Independence Golf Club - Bon Secours Mentor Course
Formerly known as Independence Golf Club - Short
Conditions Falling Behind Others
Independence GC has struggled with the damage from the winter and this has affected the short course the most since the lingering damage maily impacts the greens and the condition of the green is a primary consideration for playing short courses.
The driving range and practice green were both closed the day I played and rumors have started that the club my have to take drastic measures to repair the greens. On the short course, large sections of nearly every green is still dead making for inconsistent roll and speed. The firmness of the 9th hole remains noticeably softer than other holes.
For $15 walking it's still not a bad value to practice your approach and short game, but it's not as good as it was.
Great Short Course But Conditions Need Improving
*This is an updated review. For more of my thoughts on this course, see my full review from 3/9/18*
Since I last reviewed this course a month ago, the conditions have deteriorated some so I wanted to provide an update.
While the still-dormant Bermuda grass and greens can’t be helped due to the time of year and recent weather, there are some issues with several of the greens. The first two holes have greens with large sections that are under repair which makes putting an unintended challenge.
My biggest issue (and I overlooked this in my first review) is the 9th green, which is extremely spongy and soft. That’s great for getting balls to land and stop, but trying to gauge chipping and putting on it is a nightmare.
Lastly, it should be noted that there are alternative pins located on several of the greens so try not to let the big cup get in between you and the one designed for golf.
Overall this is still a good short course to get some practice on, but there are some inconveniences I wish I didn’t have to deal with.
A Par-3 Course Worth Taking Note Of
Par-3 courses are perhaps the best-kept secret in recreational golf. They bring sharp focus to your strengths and weaknesses as a golfer while providing more feedback than a driving range, are never crowded, are priced for any budget, and are perfect for today’s fast-paced world where you may only have an hour to spare.
At least that’s my impression after playing Independence’s short course. Granted, it’s still the offseason, so the parking lot for both course’s was pretty empty. But given the wintery conditions, the course was still a rewarding introduction to par-3 golf.
Part of what makes this par-3 course work so well is that Independence prides itself on their greens. After the renovation of the championship course several years ago, the greens became the main defense of the course. Though large and minimally undulating, they are fast with plenty of subtle breaks. So the short course gives your short game the work out it needs while still testing your ability to hit wedges and irons onto greens. In fact, if you ignore tee markers, you can just about tee off with nine different clubs on the 9-hole course.
The conditions for early March were very good. The most impressive been the smoothness of the greens, which in general lack any ball marks, and though a bit sandy, still roll quickly and true. The Bermuda rough is still weeks away from springing to life but is still pretty even which helps with chips and pitches.
The winning attribute of this short course is its value. While the championship course demands a hefty (but reasonable) $70 for a round, the short course will cost you just $15 to walk, $25 to ride during the week (+$5 on the weekends). Considering you still get the best attributes of the fancier course, that’s a steal. Plus you still get access to the driving range, putting green, and practice bunker/green. For improving your game, there’s no better option in the area than Independence.
Excellent par three to hone approach shots
Love this par three to work on short game . How many par three public courses do you see them on tractors with leaf blowers keeping the tees and greens clean?How many regulation courses do you see this? Greens little slower than their championship course, but still above par and very consistent. Good lengths as well. 175-90 par threes to practice mid irons and wedges, and never crowded. Prefer this at times to driving range to practice approaches.
Beautiful facilities for public course
Impressive. From the initial drive in to view of clubhouse and then the practice facilities to courses. Great par three with a couple 175 yard holes 150 then 125 to 100 . Great warm up from 5 iron to wedges. Every hole has a flagged regulation hole and a flagged 8 inch hole for the junior or beginner. Forced carriers and elevation changes make for great par three. Numerous tee boxes to accommodate any skill level. Costly but would say worth the money just to take the challenge and get a taste of some very nice facilities. Very nice area area and will be paying the full 18 soon.