Bruce Hills Golf Course Review
Bruce Hills Golf Course
Teacher’s Comments: Short, and inconsistent
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On the day I played Bruce Hills, the course was hosting some sort of juniors tournament, in which large gaggles of elementary aged kids were waddling about the fairways under the weight of their bags and gamely trying to advance the ball.
They started on ten, and having finished the front nine quickly, I caught up to them on the sixteenth hole. My round, which to that point had been swift, slowed to a crawl. No matter. That gave me some time to tap a few notes into my phones notepad.
My thought then, as now, is that Bruce Hills is the perfect sort of course to host such an event. It is short from the forward tees the kids were playing — just 4, 637 yards — and from those tees, relatively trouble free.
Bruce Hills also likely is a favorite for seniors and hit-and-giggle (or hit-and-drink) leagues.
For more serious golfers — or even those looking for a quality weekend round — Bruce Hills will probably miss the mark.
That’s not to say Bruce Hills is a bad course. It is just that there are other courses in the area, and others in Vargo’s portfolio more likely to satisfy a weekender’s golf itch.
Bruce Hills is a parklands style course built in 1956. I suspect that as originally designed it was much more open than its current state. While the fairways are tree lined, a great many of those trees are relatively young.
Water is in play on sixteen holes from the back tees. Elevation changes are by my count are found on eleven holes. Only a couple, however, will make you worry about clubbing up or down.
Bruce Hills is a par 70 that tops out at 5, 574 yards. There are just two tees.
My favorite hole at Bruce Hills was the 391 yard par four eighth. The tee shot is over a pond, although it is more a visual distraction than an actual obstacle. A pond on the right — hidden from view — threatens the tee shot, as does a thick tree line on the left. I of course hooked my ball into the left trees.
The approach shot is downhill shot across a creek to a large flat green perched on a hillside. Don’t miss left. Or short. Or right. Ending up on a downslope behind the green isn’t a great option either. There’s nowhere to go.
This hole — if the tee shot does not go far enough or goes awry — presents a bit of a conundrum. Do you go for the green with a longer, less accurate club, or actually lay up on a par four and get a good wedge in that will hit the green.
Conditions on the day I played were inconsistent. On some holes, were decently covered with green stuff; on others, they were closer to bare. A couple holes were soggy; others dry. There also were a lot of places where the course just felt shaggy. In particular, they could cut back some of the thick grasses that creep toward the fairway on the edges of the ponds.
The greens were uniformly pretty good.
I was stuck, though, by just how gross the ponds were. I believe that you could putt a ball across some of the thick coats of green sludge I saw.
A photo tour of Bruce Hills Golf Course follows: