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Sean_A

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Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC New
« on: October 01, 2015, 05:50:08 AM »
Harvie Ward, Bill Campbell, Charlie Coe, Frank Stranahan, Bill Hyndman and Billy Joe Patton were the last vestiges of the elite player that was truly an amateur.  It may well be that with his buccaneer attitude toward the game and a seeming ability to recover from just about anywhere; Billy Joe may have been the most famous of the lot.  Billy Joe sprang to the attention of the public after narrowly missing out in a playoff with Hogan and Snead for the 1954 Masters.  It was the way he fell that one shot shy of the playoff that was as famous as the deed itself.

Five shots adrift at the start of the final round, Billy Joe made a hole in one at the 6th.  Still in touch at the 13th, he went for the green in two and instead found the water and a double bogey.  Within striking distance, the risky shot off a poor lie on 15 resulted in a bogey and the difference between a shot at the Green jacket or not.  While not the sort of person to have regrets, Billy Joe did on occasion remark that the decision to go for the green on 15 was a mistake. 

Despite this crushing disappointment, Billy Joe did win many prestigious amateur events; including the North South three times and the Southern Amateur twice.  Perhaps his crowning glory was as a competitor on five Walker Cup sides and once as a non-playing Captain.  Ron Green of the Charlotte Observer wrote in a 1986 column that Patton "Played swashbuckling golf, happy golf, splendid in its result; golf that substituted soul for mechanism, golf that had dramatic uncertainty to it, golf to which bystanders could relate.  His saving grace was a putter that loved him. He has often said that back when he was young, nobody could handle a 6-footer the way he could. He just didn't think he could miss."  Green continued: "There was a joy to his game that few playing at the upper level of golf could equal.”

I mention Billy Joe Patton because he is a son of Morganton, North Carolina and nearby Mimosa Hills G&CC; a 1929 Donald Ross design.  In typical Ross fashion, the course is a joy to walk offering enticing run-up shots, short uphill par 4s and skillfully placed bunkers.  In 2003 Kris Spence renovated the course to great effect. “Our restoration work at Mimosa was very modest and carefully carried out, we restored the greens to their original sizes and shapes, removed the sand build up on the bunker faces and bottoms and added length to restore the strategic intent of the natural landforms. The fill pads had never been altered and to this day contain the rustic character and little nuances created by mule and pan construction.”

Not at all unsual for Ross, we are eased into the game with a straightforward par 4. The second hole may seem short, but it plays up quite a steep hill.  The approach to an obscured green is tricky.


We quickly make it back to the house with the rollicking par 5 third.  The routing is ingenious to give members so many options as to number of holes to play. In addition to the 3rd, #s5, 9 and 12 take us near the house thus offering an incredible array of boozers loops.  The hunkered down bunkers are a stand out feature of Mimosa Hills.  I especially like the illusion of width created by the bunkers spreading away from the green.  The greens too are very good without being onerous.  However, I am puzzled by the rough cut lines which negate shaping and land movement.




Directly behind the 4th tee, the house is a simple, yet extremely attractive affair. Modest lockeroom, bar, dining room and proshop.  What more does a member need? 


The hole is quite good as well with its green which is rather reminiscent of Frank Bros. shaping.   


The awkward looking 5th is nonetheless a very good hole.  There is much more space to achieve the angle of approach on this severe dogleg than it appears.  If ever one wanted to stay below the cup...this is the hole.  Again, the spread bunkering offers the illusion of a wide green when in fact the putting surface is fairly narrow.




More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 03:34:03 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean_A

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-5 New
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 05:20:10 PM »
MIMOSA HILLS CONT

While not terribly attractive being adjacent to the entrance drive, the 6th is a fine hole.  I would think its slightly unusual to leave the large specimen tree in play, but I rather like it.



The 7th and 8th are back and forth holes playing over rollicking terrain, but I didn't really take to either hole. The side finishes with a very fine, difficult and long one-shotter. 



More to follow.


Ciao
« Last Edit: January 05, 2016, 10:41:42 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

David_Tepper

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2015, 08:43:31 PM »
Sean -

Is the last photo the par-3 9th hole? How far in front of the green are those bunkers?

