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Mark Saltzman

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Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE - A Photo Tour New
« on: July 06, 2011, 08:30:50 PM »





All Yardages from 6900 Yard Gold (back) Tees (73.2/134)

Hole 1: Par 4, 405 Yards

Hole Description: #1is a short par four that requires finess, not power to get your round started. It plays from a slightly elevated tee to a flat valley fairway bordered by the ever-present native grass hills. A fairway bunker guards the inside leg of a slight dogleg left. Tee shots should favor the left side of the fairway for a better approach to a green bunkered on both sides. (Many people aim too far right with too much club on their tee shots.) The green sits into a hillside that caroms balls to the left. A proper approach is just over the right side bunker which will kick left onto the green. Avoid being long. This green will preview future greens with lots of mounds and slope.




Approach from left




Approach from right




Short of green




Left of green




Hole 2: Par 4, 431 Yards


Hole Description: 2 is a medium par four that shares a fairway with #3. The tee shot is slightly blind but is framed by bunkers on both sides of the fairway near the landing area. A right line is more aggressive and can cut some distance off the angled fairway, but can leave a difficult second to a green that slopes from right to left. A long iron approach should find the large unbunkered green. Subtle breaks will test your green reading skills here.




Approach




Short of green




Left of green




From behind





Hole 3: Par 5, 550 Yards

Hole Description: #3 is a par five playing back into the prevailing winds requiring good decisions and proper shot placement. A middle line for the tee ball is just over the right side of the carry bunkers in front of you. A tee shot to the left has lots of room and gives a good view of the rest of the hole as it doglegs right, but makes it a three shot hole. A more aggressive approach along the right side cuts distance but reduces the visibility of the second shot. Three pot bunkers spaced along the middle of the fairway create choices for your second shot. Another pot bunker lies 10 yards in front of the green making second shot placement crucial depending on pin position. The third shot must find its way around or over the pre-mentioned pot bunker onto a small green that slopes back to front with several mounds.





From 275 Yards Out




Approach short of all centerline bunkers




Approach from right of bunkers




Approach from left of bunkers




From behind

« Last Edit: November 27, 2011, 07:48:05 PM by Mark Saltzman »

Adam Clayman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 3 Posted
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 08:43:29 PM »
I hope our prayers are not needed when Dick sees the new house on #2.

Excellent pix again, young man.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 3 Posted
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 08:55:17 PM »
I hope our prayers are not needed when Dick sees the new house on #2.

Excellent pix again, young man.

Adam,

I was actually amazed how much the homes impacted sightlines from tees and into greens.  On several holes (2 is a good example, but also 10 and 13) it seemed like they picked the exact place that a house would most ruin the hole and built it there. 

Which came first, golf course or homes?  I presume course.

Phil McDade

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 3 Posted
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2011, 08:59:57 PM »
Course.

The mayor has the details, but the course I believe was partly financed (it was a very low-budget affair) through the sale of home lots surrounding the course.


Adam Clayman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 3 Posted
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2011, 09:13:39 PM »
Phil, Mark, The course was completely financed through the sales of the lots. 1.25m paid for the whole. Clubhouse and all.

I find the houses have little impact on one's mind's eye. The course, and especially the greens, require total focus on the task.

The house on 2 is the closest, but even it, doesn't take away from the golf course, imo.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Jason Hines

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 3 Posted
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 09:46:44 PM »
I last played WH in May of this year and donít even remember the house on two?  I know there was one in the corner, but I was having too much at 7am with my blackberry in the car and the course to myself.  Maybe I remember more from when I played the course more regularly in itís infancy and there were no homes?

However, the sightline I always remember is the approach shot on #8 when I am either too far left, right or down in ravine, I look for the grain elevator in downtown Gothenburg to give me an aiming point to the green.

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 3 Posted
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 09:54:32 PM »
Phil, Mark, The course was completely financed through the sales of the lots. 1.25m paid for the whole. Clubhouse and all.

I find the houses have little impact on one's mind's eye. The course, and especially the greens, require total focus on the task.

The house on 2 is the closest, but even it, doesn't take away from the golf course, imo.

