This week we went back to the ever improving, and now very nice Hickory Nut. This course has a long story to tell. It is a wooded course way back and private off Rt. 82, 3 miles west of Strongsville. This course has been around for a long time. And now, this has been turned around so much for the good in the past few years, it is simply a great place to play. The memories of how this used to be a few short seasons ago have faded.
Sign off Rt. 82 as you head west from Turnpike or 1-71
This course plays about 6,400 yards from average tees, and is a wonderful design, that finally is living up to the designers vision again. This course frankly had fallen into some real difficulty, but a strong superintendent, and hard working crew, are making this really great. There are plenty of trees, some sand, little water of any consequence really. True greens that are sloped in many different ways, and conditions now that are great.
One of the really great things about Hickory Nut are the par 3's. All four are very challenging, and all four very different. #3 is heavily protected at the green 150 yards. #7 is 200 yards, with a raised green. # 11 is 225 yards water left, and number 16, is 180, and a very difficult tee shot as the green is raised, and heavily protected by sand and water left. All great holes. But, the par 5's are scoring holes if you are hitting the driver well, so that's great design. It gives you the chance to get your strokes back. Although there are only 3, par 5's as this plays at par 71.
And today, the greens were really fast, really quick and really, really nice. These greens were absolutely wonderful. And there were some brutal, and I mean brutal pin placements. Made for some putting that required touch. A tall order for amateurs.
Putting was fast and true - but tough, ask Joe Red!
No one lit the world on fire out there this week. Jo Red knocked it around some, as did we all. Posting a bunch of pars, but also a bad number or two, and checked in at 93. But Joe's game is getting ready to really come around, we can all see it as we get into more consistent play, and superior conditions. This is not Tex's favorite course, but he troops on and plays it. We all have that mindset on a course or two, and this is his. He punched it around for a 96. Although his driver is getting much better, and better golf for him is on the way.
Beef started out with a triple bogey, then turned it on. A great birdie on #5, and he was on his way. He was playing very well till hole 14, then a tough stretch of 4 holes derailed his round, firing an 88. He was in a position to score better, but hey, like you.. we are all non-pro's. I parred the very tough #1, par 4 and then it was bogey-itus. I didn't play badly, just bad enough not to score. 12 bogeys on the day, a birdie on #17, a couple of doubles and an 88 as well.
Course highlights? The previously mentioned par 3's, and 5's. Also number one, a 435 yard par 4, bending right to a raised green. #13, long thin par 4 over the hill, to a ridiculous slanted green, #1 handicap. #14, a huge doggy left, to a turtle back green par 4, tough driving hole, and tough to get it on the green.
Whew, par 5 to finish after all those BRUTAL par 3's!
Bring all of your clubs, because using all of them is paramount at Hickory Nut. Position play is smart, and the driver can get you in trouble here if you are not careful. Practice your par 3's too.
Hickory Nut is an up and comer again. The great news is, this is again a great place to play. And even better days are ahead you can tell.
Next week, we will tell you about another great course once again on the rise, as we play the newly rejuvinated Springvale, in North Olmsted! Talk about a comeback story!
Check out other golf courses The Dewsweepers have recently played and reviewed!