Black Birch Golf Club
|Blue M: 67.8/123||332||321||410||319||117||480||482||151||382||2994||480||351||377||393||420||172||498||153||344||3188||6182|
|White M: 66.3/115||324||314||402||302||111||468||354||145||308||2728||356||322||370||295||408||147||384||144||334||2760||5488|
|Red W: 71.8/118||286||284||355||224||107||393||346||138||300||2433||350||315||354||284||308||140||376||137||227||2491||4924|
Underrated Course - Good Value for Money
This course is underrated and a good value for the money. The staff is very pleasant and helpful.
Hello, Richard. Thank you for reviewing the course. Your feedback about the price of our course is important to us. We always want to make sure we are offering golfers a competitive price for their round. It is our goal to give visitors the best chance to get out and play more. Thank you for playing Black Birch Golf Club. We hope to see you again soon.
Excellent Layout; Well Worth Playing
Black Birch Golf Club is classic parkland test of golf and a tale of two nines: the front features open, rolling and spacious fairways, the back, by contrast, has tighter, woodland-cut holes requiring a bit more precision and finesse. Virtually all of it is good, interesting, and quite demanding golf. The layout features a variety of pleasant scenes, most notably the farmland adjacent to holes number five and six, the quiet ponds occupied by geese and filled with marshy reeds, and the sprinkling of beautifully open, sometimes even field-like golf holes. The entire course is blessed with excellent golf terrain, and nearly every hole maximizes it, especially because all eighteen blend naturally with their undulating terrain, and are characterized by their variety of hazards and hills.
This course opens with a pair of modest, par-four challengers, hole number one sweeping down a precipitous hill and over a small pond to a broad landing area, from which only a short iron/wedge is needed, and hole number two rising thirty feet to a plateau fairway, beginning 175 yards from the tee, with a landing zone making uneven lies and stances the rule, and so complicating the approach to a tilting and semi-blind green, whose right flank is protected by a gaping bunker—clearly hidden from fairway viewing. Demanding a full-blooded drive to its semi-blind downhill fairway, the third hole, however, fully challenges you, hindering direct approaches to its green by scattered, mature trees, punishing wayward approaches with a sizeable pair of greenside bunkers. It may seem small consolation, if this tough hole has jumped up to grab you, that the green is large and flat here.
The par-four fourth’s green, by contrast, is two-tiered and sloping, its surface perched thirty feet above the fairway, requiring a precisely struck approach shot following on the heels of what should be a solid drive, a drive which has found its way uphill to an open landing zone. Hitting a short iron or wedge from an elevated tee is the fifth hole's order of business, but one must negotiate two large and deep, Ross-style traps—front and back—to hit the target, a moderately-sized green that pitches downhill, away from the tee. The 480-yard sixth hole is a short par-five standout: Its tree-lined fairway begins moving straightaway, then doglegs gently left, and finally, over the last hundred yards, swings back right to its destination, a green positioned at 45 degrees to this last leg of fairway and defended by a yawning bunker which leaves only a small opening to its extreme right. Curiously, the shape and angularity of this fairway makes it an uncanny ringer, in these respects, for H. S. Colt’s #17 at Muirfield (the great course in Scotland, not Ohio), putting it in some very good company. For big hitters wanting to reach in two from the right side, playing number six will require some careful calculations on the approach—if, that is, the pesky right side copse of trees is to be avoided. Similar calculations are necessary on the brawnier par-five seventh, but mainly on the second shot over a large pond, as the field-like fairway—defended only lightly by a few scattered, right-side trees—is both generous and beautiful on this most scenic, but frequently punishing, hole. Big hitters may be able to muscle the second onto the green in two when the wind is low or favorable. The green is situated on a tall plateau that frequently rejects all but the true and powerfully struck approach (from long-range), and it rises upward from front to back, making chipping testy from its back and sides. Hole eight, a handsome but comparatively tame downhill par-three, usually requires a short or mid-iron to a large, receptive green, a green closely flanked by a pair of magnetic, frontal bunkers and ringed in the back by mature trees.
Acquiring a truly claustrophobic feel by contrast to the previous eight, the ninth hole sprawls uphill to its strongly canted green, via a bumpy fairway surrounded by woods and water, although the latter only comes into play with ten yards off the fairway on the right. Played indifferently, this hole may become a card-wrecker, especially because three-putting becomes a distinct possibility when your first putt is played outside of fifteen feet.