Adam,

Certainly the homes have very little impact on the playability of the golf course as the homes are a long way from any of the holes.  The one exception may be on 13, but I may have over-thought that one... we can discuss when my tour gets there.

Honestly, I really noticed the houses in a lot of places.  The reason is likely that I was trying to take good pictures of the holes and couldn't help but notice homes in many of the pictures, directly behind the centre of the picture.  Just look at my pictures of 2 and 3.  Directly behind the line of play on 2 and on 3 are homes.  They are a very long way off on 3 (not so much on 2) so they probably would go unnoticed by most, but because I was taking pictures, I definitely noticed them.

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 3 Posted
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2011, 10:07:04 PM »
Hole 4: Par 3, 171 Yards

Hole Description: #4 is a medium par three from an elevated tee to a green guarded on the right side by two bunkers. The Green sits at an angle making pin placements to the back and right more difficult to get to but a safe shot to the left will kick back toward the large green. Club selection is difficult due to the large green and prevailing wind at your back.






From forward tee




From behind




Hole 5: Par 4, 367 Yards

Hole Description: #5 is a short par four that requires a tee shot hugging the left side for a good angle to a fishbowl green guarded on the right by a sandy waste area. Complicating matters is a fairway bunker waiting to gobble up those errant tee shots left. Smart players will lay up short of that bunker leaving a 125 yard pitch uphill to the green. A high spinning second shot is best if pin is tucked to the right but a narrow throat Allows a running shot to find the green also. The fishbowl green funnels most shots to the middle but errant shots long or short make for difficult up and downs.


Tee




Approach from Right




Approach from Left




Green





Hole 6: Par 5, 548 Yards

Hole Description: #6 is a par five double dogleg with no bunkers but lots of elevation change. The tee shot line varies with your ability, length, and aggressiveness. Longer players hoping to get there in two aim along the right edge of the fairway. More conservative shots take the ball down the middle. Most tee shots should find the top of the hill allowing the player to see the fairway swing right into a valley. An aggresseive second takes the ball over the left rough toward the green while a easier second should find the broad valley to the right setting up a 100 yard pitch uphill. The green sits into a hillside that filters shots from right to left, but drops off sharply on the left into a wide chipping area. The tilt in the green can make for some dangerous putting.


Tee




Approach from 250:




Approach from 100:




Left of Green:




From Behind:




Green From 7 Tee:



RJ_Daley

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2011, 10:47:22 PM »
Mark, I'm glad you have such a good eye for photographing golf holes.  Yours are some of the best non-professional ones I've seen. 

I'm also glad that part of your frame takes in the near rough.  I haven't been out to WH to 'inspect' my property this year yet.  ::) ;)  But, from these recent photos, it looks like the course is in great shape given the weather issues have been unusually wet.  It is of note I think that the rough is so nice and consistent, and appears to be playable and balls findable despite the extra rain.  Perhaps it shows the advantage of yearly rough burns, that I'm still not sure they are permitted to do at Awarri.  It also shows the merits of the dwarf blue grass FWs at WH over a bent selection, IMHO. 

I remember walking the FWs with Dan Proctor and Mike O'neil in about 02 and lamenting the inevitable that at some point the rooflines will be built and it will take that aethetic element away from what was the rural or rustic long views.  I always loved the view to the west colorful ridges towards NP and south.  The fields under plow across the north also was a pleasant view, while not the traditional endless prairie, still it was the long country view unfettered by development.  But slowly, one by one the inevitable will be completed.  Maybe my lot will be the last one developed, if ever....  ;) ::)

The other aspect of seeing and comparing Mark's photo tours is what now seems subtle by comparison of 'Maxwellian rolls" that the Bunkerhill boys designed into the natural green sites of WH (or maybe more accurately allowed to remain on the ground as found), compared to the more dramatic in your face contouring/shaping of the greens at Awarri.  No one would possibly say that WH greens are tame or bland by any means, particularly with the green speeds Joshy can provide consistently.  Yet, with the newer offerings in the region, I wonder if the green contour models are getting a little extreme as new course designs come on-line.

So Mark, I understand you are a pretty good shooter, what did you score at WH on your first go?  ;D   
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.