DT

Sean_A

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2015, 05:24:49 AM »
David


Yes, the 9th...though in a photo the bunkering makes the hole look like a par 4. At a guess I would say the bunkers are about halfway to the green...maybe 90 yards forward of the tee.


Ciao   
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mike Hendren

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 09:41:19 AM »
Sean, I found the greenside shaping of the 5th to be a bit awkward.  You?
 
Bogey
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

David_Tepper

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2015, 01:19:06 PM »
"At a guess I would say the bunkers are about halfway to the green...maybe 90 yards forward of the tee."

Sean -

What purpose do you think those bunkers serve? Why are they there?

DT

Sean_A

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2015, 01:58:25 PM »
"At a guess I would say the bunkers are about halfway to the green...maybe 90 yards forward of the tee."

Sean -

What purpose do you think those bunkers serve? Why are they there?

DT


David


I don't know the purpose of those bunkers and top shot bunkers in general.  There seems to be a lot of support on gca.com for these types of bunkers because they are original, but I don't get it unless there is some concern that women and high cappers don't have enough challenging situations. 


Bogey


The bunker shaping seriously masks the shape of the green and the nature of its downhill slope. In truth, the 5h is a fairly severe green and it looks benign from the fairway...that can be said for most of Mimosa.  It doesn't bother me and I didn't think it was awkward.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mike Hendren

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2015, 02:18:17 PM »
Sean, did you think it reflective of Ross' work generally?
 
Bogey
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Sean_A

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2015, 04:56:22 PM »
Sean, did you think it reflective of Ross' work generally?
 
Bogey


Bogey


The bunkers are quite similar to those at Roaring Gap...so I think they must reflect Ross' work.  The fairway bunkers on the fifth though are quite odd.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mark Bourgeois

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2015, 06:10:09 PM »
Sean

Good to hear you got there -- how many times did you play it and why didn't you like 7 & 8? 7 is one of my favorite Ross NC holes.
Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. Ana. Dylan. Madeleine. Catherine. Chase. Jesse. James. Grace. Emilie. Jack. Noah. Caroline. Jessica. Benjamin. Avielle. Allison.

Eric Hammerbacher

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2015, 06:54:47 PM »
Sean, it's funny you mention these great amateurs...I've been reading a lot about Billy Joe Patton and Bill Campbell lately.   You're not going to find many lumber salesmen anymore who almost win the Masters, or lifelong amateurs who go on to be USGA (and R&A) presidents and rules officials at the Masters (Campbell and Patton, maybe Coe as he was a member).

Great photo tours, keep them coming.

« Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 07:29:07 PM by Eric Hammerbacher »
"All it takes, in truth, for a golfer to attain his happiness is a fence rail to throw his coat on, and a target somewhere over the rise." -John Updike 1994

Sean_A

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9 New
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2015, 08:04:18 PM »
Mark


7 & 8 are ok holes.  What I didn't like about 7 is the distance.  Its just out of range to reach in two, but not a terribly interesting layup.  That isn't the fault of Ross...equipment improvements are more likely to blame...but then I am not really a fan of the out n' out three-shotter (of course there are always exceptions).  8 is better than 7, but again, not much happening....just two long straight shots required.  I spose topping it off with the long par 9th offers three holes in a row with a long approach...not ideal so for me the course loses its flow in this part of the routing. 


I much prefer the 12th even with tree issues...though I don't think its nearly as bad as people suggest. 


Ciao
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 05:07:38 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean_A

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-9
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2015, 05:18:01 AM »
I admit to only being mildy intrigued by the front 9.  Its solid golf without any outstanding moments.  That back 9, however, is far and away the better side and we get a sense of this concentrated quality on the 10th. A reverse dogleg, the hole moves left then eventually uphill. A good drive will leave what seems a short approach, but the steepness of the hill is very deceptive.  The bunkerless greensite is sublime. 



#11 is another reverse dogleg once again shifting uphill left.  Trees play a prominent role (perhaps overly so) and will cause many to lay-up.  The approach after a lay-up is very daunting.


There are no visual clues for the tee shot on the short three-shotter 12th.  Suffice it say, if one is going to have a go at the green he best be scrupulously straight.  Once reaching the driving zone the richness of the hole is announced. The second shot is very demanding because the temptation to have a go is overhwhelming. 






