Cherry Hills Country Club is a William Flynn design smack in the middle of Denver, Colorado
Cherry Hills has hosted many famous events over the years, but none more memorable than Arnold Palmer's US Open win in 1960.
1960 was fascinating because it was at the end of the dominant era of Ben Hogan, and the very beginning of Jack Nicklaus' amazing career.
Needless to say I didn't drive the first hole!
But perhaps the strongest defence is the greens. They are are seriously quick- and with enough movement to get your attention!
It is a strategic layout- the sort of course I enjoy plotting my way around.
I played with the assistant pro, and we played off the tee one forward of the championship tee, but one back from the normal men's competition.
At 6850 yards I found a couple of par 4's where I couldn't get home, but found it otherwise reasonable for length.
However, I had a number of approach shots from 170 metres plus- with creeks/lakes etc very much in play.
I have to admit I was a little intimidated..
The back nine is the stronger nine and has a real championship finish.
You need to negotiate a long 3 with a creek in play on the fifteenth, long 4 with creek in play on the sixteenth, and two par 5's on seventeen and eighteen.
Hole 17 is a ripper- a longish 5 with an island green
Apparently it is not so popular with members because Tom Doak brought back Flynn's two sets of cross bunkering (as originally designed).
I loved the hole, and the cross bunkering added interest in my opinion
Fortunately I hit a good drive, and a ripper 3 wood to carry both sets of cross bunkers- just...
Then a wedge to an island green sitting in the lake- simple really!
On hole 18 the drive is taken over the lake diagonally, with the lake in play down the left side for some of the hole.
There is also a creek running across the fairway about 100 yards from the green .
I hit a good drive (at least it stayed dry), hit a long rescue over the creek, and an approach wedge to green centre for an easy par five.
I note however that this hole plays as a long uphill par 4 for championship events. Yikes!
Overall Cherry Hills was a very pleasant experience- a good strategic course in magnificent condition.
It is just a lovely place to play, and a wonderful members facility
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