As if to make the transition virtually seamless between front and back nine, Architect Al Zikorus (who added these backside holes in 1965), created #10 to be a tight and fairly tough 480-yard, slightly uphill par five, its densely wooded perimeter hemming in your three shots from tee to green, its slopes dropping down on the left side, especially, into woods that swallow up errant shots. Here, too, the raised and narrow green is fronted by a large, U-shaped bunker that sweeps around to its left flank; when missed, your approach shot either finds this bunker or, elsewhere, is trundled down a steep slope to an endpoint where you are unlikely to get up-and-down without Mickelsonian skills. It seems an attractive par-five for the masochistic. Number eleven, a pretty downhill par-four, provides a wide-open driving area to a fairway that nonetheless hugs the woods on the left, perhaps letting up a bit on you with its more forgiving green, yet thrashing any errant shots that travel short-left (big bunker), long (down-slope) or well left (deep woods). The short twelfth should seem, typically, a routine hole for those golfers with sound and predictable ball striking talents. For others, unable to precisely place their drives in the fairway that doglegs strongly to the right, unable to thereby skirt the large line of right-side trees, unable to accurately flight (usually with a mid-iron) their approaches onto the correct level of the green while so avoiding its massive left-side trap, this hole will be anything but easy.
Redesigned as it was a few years ago, the 393-yard thirteenth hole should have been improved, but its too-narrow driving area is overly demanding, exacerbated by a huge and steep gully on the right which unfairly gobbles up marginally missed drives (Hasta la vista, my wayward Titleist!). The approach to this green has also been made awkward by a too-tight line of massive trees on the left, along with a green too small for this long par-four's large scale. Fortunately, things rebound immediately with the challenging, eminently fair and number one index hole, the fourteenth, a 420- yard classic bruiser, handicap index 1, that includes stately woods on the right, terraced fall-offs on the left, two guardian bunkers that side the green, and other problems around it. Arguably, this is the best hole on the golf course, and certainly the hardest on which to earn a par.
The rest of home stretch on this course is quite solid, even though the 172-yard downhill fifteenth is a bit tame around the green, perhaps a hole meant to give players a breather after the previous two, but it is still a beauty that fairly glitters (in green) amidst a beautiful natural setting and forest backdrop, part of which are aquatic plants within a marsh at the base of its dell between tee and green. This hole requires well-struck short or mid-iron over that hollow—along with two careful putts—for par. The 498-yard sixteenth continues to keep the blood moving in your veins, as your tee shot must be well-struck to negotiate the fairway-spanning, reed-filled pond to touch down on its tree-lined fairway some thirty yards wide. This par-five further wends its way through forest, and for those big-hitters hoping to arrive at the green on the second of two powerful blows, a large cross-bunker, situated twenty yards before the green, will present a formidable obstacle. To complicate matters on both the final approach and the putting surface itself, the green tilts front to back and left-to-right. Hole seventeen is both the toughest and best one-shotter at Black Birch, playing ‘longer’ than its 150 yards to a green sitting atop a sizeable hill and guarded on its left flank by a large, steep-faced trap. The green’s opening on the right is a mere nine yards, and its modest proportions make it an elusive target, although bowl-like contours prevent many over-hit shots from running down the rear embankment. At the par-four eighteenth, the bank nine ends with a small bang, not a whimper, and you must bang your drive down the fairway’s left side, ideally, as several mature trees guard the fairway’s right side, often foiling or complicating approach shots for those who have veered too far right. Amply protected, the green is surrounded by a bevy of largish hazards. Nonetheless the putting surface itself is large and fairly flat, and a well-struck iron may well find you eyeing, happily, a birdie putt.
The course conditioning has been bettered remarkably over the last four years by the intensive work of Mr. Youngman Oh, the very astute greenskeeper here, who has been responsible for the revitalization of the entire course, especially upgrading entire green complexes (now excellent) and tees (ranging from average to good). The fairways are far from ideal, but they are playable, often lush in most of the landing areas. As for the pro shop staff, Dave and Keith, along with everyone else, are among the most polite, unpretentious, and fair-minded ‘golf people’ I’ve met, which is quite a compliment considering that I’ve walked into more than 300 clubhouses over my lifetime, ranging from elite country clubs to municipal and public courses across the United States and the British Isles.
Black Birch may be something of a sleeper, but it is well worth playing for all golfers, as well as an excellent value.
Get what you pay for
Tee boxes in bad shape. Fairways are lawn grass at their best. Greens were ok, just a little slow. Good course for beginners to practice some swings at but serious players will want better quality.
