I hit Salt Creek Golf Links yesterday with mixed results. We did not know what to expect and arrived with an open mind and a positive outlook. The sun was shining, the company was great and we were not working. How can things be bad, right!
We arrived early and were ready to play. My friend went into the Pro Shop as he booked Salt Creek on-line. Upon his arrival, he was dutifully informed that the front nine was closed because they were punching the greens. It was not a planned maintenance project, but it is what it is. The person working the desk said that front nine might be open at noon or we could play the back nine twice. As a token for our inconvenience, she gave my friend a pass for nine holes some other time. So we decided to play the back nine twice.
Salt Creek is a quirky little course. There were plenty of elevation changes, hidden shots, blocked shots into the green and postage stamp, bowl-shaped greens. We knew about the length before we arrived and took this as an opportunity to work on our shot game. After the first hole (number 10) the fun began.
I realize these two pictures of the 11 hole are very mundane, but he point is that this hole is literally shaped like the letter V. It is 215 yards out from the tee, turn 60 degrees to the right and you are 215 yards to the pin. Race car drivers would call this a hairpin turn!
After navigating the sharp turn, the 11 green is bowl-shaped, and extremely difficult to hit. But, despite the craziness of the hole design, it was fun to play!
The shot to the 12th green is only 110 yards. However, it was elevated by at least 50 – 75 feet, the green is only 10 paces deep, and if you are short the hill plays very tough!
Of interest on this hole, I was going to hit a 9 iron and realized it was too much club, so I borrowed my friends pitching wedge (to lazy to go back to the cart….wait no judging, you have all done this to) and it landed to the right on the fringe. The putt was a 5 foot breaking 25 foot long putt. I forgot to mention how much undulation there was on each green. This craziness added to the fun we were having!
As we weaved our way around the course, we commented on how much fun this unique track was. By design, or maybe by fluke, we were able to practice punch shots, knock down shots, high-over the tree shots and some made up shots. After 3 holes, we were enjoying ourselves and were becoming accustom to what Salt Creek Golf Links was offering!
The 13th green was by far the most difficult. The elevation change from top to bottom was about 10 feet. The green was only 25 paces long! There was a relatively flat spot at the bottom, but you sure did not want to be above the hole! This hole was 145 yards to a blind landing area!
The 14th tee shot was by far the most difficult. It was only 70 yards and the pin was located on the bottom tier of the green nestled behind the rock in the picture. A first for me, the only way to get to the green was a punch shot off the tee.
The 15th green was 145 yard par 3. The pin was located directly behind the over hanging branches of the big tree on the right side. The only way to the green was up and over or hit a big cut into the green. I hit a 9-iron short of the green and let my ball roll close to the pin!
My friend, however, decided to hit the ball over the fence as his bail out. Okay, it was unintentional, but it worked out very well! As we approached his ball, we realized they had cut the grass on behind the fence and his ball was playable. There were no white stakes, so he was good to go.
The pin is located just left of the right fence post. Carman made a smooth stroke and his ball stopped about 10 feet from the hole. After lipping out his putt, we all walked away laughing at the different challenges that this course presented.
The 16th hole was the most fun. It was 245 yard par 4 that had two creeks crossing the fairway. It had an island green and the second creek was about 15 yards in front of the green.
This was the ultimate risk reward hole. We could have played safe and hit to a large landing area, but what is the fun in that. I hit driver, but pushed my ball to the right slightly.
I hit my 16 tee shot off this bridge into the trees! We retrieved it out of the water, but we figure I would have made the green if I hit it straight. Hence, the meaning of the words risk/reward on a golf hole.
Overall, the Salt Creek Golf Course was fun to play. It would be a course that some friends would play, especially if you were having a friendly skins game. It is not a track I would play all the time, but would recommend it for a fun outing.
Unfortunately, we did have one drawback. When we finished up on the 18th hole (our 9th of the day) we found out it was ladies day! The tee box was packed and the front was still closed. My other friend went into the Pro Shop and person was not fussed that our game was cut short. I must say I am disappointed in the customer service. I am hoping the person was having a bad day; we all have those!
We were offered exactly what we already paid for and that seemed to be given begrudgingly according to my friend. I am not sure exactly what happened, but our fun outing did take a bit of a downturn, we were looking forward to playing another 9 holes on this fun course. My expectation from the person in the Pro Shop would to initially explain that he course was undergoing unscheduled maintenance and that it was Ladies Day. If we would have known, we would have asked for passes to come back another day. We would then have left feeling okay (stuff happens) and played someplace else. To me, that would have been good customer service!
Salt Creek Golf Links was a fun inexpensive place to play. Excluding our minor setback, it would be a good place to have a fun skins game. Oh well, time to look forward to my next game.
I am a grateful golfer. See you on the links!