Eldorado Golf Course
Teacher’s Comments:Twenty seven holes offer a lot of variety.
“Eldorado” is the legendary empire of gold sought by conquistadors and treasure hunters since the 16th century. Eldorado the golf course is a gold mine of golf holes in Mason, Michigan. Fortunately, it is not lost. It is, however, a bit off the beaten track.
Eldorado’s three nines are labeled the Red, White and Blue. Between the three, you’ll find just about every type of hole you could wish for: open, wooded, swampy, long carries, no carries, doglegs, straight as an arrow, tight, wide, uphill and downhill.
The Red is very friendly, with generous fairways, and not much trouble to get into off the tee. Two holes—the par 4 fourth and the par 3 seventh—require carries, but they are not difficult. This would be an ideal nine for a struggling or beginning golfer. From the back tees, it measures 3,160 yards and plays to a 34.3/105.
The White plays through woods, making the fairways tight and miscues penal. It also seemed to me to be the most hilly of the three nines. It is, however, also the shortest of the three, measuring 2,892 and playing to a 34.3/111.4. That it is 260 yards shorter than the Red and Blue, but playing six points or so more difficult speaks to the problems to the golfer posed by this nine.
The Blue is the longest of the three, measuring 3,168 and playing to a 114.1/34.9. That makes it the most difficult of the three. I thought the White harder, though. The Blue is less hilly than the White and less open than the Red. There are a few elevation changes, and some woods that could come into play, particularly on approach shots.The second and third shots on the first, for example, could find tree trouble, as could the same shots on the seventh.
If I were playing Eldorado again, I’d try to get out on the Red and Blue. Those nines were a lot of fun. My favorite hole on the course was the Red’s par four sixth (above). It’s a slightly dogleg right that starts level, dips down, then finishes in a sharply elevated green. Get your drive over the ridge, let it roll to the bottom, then add an extra club to get back up to the green. Fun.
Conditions on the day I played were mixed. The Red was in very good shape. However, a number of fairways on the Blue were in low-lying areas that were poorly drained. The areas just off the fairway were not well maintained and some of the greens needed work. The White also was in good shape. On all three courses, areas off the fairway and primary rough were often threadbare. I think the management should work to get those areas to grow out, and leave them long enough to thrive. Not every part of a golf course needs be regularly mowed.
All that said, there’s nothing particularly memorable about Eldorado. It is fun and friendly, but so are a lot of other courses. I am not sorry I played there, and would go back for an outing, but it is not one I would make a special trip to return.
(originally published Nov. 10, 2014)
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