News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
 In 2020, I became aware of plans to completely revamp an “executive” course between Louisville & Bowling Green Kentucky. That course – called Cave Valley was about 5900 yards, par 70, with course rating of 66.3 and slope of 107. It existed primarily to serve visitors to Mammoth Cave, which the course likely sits on top of. The Cave Valley course was simply awful. Hole corridors were defined by ill-considered tree plantings and the greens were bland ovals. There was nothing at all to recommend this course – not even the novelty of being bunkerless. You can get some impression of that old design from this 2018 image.
park mammoth 2018 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The Cave Valley course closed and the property was purchased by a nearby developer whose primary business is housing. He and his partner decided to rebuild the course, and enlisted golf architects Brian Ross & Colton Craig. Hopefully they will hop in at some point and describe how they got involved with this project.
https://www.rossgolfarchitects.com/park-mammoth
https://craigandcoyne.com/colton-craig
 
The course opened for play on April 28, & I was able to visit a couple of days later. I’m pleased to report that it exceeded my expectations, which were higher than one might expect for this sort of project. Here’s a link to some previous discussion on GCA.
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,70041.0.html
 
You can see from this aerial during construction that many of the hole corridors were unchanged from the previous course. The course, though is completely different. Silly trees are gone, the routing is more interesting, and the green complexes are outstanding. Shapes, sizes and orientation of greens are optimized to provide interest and challenge. The designers did a terrific job with them.
park mammoth routing labels by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Taking a closer look to the greens, here are greens 1, 2, 4, 5, & 9. At the bottom left, 2&4 are separated by a massive bunker.
park mammoth greens 9 1 2 4 5 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Then 3, 5, 6, 7, 8. Especially of note is the boomerang 8th at the top left of the photo
park mammoth greens 3 5 6 7 8 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Here are 10, 11, 13, 17, & 18. In the top middle of the photo you see the double green shared between 10 & 13. To its left is a “Sitwel” type of green on a short par 3. Some of these greens were still being constructed at the time of the google earth aerial.
park mammoth greens 10 11 13 17 18 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Finally, here are greens 12, 14, 15 & 16. The green at the top right above the cart path was a green for sod, not part of the course. The green for 16 is pretty squared off.
park mammoth greens 12 14-17 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
A scorecard for the new course. Called Park Mammoth, one would assume it’s named for Mammoth Cave. The scorecard has a nice looking mammoth logo, but I don’t believe that animal has anything to do with the name of the cave.
IMG_1777[1] by john mayhugh, on Flickr


More to come. For now, this pic gives you a sense of what the property looks like. This is from the 2nd tee.

IMG_1646 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

Richard Hetzel

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2022, 07:47:26 AM »
John,


Looks great. Just drove past 2 weekends ago on my way back from Alabama, but it was not open for play yet. I'll get down there to play it soon!



Last Played: 
Lancaster GC (OH), Widow's Watch GC (KY) Shelby Park (TN), Schoolmaster (AL), Fighting Joe (AL), Links at Redstone (AL) , Sewanee (TN) , Southern Dunes (IN), Hickory Stick (IN), Wilmington Muni (NC), Stryker (NC), Pilot Knob Park (NC), Wild Dunes Links (SC), Chas Municipal (SC)

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2022, 09:30:58 AM »
 Hole 1             Par 4, 391 yards
The tee shot on 1 crosses the valley that runs through the course. To the right is a sinkhole to be avoided, but it and the rough push the average player towards the safer area left. The tongue of rough you see on the left is about 270 yards from the tee. The road on the right bisects the course and goes to the now closed resort that was originally tied to the course.
IMG_1640 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The approach to the green is mostly blind, more so the more left you go.
IMG_1642 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
No bunkers needed for this green, with the tilt of the green and the kind of small undulations that are common at Park Mammoth. 
IMG_1644 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
IMG_1645 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
 
 
Hole 2             Par 4, 315 yards
An attractive tee shot downhill to a green that is very well protected. The bunker on the right is about 270 yards from the tee. The massive greenside bunker separates the 2nd and 4th greens.
IMG_1646 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The green surface isn’t easily seen from down below, but there is a small false front that catches your eye.
IMG_1648 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
From the side, note there is also a runoff at the back of the green and a spine that runs diagonally across. Unlike the prior bland ovals, hitting the green at this new Park Mammoth is no guarantee of success.
IMG_1652 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
 
Hole 3                         Par 5, 559 yards
One of only two par 5s, this is a pretty good one. The tee shot must contend with two bunkers – the left one is about 230 to carry, and the one on the left is about 260 to get to. I like how the architects left the tree on the right.
IMG_1653 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
A tee shot of under 270 probably results in a blind second. After you crest the hill, the green is revealed. A large bunker on the front left complicates approaches, but the green contour will help feed balls back left.
IMG_1655 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
IMG_1657 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The green also runs away a bit in the last half, with a steep runoff back right. A number of greens feature small runoffs which seems to work well.

