Willow Point Country Club
|Gold (W)||72||6018 yards||75.0||136|
|Black M: 75.6/126||458||450||602||253||380||518||446||179||455||3741||405||226||549||219||479||442||420||427||557||3724||7465|
|Blue M: 73.9/124||433||416||546||223||350||485||412||158||442||3465||371||191||516||189||443||404||381||397||520||3412||6877|
|White M: 70.8/118||399||387||532||193||310||447||386||134||405||3193||346||169||479||174||416||375||352||376||490||3177||6370|
|Gold M: 68.3/117 W: 75.0/136||363||356||501||169||275||406||354||110||376||2910||321||152||458||152||391||347||325||328||461||2935||5845|
|Red W: 70.4/125||316||324||473||142||243||347||301||85||291||2522||291||116||403||125||301||291||274||278||438||2517||5039|
Have played several Hurdzan & Fry courses of late, so was curious to see this effort, having wanted to play here for years.
I found the two nines to be aesthetically very different. The front played through hardwoods with moderate elevation change. There is plenty of width off the tee, though it is evident that the now-dormant Bermuda rough can be quite hazardous to approach shots in spring and summer conditions.
The back nine plays out to a peninsula on Lake Martin, setting up panoramic views on many holes, particularly the par 3s. The water level was down, typical for this time of year, but it was easy to get a sense of how spectacular some of the shot values can be when the water level creeps ever closer to the green bulkheads.
One thing that Hurdzan & Fry did that I liked was the use of split fairways on holes 10 and 18. A deep pot bunker lies in the center of the approach to the green at 10, meaning the ideal route off the tee should be dictated by which half the pin is on. Visually, this hole seduces you from the tee box to take it down the left-side, to get a shorter club in your hand for the approach, but the water comes into play, making it a riskier proposition. There is no hazard to contend with on the par-5 18th, but likewise, p,aging the hole backward depending on where the pin is cut on the green should dictate which fairway to play to.
One thing I didn’t like about the design was the bunkering. The traps were very deep and I quibble with making the entry to fairway bunkers shallow and exit extremely deep. The works on links courses, but not here. I’m fine with deep bunkering around the greens.
Speaking of greens, they were exquisite. Rolled really fast and could be grainy at times. Putts rolled out and left a lot of four-and-five-footers for par.
The course plays longer than the advertised yardage. This could be a product of the damp conditions from recent rains, but at 6,500 yards and playing better than normal from the tee with driver, I consistently found myself with 170-75 yard approach yardages throughout the day. Would’ve like to have had a bit more variety club-wise for those shots, but that is being nit-picky.