Course Tour

AAGOC Course – Hole by Hole

The nine holes are played from two sets of tees to make up a course of eighteen holes.

Hole1HOLE 1.  THE FORT

Par 3/4; Yardage: 224/228
Men’s Handicap: 14/13; Women’s Handicap: 16/15

The contours of the fairway and the green, as well the placement of the left bunker, encourage golfers to play the tee shot down the right side. It is a par four for women and a long par three for men. The green is pitched severely right to left so that an approach shot of any length needs to be placed well right and short of the green. Right-side pin placements produce big breaking fast putts. The left side of the green is much flatter.

Hole2HOLE 2. RIDGEWAY

Par 4; Yardage: 371/380
Men’s Handicap: 4/3; Women’s Handicap: 6/5

The tee shot can be daunting with Stadium Boulevard on the left and the parking lot on the right, and one must keep the shot between these two distractions. The approach requires a straight shot to the green in order to avoid the bunkers on either side. More than one golfer hopes that the approach will hit the driveway for added distance. Many golfers play the shot to land in front of the green in order to minimize the apparent front to back tilt of the green. Beyond this tilt there are minimal breaks to consider in lining up a putt.

Hole3HOLE 3/12. WATERLOO

Par 3; Yardage: 129/145
Men’s Handicap: 18/17; Women’s Handicap: 18/17

Two bunkers present a challenge left and right to the pulled or pushed tee shot on this shortest of holes. Mature conifers both protect the green from the wind behind and capture long tee shots. An accurate tee shot is rewarded by a generally flat green except in the right front where a right to left and back to front break presents an interesting challenge. A fair number of golfers have aced their tee shot here.

Hole4HOLE 4/13.  FAIRVIEW

Par 4; Yardage: 338/348
Men’s Handicap: 6/5; Women’s Handicap: 2/1

A straight tee shot finds no problems, although the truly long hitters may encounter the bunker on the left of the fairway. Women find this hole to be the most difficult because of its length and the continuous incline, and that left bunker may come into play on the second shot for them and for many men. Several considerations come into play on the approach shot: a shot to the left or to the right finds large bunkers; the elevation of the green hides the pin placement as well as the green itself; and the shot may easily be long or short. The definite back to front tilt of the green makes putting from the back or sides very precarious.

Hole5

HOLE 5/14.  OLD HICKORY

Par 3/4; Yardage: 217/218
Men’s Handicap:16/15; Women’s Handicap: 12/11

The name, of course, derives from the stately and huge hickory tree that fronts the right of the green and presents serious difficulties to the tee shot or to the approach shot from the right. Even a well-struck tee shot to the middle of the fairway may find itself behind the hickory because of the decided left-to-right pitch of the fairway. Straying too far to the left, however, may find some conifers by the tennis courts. Many women find this par 4 hole a favorite, but it is a difficult par 3 for most men.

aagohole6HOLE 6/15  WESTWARD HO

Par 4/5; Yardage: 390
Men’s Handicap 2/1; Women’s Handicap 4/3

The longest of the holes goes from the eastern boundary to the western on a steady incline. Placement of the northern tee box offers the “look” of a slight dogleg right immediately off the tee.  Two prodigious blows from the best golfers are required to reach the green in regulation. For many players, it requires 3 and sometimes 4 shots. A rightward tee shot may find the deep and gnarly rough as well as the large oaks guarding the shot back to the fairway. Again, bunkers on either side threaten the wayward approach shot.  The green tilts back to front, and any putt from above or from the side is a challenge. A par 5 women or a par 4 for men on this hole will produce a sense of accomplishment.

Hole7HOLE 7/16.  SLEEPY HOLLOW

Par 4; Yardage: 268/274
Men’s Handicap: 10/11; Women’s Handicap: 14/13

This hole of modest length can be driven by some long hitters, but the green is strategically placed behind a grove of very large conifers. Many players find that a good aiming point for this drive is the huge block “M” on the football scoreboard. One is happy to reach the old creek bed from the top of the hill, safely avoiding those conifers. From there a short approach shot is not challenged by the bunkers front left and back right. In addition to the back-to-front and right-to-left tilt, there are some quirky breaks in the back and on the right side of the green. Well-known golf course architect Bill Newcomb redesigned this hole after the creek was placed underground.

Hole8HOLE 8/17. BUNKER HILL

Par 4; Yardage: 241/249
Men’s Handicap: 12/11; Women’s Handicap: 10/9

Aptly named with its five well-placed bunkers defending the green, number 8 is the shortest of the par fours. The tee shot for long hitters must avoid the two large bunkers right and left that narrow the fairway near the green. Those bunkers are a threat to others on their second shot. As with number 4/13, the steady uphill climb makes it deceptive in choosing enough club to reach the green. The pronounced back to front tilt of the green makes it truly devilish, and one is cautioned to keep the approach shot below the hole. A putt from above the hole may wind up off the front to the green. Former professional George Bowman, participating for each team on this hole during a holiday scramble, sank his tee shot not once, but twice!

aagohole9HOLE 9/18  VESUVIUS

Par 4; Yardage: 332/337
Men’s Handicap: 8/7; Women’s Handicap: 8/7

From the tee box the player may behold almost the entire central Ann Arbor skyline. There’s also a clear view of the fairway sloping down to the old creek bed with the clubhouse and number 9 green on the rise beyond the depression. One hopes for a long straight tee shot down the right side to the depression. The approach shot to the elevated green is made more difficult by the small green ringed by a 3-foot terrace and a left front bunker. (The hole is called “Vesuvius” because the 3-foot terrace once extended around the entire green!)  Only the best shot will hold the green. A front pin placement is especially difficult since the short approach is likely to roll back off the green while a long shot may result in the subsequent putt rolling past the pin off the front.  Local knowledge still says that all putts roll to State Street.