IMG_1658 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

Mike Hendren

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2022, 10:48:33 AM »
Thanks John. Looks like fun. Perhaps a GCA outing could be scheduled this year.   If so count me in.


Mike
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

JC Jones

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2022, 12:20:07 PM »
Looks like an interesting place.  It'd be nice if on their social media they would give GolfClubAtlas.com attribution for the quotes they are using.
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

Mike Bodo

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2022, 12:58:24 PM »
John, thanks for posting the images you have of the finished product thus far. The terrain and green complexes look great! Been looking forward to this course opening for a while and hope to be out there mid-October for a group gathering tentatively planned.
"90% of all putts left short are missed." - Yogi Berra

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2022, 04:29:45 PM »
Richard & Mike,
I think you'll find it worth a trip.

Jason,
I haven't seen the social media you refer to, but agree that if you're using content from somewhere else, you ought to credit it. Just because information is posted publicly, it doesn't mean that it's free to use without attribution. I'm inclined to think innocent error - it's not exactly a big operation.

More golf.
 Hole 4             Par 4, 450 yards
The tee shot on the 4th doesn’t offer much in the way of definition. The lone tree to the right is to the right of the green. Huge fairway that you saw while playing 3.
IMG_1659 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The fairway is steeply downhill, and it’s probably only 190 yards to get to the downslope. Near the bottom of the hill, the fairway includes a sort of shelf to slow the tee shot of longer hitters. The massive bunker between 2 & 4 greens seems to dwarf the 4th green.
IMG_1661 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
A look back up the hill.
IMG_1666 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Easy green to run a ball up to, but the bunker in the back awaits a misjudged shot.
IMG_1662 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The smallest green on the course – appropriate for the longest par 4! Ross & Craig weren’t quite as “cruel” as DeVries at Kingsley, though, leaving this green at grade.
IMG_1667 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
A look down at the 4th green from the 2nd.
IMG_1651 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
 
 
 
Hole 5             Par 3, 203 yards
The first par 3 is a long, difficult one. Uphill to a somewhat diagonal green with a large falloff into a bunker left. The slope of the ground right of the green does help run a ball on. The trees that remain on the right don’t let someone who moves the ball right to left play overly safe, but there is room to start the shot right.
IMG_1668 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The bunker is deep. One criticism – the path runs very close to the green. That’s not ideal, but the long rough alongside is likely to result in a lot of lost balls. A better hole if that is mown lower.
IMG_1670 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Really nice green and surrounds. So many of the greens here play longer in one since due to surrounds that let you putt, which I think helps weaker players. But there are also lots of small runoffs in places to “help” players miss greens, which probably increases the challenge to good players. 
IMG_1672 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Hole 6             Par 4, 404 yards
This tee shot is downhill, but the fairway also tilts to the right. What appears to be a bunker in the distance is actually rock in a sinkhole. It should be out of range of most players.
IMG_1674 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
Another green wide open for approaches. Nicely contoured to give some interesting hole locations.
IMG_1675 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
IMG_1679 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 

Brian Ross

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2022, 08:17:31 PM »
John,

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your experience at Park Mammoth on Saturday! Thank you for your very nice email to DC  and for sharing your photos/thoughts about the design and layout with the DG. I look forward to seeing the final 12 holes of your review.
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.

http://www.rossgolfarchitects.com

Eric Smith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2022, 12:53:56 PM »
John,


Wow, thanks for highlighting Park Mammoth. Enjoying the tour.





Brian,


Kudos to you and your team on what looks to be a job well done. Can't wait to play it!




John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2022, 01:40:40 PM »
Now that Derby week is past, returning to this post.