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2011, 10:54:40 PM »
Mark, I'm glad you have such a good eye for photographing golf holes.  Yours are some of the best non-professional ones I've seen. 

So Mark, I understand you are a pretty good shooter, what did you score at WH on your first go?  ;D   

RJ,

Thank you.  I have found that by taking pictures from different angles I get to see the course from more than just the angle that I play and end up learning a lot from it.

I'm not that good a shooter, but I've been playing really well lately - way over my head, and that continued at Wild Horse!  I shot 71. 

RJ_Daley

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2011, 11:12:57 PM »
Well done and congrats!  ;D  From the flags in the pix, it looked like you had an ideal speed wind from mostly east rather than the prevalent out of the south.  That might have made 10 an interesting carry to the FW off the back tee.  ;)

It looks like they were giving the periodic trim to the hairy lipped bunkers from the photo on 4.  They do that and sometimes you find them pretty wild and grassy bunker surrounds, and sometimes he has them neatly trimmed.  It is fun to have them vary this treatment at different times of the year.

Sometimes the golf hole design commentary overlooks WH's practice putting green, which I think is one of the most fun places to practice putting I've ever experienced. Did you roll a few balls there prior to your round? 
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.

Phil McDade

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2011, 11:17:03 PM »
Richard:

I know a while back you extolled the virtures of the photo essay compiled by the golfarchitecturepictures website for how it depicted Wild Horse; here's the link for those who might want to compare 2011 with an earlier version of the course:

http://www.golfarchitecturepictures.com/Web%20Galleries/USA/Nebraska/Wild%20Horse/index.html

Where's the lot? :)

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2011, 11:32:05 PM »

Sometimes the golf hole design commentary overlooks WH's practice putting green, which I think is one of the most fun places to practice putting I've ever experienced. Did you roll a few balls there prior to your round? 

I didn't but it was nice to see a group of juniors with the pro getting a lesson on the putting green.  It looked like they were having a blast!

Adam Clayman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2011, 11:33:50 PM »
Phil, Dick's lot is right next to maintenance. He's so unselfish, he bought that one, just in case someday Josh needed to expand his facility.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2011, 11:42:52 PM »
Hole 7: Par 4, 364 Yards

Hole Description: #7 is a short par four with a middle fairway bunker requiring a good tee shot staying between it and the right rough. A tee ball left of this bunker leaves you in a swale looking only at a huge bunker guarding the left side of the green. The green is open on the right allowing a variety of shots to be played. It is relatively flat except for a couple large mounds on the right. Birdies can be had, but be wary

Tee




Notice the additional room on the left side of the fairway if one can carry the ball some 225 yards from the back tee:




Approach from right of bunker




Just because you can carry the 225 yards to find the left part of the fairway, does not mean that is where you should try to hit it.  Approach from left of bunker:




From short of the green





Hole 8: Par 4, 451 Yards

Hole Description: #8 is a long straight par four that is one of the most demanding on the course. A huge blowout bunker on the left side of the fairway is a good aiming point. Only if the wind is at your back should you be able to reach this bunker. A good tee shot should kick left into a series of mounds in the landing area. Luck will provide a good lie for a long second to a green guarded on the right side by a small bunker. The terrain slopes from left to right so stay to the high side and let the ground carry your ball onto the green. The green has two large bumps in the middle that make for a difficult two-putt.


Tee




One is rewarded for challenging the massive blowout on the left (if they have the guts to do it).  The farther right, the more difficult the approach.

Approach from right




Approach from centre




Approach from left




From short of green




From left of green




From long right of green




From Behind




Hole 9: Par 3, 185 Yards - I think this may be a new tee that has been added?

Hole Description: #9 is a medium par three guarded on the high side by two bunkers with steep fall off to the right into a chipping area. A good shot will challenge the bunkers that hide the left half of the long narrow green. The slope will work it back into the middle of the green. Any shots right will find the low side chipping area which makes for a tough par. Again club selection is tough with a prevailing wind at your back that takes spin off and kicks the ball forward.

Tee




Forward Tee




From short right




From right




From short left


RJ_Daley

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2011, 11:45:51 PM »
Phil in this pic, the lot is between the house and the roof just seen of the maintenance facility.



