Course 111: Willowbend CC - Bay and Bog nines
Date Played: August 29, 2023
Yardage: 4,708 - 6,660
Tier: Farm to Table
The Bay nine opens with a dogleg par 5 that offers an introduction to what's in store. A tree in the fairway guards the dogleg and water guards the green. The green is curved with subtle slopes with a small run-off area to short grass.
Bay continues with many of the same features.
The second is a wicked Cape-style par 4 with water looming left the whole way. The green slopes HARD right to left; only a thin layer of rough stops (some) shots from careening over the stone wall. I'd imagine plenty of putts have taken a dip at the second.
The Bay section of the course could have great views, but trees in a conserved area stand tall blocking water views on the 5th and 6th holes. Both approaches into those greens would be stunning, and intimidating, with water as the backdrop.
After weaving through trees for the first eight holes, the ninth offers a tee shot with some more forgiveness, downhill and into a wide landing area.
As you make the turn to the Bog nine, the opening hole has two trees in the middle of the fairway. Players have to choose the right club to avoid them and stay short of the runout into the water at the end of the fairway.
Then players return to the trees. The par-3 11th is a lovely mid-length par 3 over water. But the pressure valve is fully released on the 14th hole - a solid downhill par 3 with a red barn framing the view. The closest thing to a signature hole.
The 15th is a strong par 4 that plays downhill to a wide fairway and then over the bog to the green.
The final six holes weave around cranberry bogs.
The Bog nine is more integrated into the housing development at Willowbend, and the 18th hole gives players a chance to rip driver over the edge of some houses to reach the par 5 in two.
The hallmark of the course is the relentless challenge; every shot requires attention and accuracy. I do wish it had a bit more intrigue as far as different types of design and shots.
A strong test that was in excellent condition.