 Hole 7             Par 3, 151 yards
If you have to hit over water, a par 3 is a good place to do it. Club selection is important on this one thanks to a spine that divides the green.
IMG_1680 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
IMG_1681 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
 
Hole 8             Par 4, 342 yards
You’ve been looking forward to the 8th since the drive in. The green isn’t visible from the tee, but the entrance drive is. Not currently marked as out of bounds, I presume it will be at some point. The exposed rock on the hill behind the green is attractive. Nice to see that opened up with just a few trees. Balls shouldn’t end up there. If yours does, think rattlesnake before doing much searching.
IMG_1684 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The boomerang green was a fun place to spend a few minutes. The day’s hole location was particularly challenging as shots that are slightly short run back down the hill.
IMG_1686 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The green from front left. It is possible to putt a ball from one end to the other, but not easy.
IMG_1688 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The green from behind.
IMG_1689 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
IMG_1691 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Hole 9             Par 3, 297 yards
The first 9 ends with a short par 4. The green is just to the right of the tree in the distance and cut into the hillside.
IMG_1692 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Given the deep, narrow green, tee shots closer to the tree help with attacking head on.
IMG_1693 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
This green has two prominent tiers, with the elevation change running diagonally through the green. Club selection is critical, as there is a pretty severe drop off if you are long. Or right.
IMG_1694 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
IMG_1695 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2022, 09:43:21 AM »
 Hole 10           Par 4, 333 yards
On this downhill par 4, there is a strip of rough that cuts across the fairway at around 260 yards from the tee, forcing either a layup or a drive that carries the rough. The strip is narrow, but very thick and a good opportunity for a lost ball.
IMG_1696 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
IMG_1698 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The 10th is a double green, with the 13th green to the rear. The two greens are separated by a tall tier, and when we played an approach from the 13th rolled up and over the tier to our green. I should have stuck around to see how that player did on his first putt.
IMG_1700 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The view of the double green from 11 tee. 10 is to the right, 13 left.
IMG_1701 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
 
 
 
Hole 11           Par 3, 102 yards
The 11th will no doubt come as a surprise to many people playing the course for the first time. The largest green on the shortest hole – seems like it will be an easy one. We had a windy day, and the bunkering and mostly blind nature of the green did a great job making us think about the tee shot distance and the penalty for misjudging. There is more green over the right bunker than you perceive. A miss short that avoids the bunker will roll all of the way back down the hill.
IMG_1702 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
There are a lot of hole locations available on this green, each with its own challenges. I think this hole will have a surprising amount of variety in how it plays.
IMG_1704 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
One last look at the green’s setting in the trees. Good routing choice to turn this way.
IMG_1705 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Hole 12           Par 4, 422  yards
The long 12th doglegs around the tree line. Plenty of width. Playing nearer the tree line could provide a better angle, but the tilt of the fairway makes that a tough goal.
IMG_1706 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The approach is uphill to a mostly blind green. There is a bunker right, making left seem a safe miss. The tilt of the green increases difficulty from that side, though.
IMG_1707 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The green from behind. I liked the little bit of increased width in the back behind the bunker.
 IMG_1708 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2022, 10:05:11 PM »
Played it today. As good a value as Wild Horse.

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2022, 11:31:01 AM »
 Hole 13           Par 4, 366 yards
We head back towards the 10th green. When I first walked the routing, I didn’t like the 12/13/14 mostly parallel holes on the flattest part of the course. The designers did a good job with minimizing this feeling with the holes they completed. The 12th doglegs a bit and there is just enough interest in the land to differentiate the 13th. The bunker right is around 230 yards from the tee. If you can’t carry it, the slope of the fairway makes sure you have to consider it.
IMG_1709 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Most tee shots will end up on the left side, where this sort of view awaits. There is room to play away from the bunker, but it doesn’t seem that way.
IMG_1710 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
IMG_1711 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
 
Hole 14           Par 4, 341 yards
This hole looks super easy. No obstacles other than some tall rough about 260 yards out on the left. It feels almost like a driving range tee shot, especially for shorter hitters.
IMG_1712 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The approach, too, looks easy. Just a green seemingly mowed out at the end of the fairway.
IMG_1713 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
I really liked the restraint in not bunkering this green. Note the spine to the back left.
IMG_1714 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
IMG_1715 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Hole 15           Par 4, 385 yards
This one goes back uphill. I failed to get a photo from the tee. The fairway is heaving, and the approach will have to consider a large, deep bunker. Bunkers at Park Mammoth aren’t wasted.
IMG_1716 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
IMG_1717 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
As on the 5th, the slope can help guide safer plays right onto the green.
IMG_1719 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
IMG_1721 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2022, 01:33:57 PM »
 Hole 16           Par 3, 235 yards
The last par 3 on the back nine is about 130 yards longer than its predecessor. The hole is downhill, but in my limited experience does not play significantly shorter than the yardage. There is a troublesome bunker about 205 yards to carry depending on the line of your tee shot. The mostly squared off green is a nice aesthetic touch.
IMG_1720 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
IMG_1722 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Note how the green pad is built up in the back to help hold up tee shots. Missing long, with the green tilted back to front, will be a big mistake.
IMG_1725 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
 
