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David Harshbarger

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Some pictures!

Always nice to know that those before you who have suffered losses are being considered:

First Hole - the tee shot is a bit claustrophobic. VK's ire at the pine trees on the left is well placed. Right is OB. This is a par 5 at 452 yards, and first out of the gate OF COURSE you want to pull driver, but really, do you actually think your first swing driver is going to catch the fairway or even the fairway corridor? I count 6 mower paths, and if each is 6', this is a 12 yard fairway with a blind landing area.

Ace that I am, I had this look in: around 220 over a pretty significant swale.

Immediately to the right is this fence and growth. Behind this once roamed Cujo:

Approaching the first green you get a good idea of the left->right slope and the front->back slope (as this photo is from the swale below the hole):

First green was pretty steep:

Second Hole:

Ah, the much beloved blind par 3.  This plays up, up, up hill to 145 on the scorecard. Conventional wisdom is that blind par 3's are unfair. I'm here to bear witness that Sunset Hill doesn't care about how you feel about seeing your target.

Walking up to the 2nd tee:

The flag you see tucked in the left... actually a center/front pin location on this wickedly sloped right->left green:

You get a good idea of the elevation gain up to the 2nd green from the horizon that has opened up looking back towards the pine trees on 1.

From the 2nd tee you can get a look at the 4th green. The 4th green is tiny. it's banked into a hill.  There is a significant drop off to the right and OB left. Back you have more drop off and trees to frustrate your recovery.

Third Hole:

Back to back par 3's! Now that you've made it to the (near) highpoint on the course, let's hike down on this drop shot par 3 third.  Pulled shots (left) run away to the left.  The astute reader will note this is the first hole without a blind element. As you will see it's the penultimate hole without a blind element, as well.

As is often the case the photo doesn't do justice to the surprisingly long view from the 3rd tee.

Third green from front left:

The trouble with modern equipment and distance—and I don't see anyone pointing this out—is that it robs from the player's experience. - Mickey Wright

David Harshbarger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Fourth Hole:

Our first two-shotter is this sporty 276 hole that takes us back up and over Sunset hill. The tips were set all the way back the day we played:

The golfer is not given an abundance of aim points. At 276, is driver wise? (Answer: no)

Cresting the hill at what is probably the best landing area, at least for a flat-ish lie. While this area lacks fairway, that's made up by a lack of a view to the hole:

Veterans of SH would surely know that going for the green here is unwise.  The 4th green is defended on 3 sides: Cujo and OB left as the green is close up by the property line; trees and a steep descent to the first fairway's swale await the long ball; everything right (from at least 80 yards short and in) is deflected down and away. Shots landing short are also deflected right and away.

Looking back up to the green from the recovery area right leads one to question one's choices:

The 4th green has a grass bunker now right and behind. Assuming this was once sand, it falls neatly into the category "convenience bunker". This feature (when done in sand) introduces a bunker using the principles behind the "runaway truck ramp" in situations where going through the bunker is far worse than going into it. 

The trouble with modern equipment and distance—and I don't see anyone pointing this out—is that it robs from the player's experience. - Mickey Wright

David Harshbarger

  • Karma: +0/-0
From the 4th green a good look over to the 2nd tee. VKs heirs are at it today:

Fifth Hole:

After crossing over the 1st fairway we reach the 5th, a long 4 at 404. The vile pines between 1 and 5 are back, pushing the golfer to aim right and into the left-right cant of the fairway. I estimate this fairway at about 12 yards wide. Green is on top of hill and as is the norm, blind from tee and approach.

Alas I have no good photos of the green, as my extended search for my ball in the right rough left us out of position.  The white sign at the top of the hill is a way finder to the 6th tee, though.

Sixth Hole:

Great use of a compact footprint uses this area between 5, 7, and 8 to locate the 6th tee. Here's the walk back after leaving 5th green:

From the tee, another blind "pick your own adventure" awaits. For such a short course it's remarkable how unrelenting it is at creating doubt and uncertainty from shot to shot and hole to hole.

Over the hill, the 6th opens up to a downhill approach over water to the 6th green, which is set back into a pocket by the woods.

The 6th green may have once had a courtesy bunker as well:

The trouble with modern equipment and distance—and I don't see anyone pointing this out—is that it robs from the player's experience. - Mickey Wright

David Harshbarger

  • Karma: +0/-0
Seventh Hole

The seventh presents another interesting test. At 426 one might think that a 5-shot allowance is overly generous. Think again! From the tee we see, well, no fairway, but hazards right and trees and hills left. Carrying the fairway requires a slight fade through the gap.

The landing area for the tee shot is compact with hazard right and a hill and inconvenient trees right. The bush and ditch are about 220 from the tee:

Ahead, the green is small and canted front-to-back. No Billy Mitchell green-size formula used in this design:

From the back:

Eighth Hole:

The eighth presents another set of interesting challenges. Playing 360, the hole features a narrow fairway with a sharp ascent to a hill top area. The eighth then turns right then past a lone pine.

I didn't get a picture from the tee, but looking back from the green you can see the challenge more clearly. A well struck drive may crest the hill.  A layup from the tee requires a short uphill stroke that must crest the sentinel pine, as well!  The green is small, with drop-offs left and long.

Back from tee:

From the dogleg:

From green side right:

Ninth Hole:

Sunset Hill closes with this anodyne short hole. At 125 and with clear line of sight to the green, a straight-forward hole is a welcome relief.

The small green has a two tiers and today's pin was a tough get in the back.  Long? You can retrieve your ball when you leave at the bottom of the road.

Hope you enjoyed this tour of Sunset Hill Golf Club.

The trouble with modern equipment and distance—and I don't see anyone pointing this out—is that it robs from the player's experience. - Mickey Wright

V. Kmetz

  • Karma: +0/-0
I had made the 4th hole the most recent in my stalled "Perfect Hole" series...,69515.msg1670645.html#msg1670645

Other notes:

1st hole, that was a great drive you hit there ...and the most subtle thing about one's second is that the land starts to "twist"/ camber around the large tree by the second tee, so that off a hooking lie, you are feeling a cutting target, on what is the longest fairway swing, you're likely to get all day. Those eight now overgrown, conifers are an abomination, it was an Elysian Field for both 1 and 5 before their placement.

2nd hole: Your later line (on #6) applies here, that the course is "relentless" in giving no instructions/details about how/what you should do. There's a visible target; it's not very far away; you're hitting a shortish iron...but it resists any precise measure of one's golf attack... Even a vet like me, who KNOWS the best landing spot is a yard or two short of the front right edge, can't rely on such executed precision...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2022, 08:15:30 AM by V. Kmetz »
"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -


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