More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 05:20:25 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean_A

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-12 New
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2015, 03:47:01 AM »
MIMOSA HILLS CONT

One would naturally conclude that Ross had a predilection for alcohol given the amount of times it is possible to hit the house. The short 13th is just above the parking lot, but like the 9th, it doesn't play very short. 


The best par 5 on the property, the excellent 14th, curls around a low lying creek bed and a large depression to the left. Overhanging trees add to the necessity to keep right.



The green is uphill and a bit obscured, not revealing its intricate surface until the flat stick is in hand.
   


A difficult, but lovely hole, 15 is a "prototype" Ross hole with three knobs and two valleys. The day was far too cloudy, but the backgound of mountains reminds us of our North Carolina locale. 






More to follow.


Ciao
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 04:40:23 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Mark Bourgeois

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-15
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2015, 08:13:24 PM »
Sean,

Here are my thoughts on the 7th from roughly 1,000,000 million years ago -- hopefully there's something in here we can latch onto and discuss:

A cartographic but not topographic straight hole, the 7th at Mimosa Hills CC is 493 yards from the back tees and a technology-proof wonder.

The task off the tee is to surmount the ridge shown in the picture below.  From the back tee, the ridge line is roughly 250 yards out, maybe a little farther.  Ideally, the drive comes to rest somewhere around the right-third of the fairway.  This offers a better angle into the green.  But this ridge, which Donald Ross used also to excellent effect on the 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, and 15th holes(!), cants from left to right.  Under firm and fast summertime conditions, a drive high up the ridge to the left still may hang up, complicating matters enormously.  But just a little too far to the right quickly becomes a matter of a lot too far to the right.

7 tee


The ridge seen from the tee hides a second, lower yet effective ridge.  Together, the first and second ridges form a "half-pipe" running laterally.  The effect is to "preserve" the second shot from threats due to conditioning, technology, and, in a match, differential lengths of tee shots: the first ridge provides a turbo boost, the second a turbo brake.

A golfer who nails his tee shot is likely to face a second shot of similar length as the golfer who slightly misses his or who is not quite as long off the tee.  The technology proofing is provided by the second ridge, which requires the energy of something like a 315-plus yard drive, which under firm-and-fast conditions may not be as daunting as appears but nevertheless is not within the capabilities of 99 percent of golfers.

7 fairway, showing the second, turbo-brake ridge



Time for a decision.  Does the golfer go for the green, which like Prairie Dunes's 5th is benched into a hillside with a ruinous false front?  From the base of the second ridge, the shot is something like 210 yards.

Why not have a go?  A third ridge, its top lopped off to present a left-to-right sloping plateau, will propel sharply to the right any shots hit short of the green.  Lurking to the right is out of bounds -- with a paved cart path ready to supply the final indignity of shooing a dying shot beyond the white stakes.

This slope has an amazing and very demoralizing efficiency at transferring the ball's kinetic energy into, well, a bush.

Another, closer look at the approach to 7: note from left to right the slope directly in front of green (the "tan line" follows the slope), the cart path, the OB stakes, the bushes



So the play is to hit some sort of draw into the slope.  Two complications arise: first, the ball lies beneath the golfer's feet, and, second, over-executing this shot produces a highly-challenging, downhill pitch (or bunker shot) to a green running away from the golfer.  Perhaps no problem for longtime Mimosa Hills member Billy Joe Patton (who, if you are playing at lunchtime, will be sitting on the porch of the halfway house to watch your tee shot on the long, uphill par 3 9th), but you are not Billy Joe Patton.

Experience likely teaches the golfer to lay up!

Laying up however offers no respite.  From this plateau in front of the green, the golfer must either pitch all the way to the green or chip all the way up; any shots failing the green may well return past his feet owing to the sharp false front plus aforementioned third ridge.  (In member parlance, this is called getting "Rossed.")

A hole front left as shown in the picture below is a nearly impossible birdie.

7 green: the third ridge runs from 5 to 40 yards short of the green and sharply from left to right


And there you have it.  A 493-yard par 5 that under firm-and-fast conditions pretty much will guarantee a legitimate chance to go in two; the half-pipe pretty much ensures, under virtually all conditions and from most tees, that shot will be somewhere between 205-225 yards. The golfer who chooses to go for it must propel the ball all the way, playing up to the left if he needs use of the ground at all, risking bunkers left and right and a steep drop off long if he tries the all-carry route.

