This week The Dewsweepers would like to introduce you to a course that you may not know about. It's in Westlake, and in the grand scheme of things a pretty well kept secret for many. It's Hilliard Lakes, at the end of Hilliard Road with a farmhouse-like clubhouse.
Hilliard's Quaint Clubhouse
They call themselves "Lil' Augusta." Now, that may be a bit overstated, but Hilliard is a real nice place to play. It sits way back in the trees. For the most part every single hole is heavily tree lined with mature, majestic green trees, and pretty tight. It's a course that was born in the 1960's and is real nice northern golf. It has a steady stream of little creeks, a lake or two, a good amount of well placed sand traps, and and just the right amount of curves in just the right places.
And Hilliard has a phenomenon that we have never been able to figure out. The well kept greens are generally moderate in speed, undulated, and for some reason outside of a hillside putt, they don't break much. Putt at the hole all day long. So, if you can get the ball on the green, you can score. Hilliard is of average length, but to be honest, I prefer to play it all the way back to the blues. There it is almost 7,000 yards! And I always score better when we play the deeps, as I think it's an easier driving course from the tips. The white tees bring in much more trouble on your drive. We have all played really good rounds in the past on this course. Hit it well, and you can.
But on this Sunday, we played the white tees, and all of us left strokes out on the course we shouldn't have. There was some real good and bad golf played this week. The good? Beef opened up with 6 pars to start the round, and had 7 in all on the front. But his disastrous triple of the par three number 9 really hurt, and he shot 40 up front - with a triple! But no shame, number 9 is a tough driving hole. But is was to be Beef's day as he posted low score of the round.
Joe Red and I tried to keep pace, as we both birdied the par 5 number 6. My 41 on the front was solid, and could easily have been sub 40 with a couple of short putts missed, 2 4 footers. But I would lose my game on the back, with an ailing back and I fell victim to double bogey-itus. Joe Red played better as the round wore on, recovering from a quad on number two, with sand trap lip problems a plenty. But Red pressed on and put up a real nice 42 on the back. Tex shaved off a ton from front to back to finish strong, and post a good figure for him on this challenging course. The front doesn't set up well for him, as many of the fairways have a creek cutting them in half, including the first 4 holes. The back 9, although probably harder overall, less water in play. But plenty of big geese!
How will he get down from there?
(Thought they needed a running start to fly)
But is was Beef's day. He was the most solid all day long, with few peaks and valleys. Red had some sand issues, and I had 8, (count them) 8 punch out shots on the day, as I had a hard time finding the center on the back. Tex hung in there and didn't let the round get away from him.
Joe Red, Tex, and Beef - 17 tee
(Beef cheesin' hard, knows he's got the round in the bag)
Course highlights? All 4 par 5's are great and fair. All challenging, but all can be scored on if you drive it smartly. I played them even on the day. Also, the par 3's are not overly brutal, but many par 4's are tough. Including the very tight number 2, 3, 4, 10, and 11 which is long, tight and thin. Number 14, and 18 are no picnic either. Course's biggest teeth show in holes 9 - 12, gotta keep the damage light. Check your card when you're done, see how many you lose there.
The Tough, Tight Number 10
(We call this one silo on it's side)
We love this golf course. Always in good shape, nice people, and challenging. I far more enjoy this course from the deeps, where if you can hit, you can drive the ball better in many cases. But it can play to any skill level. Although, I would not recommend that beginners tee it up here. There are better courses for them.
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Beef - 85
JoeRed - 88
Wynn - 89
Tex - 99