010, 06:54:39 PM »
Steve:

Blue Mound was my first up-close look at a true Biarritz, and I sort of thought the same thing -- the swale was so deep, I thought most folks wouldn't play it along the ground. Have you ever played Yale? That's one Biarritz, it seems from photos and others descriptions of it, that might play in the traditional manner of the run-up shot.

Otherwise, the Biarritz seems to play (in this day of longer ball flights and clubs) like a really long Short -- a target hole surrounded by trouble (with the swale subbing for a bunker).

Steve Kline

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2010, 09:09:43 PM »
I have not played Yale. The only way I could see playing a Biarritz through the swale was if the course was as firm and fast as the courses in Scotland. I wouldn't be able to hit and hold a hybrid or 3 wood on the green then. But 99.9% of American courses aren't maintained that way. Instead of a deeper, shorter swale, the hole these days might work better with the down part of the swale longer and shallower but the up part the same. This would give you the option of flying it to the green or landing it short and using the down slope to kick it on the green.

Mike McGuire

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2010, 09:59:47 PM »
Blue Mound is very flat except at one corner of the property (4-5 holes).  Making all the bunkers deep would have been unnatural, and expensive.


I had wondered why the added fairway bunkers at Bluemound were so tame. You can run balls right through them in many cases.




RJ_Daley

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2010, 10:10:19 PM »
Yup, that 10th green at BM is pretty wild.  And, the biarritz is a good one.  But, you wanna know what?  Angels crossing has a very similar green to BMs 10th, that also happens to be its 10th.  And, Angels crossing has a very powerful Biarritz, and an impressive Redan.  I'm just saying...  ;) ;D

I would love to play BM late Oct, a week after they blow out the irrigation lines.   ;D
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J_ Crisham

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2010, 11:28:44 PM »
Phil,   Very nice post. I played BM a couple of weeks ago and Shoreacres this week. I found the green complexex to be very close in caleber of design. Raynor is just masterful. BM needs to take out500 more trees. Flat property is what it is - fun place to spend a day- SA is a place to grow old at!               Jack

Andrew Lewis

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2010, 08:52:21 AM »
Thanks, Phil.

The 9th at Yale can be quite good when they get the combination of tees and pin location right!  In my many plays there, it seems like I've usually seen the back pin paired with the slightly more forward tee, located on the right side of the box.  For me, that combination is tough for a running shot due to the angle (calls for more of a cut), especially with the treeline encroaching from the right.  But from the back tee, on the left side of the box, it sets up well for a running draw.

I'm curious to see Lawsonia sometime this fall, as I understand the bunkering there is quite severe due to the topography.  I don't have much Langford/Moreau experience, but if it's anything like Spring Vally (plus the sand, of course), I'll expect to be impressed!

Best, Andrew

Phil McDade

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2010, 09:14:52 AM »
Andrew:

Spring Valley is a nice warm-up for Lawsonia; glad you had a chance to play it, as it's probably the lowest-profile Langford/Moreau course in the Midwest. Lawsonia is wonderful, and the bunkering there stands out.

Tony Gorski

Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2010, 12:25:10 PM »
Thanks for posting Phil.  Nice thread. 

I played BM about a month ago and the greens were perfect.  Simply fantastic.  It was firm when I played and was able to play the Biarritz on the ground.  And the Redan was so much fun we hit a couple of balls into it playing the slope.

I do agree w/ RJ on BM, Milw CC, Lawsonia versus the others in the area......hands down.

Jim Eder

Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2010, 10:20:23 AM »
Phil,

FANTASTIC write-up of the golf course!!! Extremely well done. This was my home course in high school. I knew it was special back then but didn't really know why. As I got older I finally got educated and found more greatness in the course. I wish it played faster (though it does in the frozen spring and sometimes in the late late fall).  It usually plays pretty soft.  The green speeds are very fast though they are playable even with undulation of those greens. On #3, I really never ran it up as it tended to play soft so a long iron could be held fairly well. The swale is probably a bit too deep (and it is very pinched so the shot has to be hit with precision and with very little side spin). The wrong club or a slight mis-hit would hit the upslope of the swale and roll back to the bottom causing a tough little chip. I have seen some shots run up but those shots (contrary to what my playing partner would say) were misses. The winds on 3 can be very interesting, the tough north wind (which is usually chilly), the warm southern wind (it plays downwind then), or the crosswinds. With the north wind it really makes you want to run it up but it is just so soft and one can just have it hold against the wind and land softly. I wish the golf course would play firm and fast. Just a wonderful place that nearly everyone on this site would enjoy. Thanks Phil!!!  Just terrific!!

Pete Lavallee

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2010, 11:57:07 AM »
Phil,

Thanks for the excellent photo tour! I appreciate the time taken to highlight this Raynor gem.
"...one inoculated with the virus must swing a golf-club or perish."  Robert Hunter

Mike Tanner

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Re: Blue Mound G&CC -- Seth Raynor in Wisconsin (pictorial essay)
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2010, 12:43:51 PM »
Phil,
Thank you for taking the time to post such a thorough writeup. It's a long way from my home, but Blue Mound would be on my itinerary if I'm ever in the upper Midwest. That course looks like one of those that's just good for the soul.
Life's too short to waste on bad golf courses or bad wine.

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