As we pull up outside the clubhouse and start to unload the bus I ask one of the lads on bag drop about the practice facilities which turn out to be closed today, but the suggestion from the professional is to have a quick warm up on the short course. This turns out to be another dedicated par 3 course of exceptional standard and I am so glad I got to play four of the nine holes, they were truly spectacular in in keeping with the short course at Grand National.
The terrain here is perfect and as I smash my ball down the first from the elevated tee to the immaculately manicured fairway below I already know I am in for another fantastic days golf.
After the par 3 second itís another stunning elevated tee with water on the right and position is all important as it is on the 5th which is played to a fairway that runs right to left. I would suggest a fairway wood/hybrid because if you go too far you will be blocked out by the tall trees and then you would need to clear the tree and the water that protects green.
Like yesterday this course is on a great piece of land and has been designed using the terrain so that every tee is elevated and so you can see all the obstacles in front of you, to me it is a perfectly designed course.
It seems you cannot have a course on the RTJ Golf Trail without an island par 3 and the first one on this track appears at the 8th, itís a big green but not very deep and you need to take enough club to make the carry over the water and stop it before it heads into the lake the other side, itís a great design.
This nine comes to a close with a small ravine to the left on this dogleg left hole and you then play uphill towards the clubhouse. It has been a great mornings golf and the course is in immaculate condition.
The Loblolly nine opens up with a reachable par 5 but with no run on the damp fairways means it ends up with a chip and a putt birdie. Strategy is the name of the game on the 2nd with a big lake protecting the front of the green. The 5th brings up a run of holes that I just loved and its another course where you can really say there isnít a weak hole in the design, but for me the 5th and 7th just edge it for me as they are wonderful driving holes.
As I sink my putt on the 9th hole I think to myself can the standard of courses remain at this level for the whole week? But today on the RTJ Golf Trail it has been another spectacular day.
Top Canyon 5th. Above: 6th and 9th on the loblolly courses and the 9th on the Canyon nine
Looking back down the 2nd hole on the Loblolly nine