lairdslair home public courses


Bethpage Black  Long Island, New York - Site of the 2002 and 2009 United States Open, 7,297 yards, Par 71, Rating 76.6, Slope 148.  This is the most difficult course that I have ever played. Walking only, caddies are available. It was hot and humid the day I played here which undoubtedly made it even more of a challenge. Things get very interesting on the back, with par fours measuring 499, 492, 479, and 478.  Glad I played it for the experience. It was also in great shape. Miles of bunkers, hills, need I go on? More on Bethpage Black

TPC Sawgrass - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida - Home of the Player's Championship. Played this gem recently with my brother Steve (who is a member of the sister Valley Course) my nephew Phil, and Kevin "Small Block" Buckley. Conditions were relatively benign the day we played it so the wind did not come into play on the 17th. Playable but penal. A lot of fun - recommended.

Hidden Hills - Jacksonville, Florida (website) - A semi-private Arnold Palmer Signature Course. Interesting course for the area as it features some rolling hills in an area that's generally flat.  Not long at 6892 from the absolute tips but challenging none-the-less. Slopes range from 121 to 138 through the 5 sets of tees available while the course ratings range from 70.0 to 73.7. A decent amount of water and bunkering and the conditioning was very good the day I played it in late December.  Nice clubhouse facilities that is credit card only.

TPC of Tampa Bay  Tampa, Florida - Pretty decent track, conditioning was very good but not great.  The rough was very difficult in spots, next to impossible actually. Last four holes very challenging.

The River Golf Club - North Augusta, SC -  Just across the Savannah River in South Carolina, I played this course when I was down for the Masters. Only 6847 from the tips, it has some challenging holes. It looked like they were in the midst or finishing up a restoration. A bit pricey for what you get but somewhere to play when you can't get on Augusta.

Bald Mountain - Lake Lure, SC, Nice mountain course. One of it's claims is that part of the movie, "Dirty Dancing" was filmed here. Short and hilly with some nice elevation changes, this is a resort course made for scoring. Very scenic however and very pleasurable. Only 6283 all the way back.

The Arroyo Course at Red Rock  Las Vegas. A beautifully done public course that is part of the Red Rock complex.  The other course is private and is called The Mountain Course. 6883 yards, Rating 71.9, slope 124. Rolling hills, many fine bunkers, excellent greens, a bit on the hard side (tough to hold). Excellent conditioning and wonderful views of the mountains. Red Rock Website

Wexford Golf Club - Wexford Plantation, Hilton Head, SC - Nice course, a nice tight test of golf. 6378/6828 71/131 and 73.1/136 for the white and blue tees. One of the rangers was kind of a prick, but still enjoyed it quite a bit.  

Whetstone G.C. Claridon, Ohio. East of Marion, Ohio on route 95.  Good course, nice, fast greens with a good variety of holes.  Gets a lot of play, as most of the public courses do but usually in good shape. Whetstone Web Site

Royal Links Golf Club - Las Vegas - This is a "replica" course featuring replica holes from 11 British Open courses. A hell of a lot of fun. There's the Postage Stamp, the Road Hole, and many other reincarnations of famous holes, most done extremely convincingly. It was very windy the day I played it so the typical seaside flavor of most of the originals was lost. 

Indian Springs G.C. Mechanicsburg, Ohio.  An excellent course, featuring some brutally long holes, especially from the back tees. Can be crowded, tee times a necessity.  Try it during the week, except on Fridays, everyone takes Fridays off to play golf!  Except me, of course. Indian Springs Web Site

Angel Park G.C. Las Vegas, NV. Situated in the foothills outside of Las Vegas, Angel Park is a fairly typical "community-tourist" course. Not especially long with decent greens with the usual tough reads. Good sand and an excellent finishing hole.

Royal American Golf Links, Columbus, Ohio. Columbus has a lot of terrific new courses, and this is just one of them.  Very playable, never seen it in bad shape.  Most holes offer generous fairways.  You'll find some big greens here! Royal American Web Site

Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, SC - Yes, the Harbour Town, with the lighthouse etc. Good course, but just not all that tough. 6603/6972 75.2/146, 72.9/139. Either I was in a zone (doubt it) or this just doesn't play that hard. Worth playing?  I now hear that greens fees are $250 and it's cart paths only at all times.  Personally, I'd rather play Longaberger in Ohio twice and have some beer money left over.

The Player's Club - Lockbourne, Ohio, south of Columbus.  My favorite public Columbus course.  An absolute gem.  Front nine is links style with doglegs, mounding, water and two tiered greens.  The back side features very long par fours, good par fives and par threes, all through some rather tight, tree lined fairways.   Most landing areas are generous, though.  I have always found the greens in great shape and the over-all conditioning to be great.

Colonial Hills G.C. - Ada, Ohio  A nice track that's been around awhile but still is a blast to play!  Good fairways, adequate greens (a bit on the slow side) with a good mix of challenging holes. Can get real busy.

Mohican Hills  East of Mansfield, Ohio on U.S. 30.  Fun layout over rolling terrain. Can be tough to walk but can make for an interesting day of golf.  Greens are so-so but the views are great.  Good place to work on those side hill lies!

Pauite Golf Resort, Snow Mountain Course - Las Vegas, NV. One of three courses on the Pauite Indian Reservation outside of Las Vegas. Both are Pete Dye designs. There are two  other courses at the resort, Wolf Mountain, and Sun Mountain. Snow Mountain is a beautiful course stuck out in the desert, rye fairways, bent grass greens, pot bunkers, and railroad ties everywhere. 7146 yards, par 72, rating - 73.3, slope 125.

