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Course review: Long Bay Club a thinker’s course

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There’s a lot more to shots into greens at Long Bay Club than locating a pin and firing away.

A lot of consideration should go into approach shots to greens that are narrow or shallow in some areas, have undulation that is occasionally tiered, and are universally well protected by often-penal bunkers and collection areas below the putting surfaces.

“You have to think on every shot,” said John Whitty of Longs, a senior mini-tour pro and trick shot artist. “I think it’s generous off the tee and you have to think about your second shot on every hole. Greens and surrounding areas require a lot of forethought to prevent large numbers. You have to know what side to hit it on.”

Joining me and John in a review of the Jack Nicklaus design in early March were Brian Rohrback of Little River, the owner of K&A Lighting and Supply and a 9 handicap, and snowbird Bob Washburn of Holiday Park, Penn., a retired Alcoa communications and public relations manager with a 21.2 handicap index.

The 28-year-old course offers ample distance of 7,025 yards considering the greens are well protected, and has five tee boxes.

With a multitude of bunkers on most holes, it’s difficult to avoid them over the course of a round. Holes often framed by mounding or drivable waste bunkers, or both. Three holes have waste bunkers running along both sides of the fairway. “He sure does like waste bunkers,” Bob said.

Water can be a factor on a handful of holes. “Water comes into play on a number of holes, but not too much to be a problem,” Brian said.

Some shallow Champion ultradwarf Bermudagrass greens that can become firm, particularly in the summer, make it difficult to hold the putting surface on approach shots. The greens were relatively receptive on our round. “It’s real challenging. You know you’ve got to hit a high shot and hit it clean to hold the green,” John said.

The course was generally dry for our group coming out of a wet winter, as there were no cart restrictions.

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