Chris and I head out to Sunset Hills Golf Course yesterday afternoon to play 18. I played nine there a couple of weeks ago and wanted to give 18 a shot. Chis hadn't played and was reluctant because he had heard that it wasn't a very good golf course. I had found it to be rough at spots but overall in pretty good condition considering it's a county owned public course at the end of a very hot and dry summer. It's no Emerald Lake but I'll play at Sunset again and, after yesterday, so will Chris
What I really like about Sunset Hills is that it's a pretty easy course. There aren't that many hazards and the hazards you do encounter are more of a psychological threat rather than being in play. For example, on the 4th tee there is a pond right in front of you but in order for it to really be in play you have to essentially whiff on your drive and hit a dribbler into the water. It's the same with the bunkers. The bunker around the green at the 4th hole isn't really in the way. You can play around it pretty easily. It's a bad shot, not a risky shot that will get you in trouble there. Another good example is the par three you encounter on the back nine. You have to hit over another pond but it's not near the green and it's never in play. It's just there to mess with your head which is good enough to challenge my golf game.
The fairways are wide open also. It's a course that allows you to really take a healthy hack with your driver knowing that it takes a shot that is so bad it might possibly kill another golfer for it to really penalize you. Both Chris and I hit a couple of monster drives yesterday because we didn't have to worry too much about where the drives landed. It's freeing. There are even a couple of holes, holes seven and nine come to mind, that seem to be designed to encourage you to hit an iron or a fairway wood off the tee. Hole 7 doglegs to the right and I drove my drive off the fairway into the woods because I got greedy. I didn't mind too much because I smoked that drive.
Not all holes are a gimme with the driver. There are two that are especially challenging. Both #9 and #18 offer you options at the tee. Nine offers you a fairly wide fairway that gives you nice landing area for a conservative tee shot that will give you a fairly easy shot to the green. But if you are a gambling man both fairways are long and tapered and bordered by thick rough that will reward a long straight drive with a very easy shot to the green but will penalize any drive that is not perfect. It's simple but effective design.
I am looking forward to another trip to Sunset Hills. There's something to be said for a course that allows a duffer like me to feel like he has a chance at a par at each hole.
Chris taking his approach shot on 18. I forgot my camera so I took this one shot with my communicator.