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Why is the 1st Hole the Hardest?

Tee box.

Tee signage with distance for each tee box.

Sometimes golf course architects decide to make the first hole a soul crusher right out the gates. The mood of the day decays early with a double bogey and a lost golf ball. I know two courses that the first golf hole is no joke and I am happy to walk away with a bogey.

Heron Glen #1

Heron Glen Golf Course opens with an easy enough par 4 that measures 358 from the white tees. One might call it a lazy dog leg right. What makes this hole a challenge is the fairway slopes steeply to the right in the drive landing area. Any fades will be bounced into the OB at this choke point. Any drives that go left in hopes of placing safe are swallowed by think weeds or sent hopping back down the road to US 202.

Heron Glen #1 Don’t bleed your drive right.

White Clay Creek #1

White Clay Creek starts with a modest par 4 measuring 363 from the white tees. There are several elements that do not make this a grip and rip it drive. First, a sand trap sits in the middle of the fairway 180 yards off the tee. The second, a creek cuts across the fairway shortening the fairway from right to left. The smart play is a 3 wood or 200 yard club. A shot aimed left avoid the trap may reach the creek as the fairway shortens on that side. To top it off, the approach shot is to a plateau green that does not like to hold golf balls.

White Clay Creek #1 The creek swallows long drives and cuts the fairway shorter right to left.

What 1st hole have you played that made you question your decision to play golf that day?

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