by Scott Boyle
You can do your happy dances now; the Hideout Golf Course is open for play.
PGA Professional Tyler Ivins reports that the Hideout opened on Monday this week. And the first-golfer-of-the-year prize goes to Ron Garner, who perused the course Monday morning, even though the temperature was a mere 45 degrees. You can’t stop the devoted.
Ivins reports the course is in good shape. “We are excited about the year,” he chips in. “It should be good.”
According to Ivins, the tournament schedule for 2017 is basically the same as last year. All the same tournaments will be the same weekends as 2016, so you can make your plans now to play in your favorite tournaments.
The course wintered well, and is ready for play.
“The grass isn’t growing yet,” putts Ivins, “so Brian Sturdevant, the course superintendent, isn’t mowing the greens as yet.”
But Sturdevant has been putting water on the greens and is sweeping them to get off all the debris. As a result, putting might be a little slow for a week or two.
A couple of improvements are on tap for the course. Last year, a new extended cart path down to the edge of number 17 green brought “the biggest and most compliments of the year,” Ivins approached.
Number 17, a par three nicknamed “Winchester”, is a dramatic par three with an elevation drop from tee to green of well over 100 feet. The green is framed by beautiful cottonwood trees that soften a most difficult approach.
And then in the fall, when the cottonwoods golden treatment arrives, it makes for a most stunning view.
The beauty of the hole, however, disguises a difficult descent to the green, down a steep, sometimes slippery slope that previously had to be negotiated on foot.
The new cart path extension, that is hidden from view from the tee boxes, made it so folks could get down the hill to the green in the golf cart.
This year, the crew has already started on a similar cart path extension to the green at number three. Tomb Stone, as it is known, is another par three, draped to the precipitous hillside above number two, and has another steep descent required to arrive at the green.
A number of different possibilities were discussed at Tomb Stone, including bringing the cart path from the front left of the fairway around the left side and back of the green and then up the hill to the existing cart path.
It was finally decided to extend the cart path down from the back right of the scenic green, allowing golfers to use the cart right up to the back of the green. Work continues on this project as we speak.
Another on-going project will be adding Silver tee boxes. Silver tees are for girls and junior players. All the holes with carries from the tee boxes, carries over the creek or other obstacles, will have the new tee boxes.
Work was started last year with a new tee box at number 11, Stallion’s Glance, another par three with a green imbedded into the hillside fronted by a wash.
Plans are to add silver tees to three additional holes with carries, including 5, 8, and 10.
The toughest hole on the course, signified by its name Rawhide, is number 8, which has a carry from the tee box over bushes and another wash and a long downhill approach.
Number 5, Old Man West, situated on the playgrounds of SS’s youth, is a short par four with a downhill drive over a wooded hillside to a fairway marked by out-of-bounds on the right and more brilliant cottonwoods on the left. The new tee box would be from the bottom of the hillside in front of the carry.
The back nine starts with a carry over two creeks, actually an irrigation ditch plus South Creek, at number 10, named Gold Queen.
This green is a difficult uphill approach through a chute in old elm trees that previously lined the old number four green on the old golf course.
It is especially tough for SS, since the green looks like it is in the same place as the old number four, but is actually farther west than it looks. SS is almost always short on this approach.
The new tee box will be in front of the two streams.
Golf is so enjoyable, and it’s getting more so each season. Try the Hideout for a golf experience unmatched anywhere, except maybe Augusta National in Augusta, GA, home of the greatest golf tournament of them all.
The Masters, by the way, begins in just a couple of weeks.