Palmetto Dunes - Hilton Head, SC  A Robert Trent Jones creation, 6710 yards, rating 72.6, slope 133. A lot of water and crocodiles! Very nice track, lots of sand too. Greens were good to very good. Very fair landing areas and a lot of fun to play.

Old Carolina,  Blufton, SC (Hilton Head)  Played this one twice in the past few years. Links style, plenty of 'gators, 6805 all the way back. First time I played here it was a dog track. Things have improved. Doesn't play to the rated slope/rating in my opinion, which are respectively, for the three boxes 70.1/127, 71.8/135 and 73.5/145.

Hyland Hills G.C.  Southern Pines, N.C.  Couldn't have a favorites list without including this one!  Old "Sandy Andy", got more damned bunkers than any other public course I've seen.  Cheap, fun to play with a lot of variety.   If you're in the Pinehurst area and can't get on any of the fancy courses, try this one, I know you'll enjoy it.

Badlands GC  Las Vegas, NV  Lots of mounding, some beautiful holes with views of the surrounding mountains. A total of 27 holes from the same clubhouse. Features rolling fairways with the occasional desert chasm to swallow errant shots. A little hard to score on the first time through, local knowledge would be a plus.

Long Bay C.C. - North of Calabash, S.C. A Jack Nicklaus design.   A good track with a lot of the Nicklaus touches and features of his design work.

Painted Desert GC - Las Vegas, NV  Good course. 6840 yards, rating 73.7, slope 136. Some long par fours that play shorter because of the altitude. Also features a few short 4's that require an accurate long iron tee shot. I would play this course again!

Pawley's Plantation - Pawley Island, S.C.  Another Nicklaus course. Features two very interesting par threes over marshland.  Not too tough, if you're hitting it right, but what is?

Las Vegas National - Las Vegas, NV The day I played this course they had over-seeded the whole thing and greens were terrible! The only reason I'm listing it is because it was a very good layout with some neat holes. I'm going to assume that the conditioning is generally much better than I found. 6815 yards, par 72, slope 72.1, rating 130. Best hole is number 16, an uphill 222 yard par 3. The course is listed at

Jekyll Island G.C. - Jekyll Island, Georgia  Three 18 holers playing out of the same clubhouse.  Oleander, Pine Lakes and Indian Mound.  Of these, Oleander and Pine Lakes are the best challenges, although Indian Springs is no dog.   Number 18 at Oleander is one tough finishing par four!

Cimmarone CC - Jacksonville, FL.  Maybe my favorite of the courses in Florida that I've played.  Water on all 18 holes!  Back tees (yes - I played them) measure 6891yards.  Course slope from there is 132 with a rating of 72.7, yet you CAN score on this course.  Nice variety of holes and good greens.   Has an occasional short (but tough) par four tossed in, which I find enjoyable. Try Cimarrone if you get the chance.

Sienna GC - Las Vegas, NV   Another "community" club.  This was my favorite of this type of Vega's course. Only a couple of years old, it sits in the desert outside of town. 6816 yards, rating 71.5, slope 129.  Plays quite a bit shorter because of altitude and roll.  Some water, most of it in play.  Very good fairways and tricky greens.  Big bunkers with new sand that is very powdery and deep.  I found the bunkers difficult because of the new sand.  Some holes had deep pot bunkers in the landing areas, from which a shot to the green was impossible because of the high lips.

Pinehurst C.C. - Pinehurst, N.C. - At my last count, eight courses strong!  I have played courses 1,2,3 and 5.  Of these, number 1 is by far the shortest.  It was one of the original Donald Ross designs at Pinehurst, the other being number 2, the Championship course.  Number 1 is a nice course, always in great shape.  Number 2 has been the site of countless amateur and professional events for over 50 years.  It's much more difficult than it looks. Shot making is at a premium. Courses 3 and 5 are similar, however, number 5 is probably my favorite of all the Pinehurst courses I have played due to the layout and variety of holes. Pinehurst Web Site

Windsor Parke Golf Club - Jacksonville, FL. - 6740 yards from the back tees.   Slope 133, course rating 71.9. Has some strong holes and a fair amount of sand.  Quite a bit of water and some very strategically placed bunkers.  Conditioning was very good.  All in all, a nice place to play.

Red Hawk Run - Findlay, OH. - 7155 yards all the way back, rating 74.4, slope 132.  Located on route 224 about 3.5 miles east of Findlay, Ohio.  Designed by Arthur Hills.  Opened mid summer, 1999.  A links style course, with very few trees, it offers a fine challenge to any level of player.  There are 5 sets of tees.  Rolling, sculptured fairways, plenty of sand, and greens that vary from mid-size to very large.  For more information:

Chapel Hill G.C. - Mt. Vernon, OH. - 6856 all the way back, Rating 72.6, Slope - 128.  Nice hilly course that features an old chapel as a clubhouse.  Some strong holes on the front side, accurate tee shots are a must.  Very scenic, the back side (at least the last 6 holes) becomes rather pedestrian, actually birdie heaven, lets you make up some ground on your card. Recommended.

Longaberger CC - One Long Drive, Nashport, Ohio  Could this be the best course in the state of Ohio, bar none?  An Arthur Hills designed course in the rolling hills east of Newark, it boasts 5 sets of tees with yardages from 4985 (Red) to 7243 (Black). Slope ranges from 122 to 138. Very enjoyable 18 holes,  rather long rough, almost links-style in places. Great undulating greens, strategically located ponds, massive traps, all manicured to perfection. Pricey, at $95 (or more, by now), but hard to beat.


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