2015 Golf Season in Review

For the first couple of years I wrote my blog, I did a write-up at the end of each year to put the season in to words, and to commend the courses I felt were the best that year in multiple categories.

As my site has continued to grow, this has become less academic, especially since I joined a private club a few years back and am obviously playing a much smaller sample of different courses each season.

It doesn’t hurt to write a little review, though, especially for my own pleasure to look back at in the future at what was the golf season of 2015.

The winter of 2015 extended a little longer than normal, with most golf courses opening in early April. This was a couple weeks earlier than in 2014, but months behind some years. I am already praying that 2016 will see course openings back in the February timeline again… Fingers crossed.

With last night’s first snow of the Winter, I figure this is as good a time as any to wrap things up… Not that I won’t be out there if/when the weather warms up and the grounds are healthy enough to play!

Most of my rounds this year were played at my home course of North Hills Country Club, which under the tutelage of Randy DuPont was in exceptional shape again all year round. My season was a roller coaster of sorts, starting out with an index of 12.1 and getting down to 9.0, shooting consistently for a while in the low 80’s.

Then I became a bad nine, right around September first, shooting 87-89 and losing money in my Saturday games. In games where the total monetary payout ranges from $3-5, I actually lost $45 one day. Ouch.

That is enough about my game, though – what about the courses from 2015?

2015: Best Public Golf Course Played

1. Pacific Dunes (OR)

Rated the number two public course by Golf Digest, number two modern course by GolfWeek, and number one public course in the country by Golf.com, Pacific Dunes is coastal golf at its very best. Designed by Tom Doak and opened in 2001, Pacific Dunes blends perfectly rugged Bandon landscape with ingenious hole layouts and execution.

Pacific Dunes hole 4

Pacific Dunes hole 4

Pacific Dunes Website

2. Streamsong, Red Course (FL)

Just a few years old, the Red course at Streamsong has already amassed an incredible number of accolades, including the number 18 public course in the United States.

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Golf Course Review: Craft Farms, Cotton Creek (AL)

An Arnold Palmer designed golf facility originally opened in 1987, the Cotton Creek course at Craft Farms was the property’s original track that was expanded in 1993 with the addition of Cypress Bend.

The Gulf Shores of Alabama is a terrific golfing destination for its high overall quality of courses, great value and a really fun environment with plenty of entertainment options. Craft Farms played a critical role in the creation of this “Destination” experience and continues to play a key role in providing good golf at affordable rates.

For my full write-up of our buddies’ golf trip with my friends Jeff, Nick and Mike to the Gulf Shores of Alabama, please visit the following link:

Golf Destination: Gulf Shores (AL)

As one of only two Palmer-designed courses in Alabama (the other being Cypress Bend on the same property), Cotton Creek blends parkland golf nicely with the numerous ponds and rivers that meander throughout the property. The fairways roll nicely, and the greens were in good condition but were a little on the slow side. They putted very true, though, which is to me always of utmost importance.

As an Honours Golf course, fresh apples are provided at the beginning of both nine holes, and a friendly and hospitable staff and a terrific food and beverage operation make for a wonderful on-site experience at Craft Farms.

The course starts out in a somewhat confusing manner, so take note that while the cart path flows toward the right, the first hole does not. The fairway runs straight toward the green, so stay between the left-side treeline and the large tree shown on the right below.

A look at the course layout, or local knowledge, would keep aiming over the trees to a fairway that is not there from entering your mind. All four of us played over the tree, and all four of us found the rough and/or a sand trap on the eighteenth hole.

Cotton Creek hole# 1: Par 4, 392/378/338/295

Cotton Creek hole# 1: Par 4, 392/378/338/295

The second is a really nice par four with excellent mounding both approaching and surrounding the green complex. A singular bunker is found front-left of the green, and there is a pond short and right of the approach zone.

Cotton Creek hole# 2: Par 4 (409/369/360/350)

Cotton Creek hole# 2: Par 4 (409/369/360/350)

Cotton Creek hole# 2: Par 4 (409/369/360/350)

Cotton Creek hole# 2: Par 4 (409/369/360/350)

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