Hole 17           Par 5, 501 yards
The second and final par 5 presents a challenging landscape. The bunker on the left is around 300 yards from the tee, but playing toward it will leave you with a second that has to contend with the tree line. Best to play away to the right.
IMG_1724 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Most second shots will be blind. There is ample room in the fairway, but it’s an uncomfortable shot, especially when you know the green is tucked back to the left.
IMG_1726 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
A perfectly placed second can allow you to avoid both the tree line and the greenside bunker on your approach, but most shots won’t. Wind in this bowl-like site can be hard to judge.
IMG_1727 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The green is elevated just enough to require very precise run up shots.
IMG_1728 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
IMG_1729 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
 
Hole 18           Par 4, 316 yards
Only 316 yards, the 18th traverses the valley and plays considerably longer. It’s around 230 yards to carry the fairway bunker in the middle, and 270ish to get past the bunker on the right. I’m not sold on the strip of rough to the left. I understand the purpose – another hazard to consider – but I think it looks a little awkward aesthetically. Holston Hills has some of these and they just look out of place to me.
IMG_1732 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
From just short of the center bunker. The green looks like a fortress.
IMG_1733 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
Missing short is not how you want to end the round.
IMG_1735 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
The green is a bit punchbowl-ish in the back, but getting all the way back is much further than it feels like from the fairway.
IMG_1734 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
IMG_1737 by john mayhugh, on Flickr
 
 
After starting this photo tour, I had a chance to talk with David Chandler, the man responsible for Park Mammoth. Originally from Oklahoma, he ended up going to college at Western Kentucky University and became a successful real estate investor & developer. He purchased the Park Mammoth site at auction, primarily as a place to ride off road vehicles. He told me that after the purchase, though, many people he knew asked him about his plans for the course. He heard so many stories about great memories and affection for the site that he decided to try to salvage the property as a golf course.
 
The original plan was just to make some improvements, but the project scope expanded dramatically from there. Mr. Chandler made a huge commitment to realize the potential of the property, and area golfers will benefit for years to come. After one play, it is my favorite public course in Kentucky and I also think it’s better than most of the privates. Park Mammoth has a great set of greens and uses the property and some strategic bunkering to make for really fun golf. I want to try to tackle it with hickories next.
 
 
Finally, one little bit of local charm/quirk. Anyone that visits and wants to stay overnight, nearby Cave City has a unique option……
https://historicwigwamvillage.com/
 
IMG_1738 by john mayhugh, on Flickr

Jason Thurman

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2022, 04:00:41 PM »
Fantastic stuff John. Thanks for the tour.


And fantastic stuff to Colton and Brian as well. This is easily the most exciting course opening of 2022 for me, personally.


I want to get in and discuss further but limited on time at the moment. My immediate thought is that this is a course that makes me wish the old golfkentuckylinks.com website was still around, if only because it would've been really interesting to hear the reactions of a group of passionate Kentucky golfers whose architectural ideals often differed tremendously from the ones most often espoused around here. How would Moe have felt about a course with few trees, wild greens, lack of level stances...


It looks like a blast to me.
"There will always be haters. That’s just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

Richard Hetzel

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2022, 06:24:41 PM »
I have yet to play it, but Kentucky being pretty weak on public access courses (and private as well you could argue) Park Mammoth looks great!


Jason,


I am sure Moe would have something to complain about......"MoeRon".
Last Played: 
Lancaster GC (OH), Widow's Watch GC (KY) Shelby Park (TN), Schoolmaster (AL), Fighting Joe (AL), Links at Redstone (AL) , Sewanee (TN) , Southern Dunes (IN), Hickory Stick (IN), Wilmington Muni (NC), Stryker (NC), Pilot Knob Park (NC), Wild Dunes Links (SC), Chas Municipal (SC)

Eric Smith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2022, 01:22:15 AM »
Played here the other day with JK and can't wait to return. The variety on offer in this idyllic valley of golf will surely be one of Park Mammoth's strengths in customer retention. The course screams to be played twice in a day!


Pretty excited its so close. Folks there made us feel right at home.

ward peyronnin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2022, 08:47:50 AM »
Anybody who wants to play let me know as I live not far away and I can see multiple trips around this track
Candyman?
"Golf is happiness. It's intoxication w/o the hangover; stimulation w/o the pills. It's price is high yet its rewards are richer. Some say its a boys pastime but it builds men. It cleanses the mind/rejuvenates the body. It is these things and many more for those of us who truly love it." M.Norman

Eric Smith

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Park Mammoth Golf Course - Ross & Craig design opens, photo tour
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2022, 01:55:14 PM »
Anybody who wants to play let me know as I live not far away and I can see multiple trips around this track
Candyman?


The candy man can. I’ll send a raven.

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back