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Week 6: Pine Lakes # 18

By: Jonah Karzmer | June 21, 2010 Untitled document

The sixth hole on our list of the Valley's Greatest 18 Holes is the finishing hole at Pine Lakes in Hubbard.  Those of you that have kept up with my blog from the beginning know that I prefer old school golf architecture over some of the newer designs.  Well 19 at Pine Lakes is another classic old school par 4.

Here's why I like 18 at Pine Lakes:  Everything is right there in front of you, and it's up to you to produce.  There are no gimmicks or trick shots required on this great par 4.  At about 430 yards from the back, it's definitely not the longest par 4 on our list.  But because it plays uphill the entire way, that yardage is a bit misleading.  Standing on the tee, you can see how the fairway narrows and doglegs slightly to the right.  With some very annoying pine trees on the right and a variety of trees on the left, hitting the fairwayis a must. 

While the tee shot is demanding, it's actually the second shot that always seems to give me the most trouble.  I don't know if it's because there aren't any bunkers or hazards, or if the hole is more uphill than it looks, but for some reason, I always have a hard time getting my second shot to the hole.  If I find the fairway, I'm usually left with a mid iron into what I think is a very small target for such a long hole.  The green has some slope to it (unlike most of the old greens at Pine Lakes that slope from back to front, this green is actually somewhat crowned and rolls off on all sides) which can lead to some difficult putts if you find yourself on the wrong side of the hole.

All in all, while I think this hole is one of the more difficult par 4's on our list, I also think it's one of the fairest.  Hitting the fairway and getting the yardage right on approaches are my keys to success.  Birdies can be had with two solid shots, but for most players, I would try to make your birdies and win your bets/matches by 17.  In the end though, this hole continues to stand the test of time and remains one of the Greatest Golf Holes of the Valley!

So what do you all think?  Is this the best par 4 at Pine Lakes or should we have chosen one of the "new" holes?  As always, I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts about this hole or any other golf related topic (Greatest Golfer Tourney Talk?  U.S. Open Talk?  Bring it on!).  And remember, applications are now avilable on Vindy.com for the first Greatest Golfer of the Valley Tournament!

Jonah Karzmer

President - The Youngstown Golf Association

For more YGA info, visit, www.youngstowngolfassociation.com



 AndySmyz  posted 8 years ago

I agree with you completely on this hole. Birdie usually is good for a skin. The uphill aspect of the hole definitely tests a lengthy par 4 hole anywhere else.

 JonahYGA  posted 8 years ago

Andy - Thanks for being there to comment on my posts. I liked your comment about Kennsington 14 from last week reminding you of # 4 at Pebble. Maybe we could start a little conversation about what happened at Pebble this past week? Were you surprised the "Big Guys" of Woods, Mickelson, and Els couldn't make a charge on Sunday? And are you happy McDowell ended up winning? Let's get some U.S. Open talk going here people! Thanks again Andy!

 AndySmyz  posted 8 years ago

It was nice to see him win but you always want to see an American win the US Open. He might had a bit more advantage than most,...because he plays courses in Ireland that were similar to Pebble.

That Par 5 -14th hole was awesome and sick to watch.

Mickleson and Els are in their 40's now and speaking from experience, its gets much tougher!

As for Woods he might have gotten nervous knowing if he won, he was going to treat everyone at the Strip club later on!

 Thewatchdog  posted 8 years ago

I was actually rooting for Els. He started off well on Sunday and just fell off the pace. I had a problem with the way the 17th hole played at Pebble. These guys could not even hit the green on the par three with less than 20% hitting it for the week. I would guess of those 20% a majority hit the green if they landed the ball in the rough and it trickled onto the green. I was actually kind of bored watching the final round since there was little excitement and not really an opportunity for the players to make a charge at the lead. The 14th green is another story..........

 JonahYGA  posted 8 years ago

Hey guys, thanks for the post. Watchdog, I found myself also rooting for Els. I didn't realize how young he actually was when he won not one, but two US Opens in '94 and '97! The way he started I thought he might actually run away with it. Then I saw him hit two in the hazard on 10 and it seemed like that drained all the confidence and aggresiveness right out of him.

As far as the couse playing difficult... 17 was very very borderline for me. I can understand if the wind had been more of a factor, but it almost brought an element of luck into play (like you said, landing in the rough) which I think crosses the line. I like it difficult, but I like to see the players who actually make the best swings rewarded. It seemed like no matter what you did on 17, you were going to be in one of the bunkers. Trust me, people don't realize how exact the pros are with their yardages. To see that many pros come up that short made me think they were actually playing for the flat spot in the front bunker! In the end, I'm happy for McDowell, he handled himself with poise and I think he'll prove over the years that this was not a fluke victory. Thanks again guys for the posts... Keep them coming though, I can talk about this stuff for hours!

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