Final Finishing work should be completed on Hole #8 this week and we hope to have it open for play next week. Thus in this post we will present Bill Bergin’s (and our) perspective on the… is MVCC #8 going to be harder or easier discussion.
One of our high level key deliverables with our master plan is more “playability” for mid/high handicaps (Slope Rating <) and “challenge” for the lower handicaps (Course Rating >). It is clearly premature to reasonably evaluate this arena, especially since one of the key components for accomplishing this (new teeboxes) is not being fully implemented in our current project. Yet the discussion (at times debate) has already begun… primarily on particular holes.
Since we have already heard strong comments both ways on #8, we asked Bill Bergin his thoughts. He stated for the mid-high handicaps this hole should be easier as the new right fairway bunker is not in play off the tee for most mid-highs from current Blue-Copper-Green tee-boxes. The 2nd shot is more forgiving as the opening to the green is much wider-roomier-receptive to a running shot. This includes the new front right closely mown area where you can Texas wedge (putt) from!
Also the fairway will be widened-trees trimmed along the right side, and if you happen to go over the back of the green on your 2nd shot, there is a much better opportunity to get it up & down as this is now closely mown-chipping area where once again the putter is an option.
For the low handicapper/long hitter MVCC #8 will be more strategic and/or risk-reward oriented off the tee. The more generous area front right of the green rewards a well executed drive over the fairway bunker with a easier opportunity for birdie. Yet a long drive hit anywhere else will provide a more challenging & visually intimidating second shot… especially from the new fairway bunker.
When the pin is located in the new green extension back left… #8 will be harder for everyone! Yet when the new front right pin is used… it might mean the hole is easier for everyone.
Perhaps the one thing we all can agree on, if you think it’s harder – it is for you & if you think it’s easier – it is for you. For as the great champion and founder of Augusta National Bobby Jones said:
” … golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course,
the space between your ears.”