Depending on hole location, 3 is possible, 4 possibly likely -- but 6s and 7s lurk left, right, short, and long.  Walking off with a 5 does not seem such a bad score in the final analysis, even if it produces disappointment -- particularly if he has a score going: the genius of Ross's routing is to follow an "easy" par 5 with a 469-yard par 4 and a sharply-uphill 190-yard par 3 (with the parking lot just to the left).

Like all the par 5s at MHCC, the 7th is not really a par 5.  But it's not a par 4 either.  It's like a par 4/6.

Call it a great match-play hole. It supplants Prairie Dunes 5 and Durban 3 as the favorite straight hole of those I have played around the world.

Mark
Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. Ana. Dylan. Madeleine. Catherine. Chase. Jesse. James. Grace. Emilie. Jack. Noah. Caroline. Jessica. Benjamin. Avielle. Allison.

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-15
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2015, 03:29:38 AM »
Sean,

great photo tour as usual. The greens look very level across their width is this the case or do they have some lateral slope on them?

Jon

Sean_A

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-15
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2015, 07:38:13 AM »
Mark B


I gather you like the 7th.  I agree, the shot requirements are good, but because of the nature of the land (which is what you praise about the hole), if one isn't having a go at the green the second is a dull shot.  Buts thats just my opinion heavily influenced by a lack of love for three shotters.  I think the hole would be better for more as a par 4 which is more reachable in two. 


Jon


Yes, the greens do have slope befitting a fairly hilly property, but except for a few cases, nothing outrageous. There isn't all that much contour, but it isn't necessary for interest.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean_A

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC 1-15 New
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2015, 06:56:12 AM »
MIMOSA HILLS CONT

A decent down and up hole follows in #16, but it is the 17th which thrills.  Effectively an island green due to surrounding sand, this short hole is an exacting target.
 


A tough finisher, #18 swings well right around trees and like the 3rd, the spread of bunkers well right of the green creates a feeling of space. 



The three hole finish, while good, is somehow a let down for the buoyant back nine.  Be that as it may, I found Mimosa Hills to be a charming course even if it doesn't quite hit enough highs to entirely etch itself into my memory.  That isn't to say Mimosa is somehow lacking, because the course is very good indeed. Holes such as 9-12, 13-15 and 17 are testament to the quality of the design.  However, the modest club model is a god send for all lovers of the game.  Membership and guest fees are affordable for a much larger segment of the golfing population than is the normally the case in the US. Appropriately, Mimosa Hills compares very well with many more modest Colt courses that are found by the score in the UK.  The membership should be rightly proud of their course and I look forward to a future game. 2015


Other courses on the Cuatro Tour

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,61881.0.html  Roaring Gap Club

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,61832.0.html  Lonnie Poole

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,61993.0.html  Raleigh CC


Ciao
« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 04:34:16 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Lynn_Shackelford

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2015, 08:31:21 AM »
Sean, such a quick finish to the tour.  Were you in a hurry?  The 17th is a hole to be studied from many directions, and the back hole placement is unique.  It rates high for any hole in North Carolina.  I sure agree the club is to be studied on its operation.  It seems to employ a lot of juniors in the summer and has a nice varied membership.  Love the entry drive.  They worry little about the appearance of the parking lot in relation to the clubhouse and seem to dwell more on the golf course.  Good for them.
It must be kept in mind that the elusive charm of the game suffers as soon as any successful method of standardization is allowed to creep in.  A golf course should never pretend to be, nor is intended to be, an infallible tribunal.
               Tom Simpson

Sean_A

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Re: Cuatro Carolina Courses: MIMOSA HILLS G&CC New
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2015, 08:43:03 AM »
Lynn

I didn't lose interest, just didn't think the final three holes are the highlight of the course.   

I would especially like to study the 17th from the rear...with no trees  :D   I think the 17th is the best of a strong set of 3s. 

I too was very enamoured by the relationship of the house to the course without much fuss as to the parking lot and shed in view. Just very impressive all round setup...many clubs could learn a lot from Mimosa.

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 11:00:43 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Hankley Common, Ashridge, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

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