The irrigation canal that runs the back line of the lot is shut off in Sept, and Josh has a perfect run up the canal to endload some of the sweetest bunker texture naturally washed by the canal water.  If they'd allow me a variance to the housing design covenants, I'd build a half-way house there for sick GCA fanatics on a weekly rental basis.   ::)
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.

Scott Szabo

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2011, 09:25:18 AM »
Mark, I'm glad you have such a good eye for photographing golf holes.  Yours are some of the best non-professional ones I've seen. 

So Mark, I understand you are a pretty good shooter, what did you score at WH on your first go?  ;D   

RJ,

Thank you.  I have found that by taking pictures from different angles I get to see the course from more than just the angle that I play and end up learning a lot from it.

I'm not that good a shooter, but I've been playing really well lately - way over my head, and that continued at Wild Horse!  I shot 71. 

Not that good a shooter?  I beg to disagree.  That handicap should be dropping significantly when your recent scores are posted!

Had the pleasure of playing a few holes with Mark yesterday and let me tell you, he can flat out play.  If he could only stop three putting those holes when his first putt is for an eagle....

"So your man hit it into a fairway bunker, hit the wrong side of the green, and couldn't hit a hybrid off a sidehill lie to take advantage of his length? We apologize for testing him so thoroughly." - Tom Doak, 6/29/10

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2011, 09:28:46 AM »
Mark, I'm glad you have such a good eye for photographing golf holes.  Yours are some of the best non-professional ones I've seen. 

So Mark, I understand you are a pretty good shooter, what did you score at WH on your first go?  ;D   

RJ,

Thank you.  I have found that by taking pictures from different angles I get to see the course from more than just the angle that I play and end up learning a lot from it.

I'm not that good a shooter, but I've been playing really well lately - way over my head, and that continued at Wild Horse!  I shot 71. 

Not that good a shooter?  I beg to disagree.  That handicap should be dropping significantly when your recent scores are posted!

Had the pleasure of playing a few holes with Mark yesterday and let me tell you, he can flat out play.  If he could only stop three putting those holes when his first putt is for an eagle....



Scott,

Thanks, it was great playing with you.  My handicap will go down, but with no slope/rating at Sand Hills, Dismal or Ballyneal most scores can't be entered.

Scott Szabo

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Front 9 Posted
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2011, 09:29:11 AM »
I've always enjoyed my visits to Wild Horse and love seeing the pictures.  Frankly, I'm shocked at how much the homes stand out.  I don't remember noticing them so much when playing the course, other than on a few holes on the back nine, such as 13 and 15 to the right.

Wild Horse is playing much softer these days than in the past, making it much easier to score and but much less strategic.

Case in point is #5.  In the past, we always played our approach shots to the back of the green, regardless of where the pin was, and the ball would roll all the way back to the center.  Not so this year.  

However, it can still hold its own if the wind is up.

Looking forward to the rest of the course.

"So your man hit it into a fairway bunker, hit the wrong side of the green, and couldn't hit a hybrid off a sidehill lie to take advantage of his length? We apologize for testing him so thoroughly." - Tom Doak, 6/29/10

Scott Szabo

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2011, 09:43:37 AM »
Mark, I'm glad you have such a good eye for photographing golf holes.  Yours are some of the best non-professional ones I've seen. 

So Mark, I understand you are a pretty good shooter, what did you score at WH on your first go?  ;D   

RJ,

Thank you.  I have found that by taking pictures from different angles I get to see the course from more than just the angle that I play and end up learning a lot from it.

I'm not that good a shooter, but I've been playing really well lately - way over my head, and that continued at Wild Horse!  I shot 71. 

Not that good a shooter?  I beg to disagree.  That handicap should be dropping significantly when your recent scores are posted!

Had the pleasure of playing a few holes with Mark yesterday and let me tell you, he can flat out play.  If he could only stop three putting those holes when his first putt is for an eagle....



Scott,

Thanks, it was great playing with you.  My handicap will go down, but with no slope/rating at Sand Hills, Dismal or Ballyneal most scores can't be entered.

