Silos standing guard at the 3rdThe driveable par 4 8th!!Placement is key on the 14th
One of the reasons I know Adobe Creek is in good hands is because after playing this course on the same day I was very impressed by the condition and how efficiently everything is run here at Windsor by the same owners. This venue opened for play in 1989 and you can see how the Fred Bliss design has now bedded in to become a tough challenge. Tough enough in fact that two of the holes, the second and seventh, were ranked in the top 10 toughest on the Nike Tour. They actually moved the tees up on the 432-yard second hole because it was too tough for the pros from the tips!
But for me this is your typical American parkland course. Everything is in great condition and the greens are quick but not too quick. To score well you need to put the ball in the right areas, but you could smash a driver if you wanted and then go from there. This becomes apparent on the par-4 third hole. It’s 327 yards from the black tees and 297 yards from the blues, the two landmark grain silos standing as sentries on the left-hand side of the fairway, with so many dents in their sides they must feel like punch-drunk boxers, they’ve been hit so many times. There is a massive bunker protecting the front of the green. Now I know you are going to hit the driver – you’re on tour, why not? So when you’re playing your second shot from the bunker, remember you could have laid up!
All the par-3s are pretty tough with two of them being ranked as the seventh and eighth hardest holes on the course and it’s a true reflection of how they play. Not many courses get that right but Windsor certainly have. My favourite par-3 is the fifth which is played over a reedbed and creek that runs through the course.
I play 13 holes with Jason who is the pro here and when we got to the par-4 eighth hole which measures 368 yards with the green protected by water, he pulls driver and smashes it on the green, carrying everything but obviously no back spin so the ball bounces on and through the green, but I must admit I’m pretty impressed. I take 2-iron, wedge and hole the putt for birdie. Jason makes par, but to be fair I would rather have hit that drive.
Windsor is not a course that is going to kill you. It’s a tough but fair track in great condition with some well-designed holes, and tough small greens that are looked-after and have some great movement in them and are not too quick but fast enough to make you think about what you’re doing. When you’re sitting in Charlie’s Bar on the terrace that looks out across the water to the 10th fairway and enjoying some of their fine food and that well-deserved cold beverage of choice, I know you will have had a great day’s golf in every sense.