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Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Stone Ridge in Prescott Valley


Yds. 7052, Par 72, Slope 132, Randy Heckenkemper

- Very, very good restaurant in club house. Definitely in contention for best fried-egg sandwich in the valley – even tho’ it is an hour-and-a-half away. . .
- Trash down both sides every hole. Perhaps this is not respectful of the natural mountain desert surroundings and the awesome scenery, but it is VERY penal: you are very unlikely to be able to hit a recovery shot from out off the grass.
- Every green is bisected by a ridge or else multiple tiers. Some both. With mounds and swales. Being on the correct side or the correct level is often not enough.
- Every green is tactically guarded by deep bunkers, sand and grass.
- Though more hilly than The Sanctuary, it is wider and longer.
- Long Bermuda rough in many places.

1. Short uphill dogleg left par 4. Green feels tiny since the longest makeable putt is about 2 feet.
2. Long straightaway par 5, downhill 2nd leg. Mounds on left, arroyo on right.
3. Long par 3, trash all the way down hill. Steep green.
4. Shortish par 4 slight uphill incline.
5. Amazing short, very down hill dogleg right par 4. No level lie past 150. So, a 7iron off the tee might be right, but it is so-o-o-o-o-o-o-o tempting to go for the green (totally blind, 300 yds) or to cut the corner of the dogleg (semi-blind, 210 – 230?), but the penalties for missing the grass are total.
6. Shortish, straightish par 4 downhill with huge sideboard on right. Could drive the green by hitting a hot hook to carom off the bumper mounds on the right – we of course plunked slices into the hill instead that still dribbled off into the fairway.
7. Short par 4 uphill dogleg right. Fairway banked like a race-track. GPS was wrong and since the green is so elevated, our blind shots to the wrong side of the green left IM-POSSIBLE putts over mounds so steep the ball rolled 40 feet away.
8. Down hill par 3. The long rough in the pothole next to the green restored my respect for grass bunkers.
9. Awkward, short par 5. Short drive means 2nd shot layup short of trash crossing fairway, making it a 4-shot hole. Tough 2-tiered green, very large and very steep, can easily make for another 4 shots.
10. Down hill lay-up drive to a hidden fairway left of where it “ought” to be; 200 yds. more uphill to the green.
11. 120 foot raised tee to fairway below rising sharply away from tee. Right side open away from desert knob on the left, but you still can’t see the green.
12. Downhill par 3. Excruciating 220 yds from the tips to another difficult putting green.
13. 100 foot raised tee to fairway below rising gently away from tee. Desert Knob on right. Though the yardage is very short, narrow fairway inhibits the drive and the elevated green tends to reject the approach.
14. 80 foot raised tee to fairway below rising gently away from tee. Reachable bunker on outside of dogleg right. Uphill green has false front, characteristic ridges & mounds, only more so.
15. Short dogleg right to an uphill raised green (not redundant). Tough tee-shot to fairway over a yawning bunker in the crook of the dogleg. Very tough green. Harder than 14!
16. Straightaway par 5. Hard fairway, lots of roll. Mountain on left, arroyo on right. Green lies flush with the fairway but drops off hard behind and to the right
17. 150 foot raised tee par 3. Green complex is a huge bowl that will feed the ball to the hole, but again, there are no easy putts.
18. Misbegotten s-shaped par 5. Blind *2nd* shot to a fairway that seems tiny, angled awkwardly. An impossible layup to an uphill, elevated green. Might be better just to go for the green in 2 even without any chance of making it, taking a drop 160 yards away, and hoping for a 1-putt-par.

This design is like poetry, a sonnet, to be exact:
The first 6 holes are “easy”
The middle 6 holes are “hard”
The next 3 holes look easy but are hard
The last 3 holes are supposed to look hard and be easy, but unfortunately, 18 is just too impossible.

5-6-7 and 13-14-15 are two very interesting stretches of short and shortish par 4 holes, that will make-or-break the round: I feel if I can maintain composure, keep patience, and don’t try to overpower these holes, I could score better, even if the middle-6 DOES kick my can.

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