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The Elite 18: Black Creek Chosen As Area’s Best No. 13 Hole

  • Sunday, May 19, 2024
  • Paul Payne

In the tradition of many of the historical golf courses in Scotland, Black Creek Club provides each of its holes with a unique moniker.

Many have descriptive names that associate with classic hole designs, such as “Road Hole”, “Punchbowl”, “Redan” and “Biarritz”.

Others are self-evident, such as the nickname for hole No. 13 that is simply referred to as “Long”. Named after the original “Long” hole at The Old Course’s par 5 No. 14 in St. Andrews, Black Creek’s version may not have the storied history but is a challenge nonetheless.

The uphill par 4 was the readers’ choice for best hole No. 13 in the region, giving Black Creek back-to-back winners in The Elite 18 compilation. Other winners thus far have been:

No. 1: WindStone Golf Club

No. 2: McLemore Highlands Course

No. 3: Bear Trace at Harrison Bay

No. 4: Chattanooga Golf and Country Club

No. 5: The Ooltewah Club

No. 6: Black Creek Club

No. 7: Brainerd Golf Course

No. 8: The Honors Course

No. 9: The Honors Course

No. 10: Cleveland Country Club

No. 11: Council Fire Club

No. 12: Black Creek Club

In the holes under consideration for the Elite 18 best No. 14, our panel of local professionals and top amateurs came up with 11 different candidates among the 25 golf courses in consideration. With distances measured from the back tees, the top nominees are:

Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, par 3, 202 yards: The tee shot on the gorgeous par 3 requires a full carry over a slough from Lake Chickamauga. Anything left or short is bound to be wet, but there is some room to the right for a miss. There are no bunkers on the hole to a green that is relatively flat.

Lookout Mountain Club, par 5, 500 yards: This uphill beast is completely transformed after the course restoration last year. Trouble seems to be lurking everywhere with a hard left to right slope to the fairway, a pair of large geometric bunkers eager to swallow short approaches and an outcropping of rocks to the right of the green perched above a lake. The elevated green can also feature some diabolical pin placements.

The Farm, par 4, 470 yards: With a lake running the length of the hole on the left side of the fairway to the green, picking the proper line from the tee is critical to shorten the distance on the approach. Pins located on the right of the green allow for an aggressive approach, but anything left must take into consideration the carry over water.

The Honors Course, par 3, 177 yards: The shortest par 3 on the course, the hole appears to have less landing area from the tee than truly exists. There is little margin for error as the green sits as an oasis among sand, scrub bushes and native grasses. The green is narrow and double-tiered, so don’t let your guard down given the distance.

WindStone Golf Club, par 4, 294 yards: The narrow tree-lined drivable par 4 is bordered on the left with out-of-bounds that creates a strategic risk-reward decision from the tee. An expansive bunker in front of the green capture shots falling short, and the generous putting surface is deeper than it appears from the fairway on the uphill approach.

You can make your preference known at the poll below. Voting will remain open until Tuesday at 6 p.m., with the final results revealed on Wednesday when we introduce the candidates for the Elite 18 Hole No. 15.

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Paul Payne can be emailed at paulpayne6249@gmail.com

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