Tuesday, June 27, 2006

East Aurora CC - Back Nine

East Aurora's back nine starts with a very intimidating tee shot. The hole is only 339 yards but plays entirely uphill through an extremely narrow chute. Toast and I both hit 3 irons while Jay layed back with a 4 wood.


Everyone hit great approaches but I ended up three-jacking. Jay birdied and Toast two-putted for par. The eleventh is a great 403 yard downhill par four that doglegs left around a large pond. The green site is protected at the back by marsh and on the right side by an abandoned railroad track. I three-jacked here as well for another bogey. Ugh!

Twelve is a really short par five measuring only 453 yards. However, you're forced to lay back a bit off the tee, as the fairway ends about 265 yards from the tips. You'd literally need to carry the ball 300+ yards to clear the marsh that borders the right side of the fairway and cuts right across the middle. From there, the approach is uphill to a very elevated green site that slopes heavily from left to right. I was able to grind my way to a par here.

The 13th hole is a beautiful 190 yard one shotter (see below). The tee blocks and green site are both elevated but there is a large dropoff inbetween. Visually it's quite a striking golf hole and the green site has more bumps than a teenager's acne-filled face.


From there, you head back to the marshy surroundings at the 374 yard par four 14th. It's a big dogleg left with the green hidden from the tee behind a huge hill. I ended up driving into the marsh well right of the fairway and made a crippling double bogey here. I took a picture of the green site from the hill bordering the hole.


The 15th (seen below) is another great one shotter, with a deep-faced bunker fronting the right side of the green. The green slopes tremendously away from the bunker. Bottom line: you miss right here and you're dead. I did and was lucky to make bogey. Toast made an UNBELIEVABLE up-and-down for par from the same bunker I was in. He's good...


The 16th is another short par five measuring 476 yards. It's a very tight tee shot through a chute of trees and the fairway falls a bit near the landing area, propelling tee shots into 'go for it' territory. I cranked my best of the day here and left myself only 178 yards for my second. I duck-hooked my five iron into the front left bunker (seen below) and had to settle for par.


The par four 17th is very quirky in that it doubles as East Aurora's driving range!!! I kid you not. If you look closely in the picture below, you can actually see the hundreds of yellow golf balls in the fairway!


There is a bell beside the tee that you ring after teeing off to let the guys on the range know you're heading out into the fairway. From there, they presumably switch to hitting wedges until you clear the landing area. Very strange!

The last hole is just awesome: a 367 yard par four from an elevated tee to a fairway bordered on the left by marsh. A creek also splits the fairway about 280 yards from the tee, making a fairway wood or rescue shot the smart play.


From there, you have yet another uphill approach shot to a narrow but long and undulating green that falls off severely on both sides. Just a really cool finisher!


I could do no better than a 6-over 42 on the back side and finished with an 81 on the day. Without doubt, this is the toughest 6300 yard course I have ever had the pleasure of playing.

Actually, this is one of the BEST courses I've had the pleasure of playing. The rolling topography is exhilarating and the green complexes are among the best I've ever played.

What a treat it was to play out here! I'm looking forward to my next visit!

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