Hello, NDiCicco. Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We are sorry to see that your overall experience was anything short of 5 stars, but we hope you'll give us another try in the near future.
Hang in There
BB is a nice average reasonably priced course. In fact ...it can be a real bargain. Great place to work on your game. Miss Jack's Place being open. Hope they find a buyer.
Golfnow hot deal $1 a hole. Play here once a year with my son for amusement and tradition. Staff is great. I'm a 24 and this course always gets me. Tee boxes meh but greens are good. A good golfer will love the challenge especially on the back nine. Not worth more than $25 IMO
Hi, Gregorygrc. Let us first start by thanking you for the great review. This is the experience we strive to provide. We partnered with GolfNow because we believe in offering our golfers the best opportunities in golf, whether that be with our website or our partner’s. We will continue to work hard and create an excellent experience by using your comment for guidance. Thank you for playing Black Birch Golf Club. We hope to see you again soon.
Black Birch Golf Club Golf Course
It was a great course for the price, it has its ups and downs, but every green was well manicured, the fairways are a little bit thick but nice scenery and not too narrow. Overall I really enjoyed this course and will definitely be back.
Good course for the price
Overall layout is good. Most tee boxes for white tees good. There are no blue tee boxes. Greens are a bit beat u with ball marks, but playable Bunkers have very little to no sand in them. Definitely worth the price
Hello Tim, thank you for taking the time to review your recent experience with us at Black Birch Golf Club. We are sorry to see that the greens may not have been in the best shape when you played. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and we will use it to make the necessary improvements to the course. Our golfers overall experience is extremely valuable to us and we hope that you will give us another chance to show you how we've improved. Thank you for your choosing our course, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Great layout very poor condition!
Course is really poor condition! Restaurant closed for the season! Probably will be looking for another course to play. Too bad, nice layout. Seems like ownership has given up on maintaining the course.
Thank you for reviewing the course. Let us first start by apologizing for the poor experience you had during your visit. Your feedback about the course is important to us. We are working to get everything up to par. The current condition is by no means the standard we strive to achieve. We are going to escalate your feedback to our team so we can make improvements before your next game. We will continue to work towards an excellent experience by using your comment for guidance. Thank you for playing Black Birch Golf Club. We hope to see you again soon.
Your Own Private Course
Black Birch is a well kept secret. If you enjoy playing early in the morning and having the course to yourself then this is your place! Management has made many improvements over the years and continue to do so...are there areas for improvement like better drainage and dry patches? -Yes. But it is a great value and you'll have just as much enjoyment and saving $$$. Support Black Birch Golf!
This course needs some TLC. Played it a few years back and was in better condition. If some time was put into the tee boxes and fairways this would be a nice course. Gentleman in the shop was upfront with us so we knew what we were getting into.
Hi, thank you for taking the time to review your visit. We also want to thank you for your honest and constructive criticism of the course. Your comments are presented in a way we can incorporate them into actual change. We are going to escalate your review to our team in charge and do everything we can to improve before your next game. Thank you for visiting and playing at Black Birch Golf Club. We hope to see you again soon!
Staff was friendly, the course appears to have been improved for the better based on past reviews.
Greens are well kept and course was in good condition. Not terribly difficult layout, but allows for enough challenge.
For the greens fee, it's hard to find another course to enjoy a round of golf and have fun.
Hello, thank you for taking the time to review Black Birch Golf Club. We are sorry to see that your overall experience was anything short of 5 stars, but we hope you'll give us another try in the near future.
I usually play a few rounds of golf at this couse during the Spring, Summer and Fall. The course was in average condition for the Fall and after a few week's of considerable rainfall. The tee boxes and greens were maintained and in good condition. The fairways were playablle, but were very wet with some restricted areas. Golf carts were in full use and the course had some roped off travel areas. The fairways were clear and free of Autimn leaves. No difficulty locating your golfball. The staff at this golf course is very friendly and accommodating. I played on a “Hot Deal” which was an excellent price for this round of golf including a cart.
Bad conditions. Disappointed
The positives: Pro shop staff was very polite and friendly. Greens were in decent shape and rolled true. Sadly, that’s about it.
There is virtually no difference between the fairway and rough. All crab grass. Tee boxes were in rough shape. I see they’ve cleared some trees on the back nine and lengthened it a bit which is nice, but overall just in very poor condition.
$30 for 18 and a cart felt like a bargain going in, but not so much coming out. If you’re just there to hack around and have some beers with friends, it’s serviceable. Otherwise, look elsewhere.