Since I had fun last week at Compass Pointe, I figured I’d take advantage of it still being golf weather and head back to the scene of last week’s round, but rather than play the South/West routing, I opted to play the North/East routing.
Overall, conditions on the North/East routing were similar to what I encountered at the other routing; fairways and greens were in good shape, tee boxes were okay, rough was a bit of a mixed bag, and the bunkers were, on several holes, in need of a good raking.
Having said that, it’s late October and we’ve had our first frost, so part of me thinks that this is a bit of a “you get what you get” deal.
After a cart ride over the highway (the other 3 nines are on the same side of the highway as the pro shop, range, practice green, etc.) you’ll find yourself at the first hole. Like the other routing, the North/East routing starts with a difficult par 5 (picture below) that requires 3 good shots to get to the green. Anything left or right is dead, although the right side of the fairway does give you a better angle of approach. A shot on the left (like I had) brings a water hazard into play for your second shot; I was very happy to have cleared it, leaving myself just over 100 yards to the green for my third shot.
The third hole (picture below) is fascinating, in that you have a double fairway. It’s just over 400 yards from the blues and just under 375 from the white tees so while it’s not a beast, it’ll make you think. The obvious shot is to the fairway on the right (see the 150 yard pole), but the left side, after seeing both sides, does give you a better angle at the green. Plenty of bunkering to make you think. A wayward second meant I had to scramble to save bogey.
The 8th hole (a beast of a par 5 at 595 from the blues and 585 from the white tees) is the #1 handicap hole…it’ll test you every step of the way. A tee shot over a ravine to a second shot over a second waste area to a third shot to a small and well protected green. Like the first hole, it requires 3 very tough shots to get home.
As you can see from the photo above, the green on #8 is well protected; the only decent place to miss would be short; I missed left and had a brutally tough pitch shot just to get on in 4. Missing right isn’t much better; you’re still looking at a tough pitch/chip.
The 9th hole (sorry no photo) is a par 4 that looks short on the card but plays uphill; there’s a giant ass tree on the left that looks innocuous but my second shot ended up near it so I can attest to its relevance.
After a cart ride back over the bridge, I ended up on the East nine. The first hole on the east looks easy; just over 320 yards from the blue tee and just under 290 for the white tee. The fairway looks generous…but if you get the slightest bit wild, you’re dead.
The 12th hole (picture below) is flat par 3 that requires a carry over water to a slightly sloped green. One thing I noticed on the East nine…several of the fairways looked to have Bermuda (or something like it) grass, and all of the tee boxes seemed to have this as well. If so, this would explain why it was starting to go brown (Bermuda does this in cold temperatures).
After another brutally long and difficult par 5 (do these guys know how to make a simple par 5?), the 14th hole (below) goes all out on pinpoint accuracy.
If you can play a slight fade off the tee it opens up the green a lot better. From the photo above, hopefully you can see how the green is elevated ever so slightly (short and straight isn’t a bad miss, but the chip shot isn’t a gimme). It plays about 1/2 club longer for your second shot. One complaint- if the fencing on the right isn’t clear, the hole is cart path only with very few places to enter the fairway. Add a few…please?
The 15th hole (pictured below) is a long par 3 (192 from the blue tees, 167 from the whites) that requires accuracy; if the photo isn’t clear enough, anything right of the green slopes downward and to the right and leaves you a near-impossible chip shot.
I found the bunker on the left; I got out of the bunker but ended up just off the green, where I managed to chip to 6 inches to save bogey. The cart path goes through some trees and spits you out left of the bunker.
The last two holes at Compass Pointe do what any closing holes should do; challenge, reward, and give you something to remember.
The 17th is a long par 5 with trees on the right and water left. I stayed dry (barely) and left myself a 12 footer for birdie, which I of course missed because…well, that’s how I roll. From the photo below, my ball is above the green (not recommended).
From the green at 17 at Compass Pointe North/East (8th hole East).
The last hole is a short par 4 that is a fantastic risk/reward. At only 329 from the blue tee and 301 from the white tee, you think birdie opportunity, but it’s a severe dog-leg left. The photo below doesn’t really show it, but it is a big dog-leg.
Bomb it like I did, and you encounter two bunkers and rough that do a decent job of taking driving the green out of play. However, I did manage to stay out of the bunkers, hit a 50-yard pitch shot to 10 feet and make a tough putt to finish with a birdie.
Like my visit last week, I had fun. The layout has some punishing holes, but it has some holes that give an average golfer a chance at making pars and birdies, and really- isn’t that why we’re out here?
I’m not sure how many more rounds I’ll get in this year, but if there’s a weekend morning with golf-able weather and I’m functioning, then I’ll try to get out there, hoping for a bit of magic, and a bit of joy. I hope you find yours.