The calendar says it’s Memorial Day weekend and the weather people say we’re due for a fairly intense heat wave starting on Monday, but none of that was apparent on Saturday the 23rd when I made the lengthy trek out to Little Bennett to start my weekend. At tee off it was 37 degrees, making me quite glad I had a fleece in addition to my wind shirt that I wear most early morning rounds.
Because of its somewhat remote location it’s not always on the top of everyone’s “must play” list in the area, and I’m sure you could find better (and more expensive) courses in the area. Sure, there’s a couple windmill holes (#3 especially, and #13 to a lesser degree given the slope of the green) but it was and still is a fantastic test of golf.
The tee boxes and fairways were in fantastic shape except for a couple of the par 3’s that had several divots but the area around them was fine (just needed to move the tee boxes and give the area a break). The greens were good, but not great. Not sure if it was that they hadn’t been rolled but the first few holes were a bit bumpy.
Little Bennett’s genius, from an architectural point of view, are the par 5’s and are, in my opinion, among the toughest on the course. The first hole gets your attention with a forced carry over a ravine, and it’s a slight double dog-leg that will require three good shots. The 5th hole requires a tight tee shot over a ravine through a chute of trees and has a green with a severe slope. The 11th hole is all about position for your third shot to a tight and well protected green. The 14th hole is dead anything left but also requires good positioning for the approach shot.
Managed to bang home my first two birdies of the year, knocking a 9-iron to four feet on #2 and pitching to 8 feet on #12 and making both putts. A double on #15 didn’t do much for my ego, but I only had one three-putt (on #13), which is very easy to do unfortunately.
I got up and down on the last two holes to save par for a solid 82. My chipping was inconsistent, and it’s hard to break 80 with three double-bogeys. If you’re not keeping track of fairways hit, greens in regulation and putts per hole, you’re not helping yourself. I’ve been doing this for years and it helped me understand the value of of putting, and where blow-up holes come from. Scores on the doors:
I used my new flat stick (review coming), and managed to one-putt six greens (with only one three-putt).