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!
President - The Youngstown Golf Association
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