True regarding Sand Hilils or Ballyneal, but I thought there was for Dismal.  I remember thinking it was quite high - something like 76 and 150 (obviously form the tips), but I could be wrong.

Forgot to ask what you shot at Sand Hills.  I think you mentioned playing 4 rounds.
"So your man hit it into a fairway bunker, hit the wrong side of the green, and couldn't hit a hybrid off a sidehill lie to take advantage of his length? We apologize for testing him so thoroughly." - Tom Doak, 6/29/10

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Hole 6 Posted
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2011, 09:46:39 AM »
Mark, I'm glad you have such a good eye for photographing golf holes.  Yours are some of the best non-professional ones I've seen. 

So Mark, I understand you are a pretty good shooter, what did you score at WH on your first go?  ;D   

RJ,

Thank you.  I have found that by taking pictures from different angles I get to see the course from more than just the angle that I play and end up learning a lot from it.

I'm not that good a shooter, but I've been playing really well lately - way over my head, and that continued at Wild Horse!  I shot 71. 

Not that good a shooter?  I beg to disagree.  That handicap should be dropping significantly when your recent scores are posted!

Had the pleasure of playing a few holes with Mark yesterday and let me tell you, he can flat out play.  If he could only stop three putting those holes when his first putt is for an eagle....



Scott,

Thanks, it was great playing with you.  My handicap will go down, but with no slope/rating at Sand Hills, Dismal or Ballyneal most scores can't be entered.

True regarding Sand Hilils or Ballyneal, but I thought there was for Dismal.  I remember thinking it was quite high - something like 76 and 150 (obviously form the tips), but I could be wrong.

Forgot to ask what you shot at Sand Hills.  I think you mentioned playing 4 rounds.

Dismal did away with the slope/rating as well.  They have the old one posted in their yardage guides but it was from before some of the changes to the course.  You're right though, from the back tees it is something like 77/149.

I'm not exactly sure what I shot at SH, I just wrote the scores down but never added them up.  I know the first round with CJ was 74, then the next three were all in the 72-77 area.

Kalen Braley

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Front 9 Posted
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2011, 12:42:56 PM »
Mark,

Thanks for doing all these course reviews.  Not only is your handi dropping, but your treehouse cred is rising with all of these epic photo tours.

I've always loved the look of Wild Horse and would very much love to play it someday when I make it out that way.  How playable would you say the gunch is?  This coming from a guy whose been a 18-20 for the last couple of years, but this year like you I'm playing much better and closer to my old form 12-13 handi.

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Front 9 Posted
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2011, 01:37:05 PM »
Mark,

Thanks for doing all these course reviews.  Not only is your handi dropping, but your treehouse cred is rising with all of these epic photo tours.

I've always loved the look of Wild Horse and would very much love to play it someday when I make it out that way.  How playable would you say the gunch is?  This coming from a guy whose been a 18-20 for the last couple of years, but this year like you I'm playing much better and closer to my old form 12-13 handi.

Kalen,

I was in the gunch only once, on the right side of number 8.  I had zero problem finding my ball and getting it out.  I was about 200 out and had no chance of getting it that far, but moving it 100 yards or so was not an issue.

The golf course is pretty wide.  If you get it in a strong winds the gunch is probably very much in play, but with the winds down there is lots of room to miss and still find the fairway.

Adam Clayman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Front 9 Posted
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2011, 02:14:14 PM »
The 6th hole is an amazing one. Snaking through the dunes, a bunkerless par 5. IMO, if Chris Cochran had just seen this one hole, Dismal River wouldn't have had to correct their native because the turns would have been gentler and the corridor a proper width.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Mark Saltzman

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Re: Wild Horse GC, Gothenburg, NE (Photos) - Front 9 Posted
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2011, 08:32:39 PM »
The 6th hole is an amazing one. Snaking through the dunes, a bunkerless par 5. IMO, if Chris Cochran had just seen this one hole, Dismal River wouldn't have had to correct their native because the turns would have been gentler and the corridor a proper width.

Adam,

6 is an exceptional hole.  6 and 3, the first par 5 on the golf course, were easily my favorite holes on the course, though 14 and 18 come close and are my next favorites.

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