After hearing Kevin Michael the night before we play Tamahka Trails I am really looking forward to teeing it up this morning, itís another early start but at least I can get my muscles warmed up on the range which sits just by the clubhouse and again work on some chipping which is to the right of the clubhouse and near the putting green.
As I tee up and set the video camera up I look down the opening par 5 which doglegs round to the left, I aim to play a draw and smash it straight, brilliant! I get down to my ball and I still have a shot and promptly put it in one of the big bunkers that sit in the left of the fairway. Now this brings us back to Kevinís analysis of the course the night before. He told us the bunkers are tough and that they are going to spend over half a million dollars softening them a little.
Now to me bunkers are hazards and you should be punished for going in them but now I am facing this shot I do understand what some of the complaints are about as I have to wedge out sideways as it's the only shot I have. Is that fair? I still think so, I should have played to the right I went for the green knowing I had to hit the perfect shot and was punished for it.
Maybe there is a case for softening the fairway bunkers but definitely not the green side bunkers. A case in point, I have hit my tee shot slightly fat on the par 3, 15th meaning itís caught the bunker that sits in front of the green and again I have no shot and have to play sideways or take a drop back in the bunker. I hit a bad shot and should be punished for it.
Tamahka Trails is a tough course but it is also a fair and well designed course and one that I enjoyed immensely. I loved the fact that both nines started with par 5s and gives you a good chance to get off to a flying start, the greens are fast, with some very tricky complexes no more so than the ones on the third hole, you really need to be on the right tier there.
Steve Smyers the designer has done a wonderful job and the way the course meanders through the oaks and sycamore trees with the small creeks that occasionally come into play is perfect. I personally would rather play this course than sit in the casino, but for those who like to do both I hope your only bad luck like mine comes in tough breaks in the bunkers and not in the casino.
Fairway bunkering at the 4th Elevated tee at the par 3, 6thPlaying through the trees 18t
Fairway bunkering at the 7th with the green in the background