Hayward Golf and Tennis Club
By Mark Sculati
Ahhhh...the rituals of spring. It means different things to different people - it all depends on your perspective. For some it's the beginning of the baseball season. For others it's relatives coming back from their respective enclaves of Florida and Arizona. For those of us "up north," especially golfers, it's the arrival of green grass. The initial spring sight of green grass stirs something in golfers. Shedding of Mother Nature's dim overcoat cannot come fast enough.
Upon our arrival at Hayward Golf and Tennis club in Hayward, Wisconsin, we were rewarded with a beautiful springtime sight - you got it - green grass. We pulled into the parking lot by the first tee and were greeted with a perfectly manicured boulder lined raised tee and pine tree lined fairway. Immediately our pulses increased - in a good way. Despite the cool temperatures and a stiff north breeze, we knew we had found "green."
After checking out the pro shop and clubhouse(6,000 square feet opened in 2003). We headed out to the first tee. As we were doing the golfer ritual of gathering tees etc., we looked up and spotted a spring time doe in the fairway - this animal knew where to find the green and we took it as a good sign.
As noted before, number one is a pine tree lined fairway and that became a recurring sight throughout our round. You add the green of the pine trees and the green of the fairways and it makes for a perfect visual from the first tee.
Hole number two is the second shortest par four on the course but don't let it fool you. There are pines (surprise, surprise) to the right where most golfers will hit it and thus jail will ensue. This writer took an eight on a previous visit - keep it left off the tee at all costs.
Hole number three starts what I feel is a real strength to Hayward Golf and Tennis - great looking par threes. Number three is a straight up 161 yards from the blues. Numbers eight and 14 are beauties with ponds and rocks fronting the greens - just great looking holes. Number 12 is the longest par three at 197 yards from the blues - with a west wind in your face you better bring plenty of club. The hole scoring average or your foursome could easily exceed four (although one in our group almost aced it with a hybrid).
Hole number four brings the first of the four par fives, followed by par fives at numbers nine, 13 and 15. Hayward Golf and tennis Club follows what, I believe, is the best (and traditional) layout for courses - two par threes, two par fives, and five par fours per side - 36 plus 36 equals 72. From the whites numbers four, nine and 15 are birdie holes - long hitters can reach on three of the four. Thirteen is a hard reach due to a sloped fairway and bunker guarded green. The key to the par fives, and it sounds simple enough, is to walk away none worse than one over - we will concede bogey on number 13 with the tough green. You have a chance to score on these holes. Hole number four provides a great backdrop of tall pines behind the green - great for the golfers eye - kind of like a great hitting background like major league baseball players prefer. It really pleases the eye on the golf course.
The other pleasing sight to the eye are that the majority of the holes are either straight or a dog leg right. This creates sort of a slicers paradise of holes and allows for better scoring. These dogleg par fours, numbers two, five, seven, 10, and 11 are lined with pines and allow for good swing thoughts - chicken soup for the soul.
The trickiest hole on the course awaits you on number 16. A short dog leg left at only 278 yards from the blues belies its short stature. I'm sure many a good round has been train wrecked here. Driver and go for the green over the pines? - good luck. Short iron to play it safe? - better get to the corner or no shot at the green. Too much iron? - sorry - you're in the bunkers on the right. Pick your poison from the tee and hope it woks out.
Hole number 17 brings a straight 383 yard par four with a lone tree on the left center of the fairway. An uphill second shot awaits you. As the number six handicapped hole, be wary of your second shot - get it there.
Number 18 is a beautiful finishing hole. An uphill tee shot brings you to a short, but dangerous second shot. With water on the right and a bunker on the left you need to be accurate with the last iron of the day.
Wintertime, to state the obvious, can be a cruel time for greens keepers. The last five years have been especially challenging - just ask outdoor broomball players. Fifty degree temperatures in February, rain in January, followed by sub zero arctic temps have pot marked many a course in our temperate zone. Depending on the grass - bent etc., some courses do not recover until June. This winter again was tough on most courses, but we were thrilled with the "green" we found at Hayward Golf and Tennis so early in the season. Founded in 1924, this course transcends any city course found in the metro area. Beautiful fairways lined with pines and great greens make this course a must stop for any twin cities golfer.
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Revised: 02/27/2012 - Article Viewed 34,860 Times
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About: Mark Sculati
Mark is a full time enrollment counselor with Capella University helping people get in to doctoral programs. He grew up in deep south Georgia with a love of all things Masters related. A long time writer, his handicap now falls under the kid-o-meter. Before kids it was 9 and trending downwards. Two kids later it is 12 and trending upwards.
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