Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Killington Golf Course: A Closer Look

Most avid golfers spend their summers traveling to traditional golfing destinations in the southern United States like Florida or South Carolina without realizing that golfing gems await them in the northern states as well. Mountain golf is quite a unique experience, and 18 holes at a true mountain course such as the Killington Golf Course in Vermont is sure to be a rewarding challenge for golfers at all levels. While most Tours de Sport customers are familiar with the Killington experience in winter, few probably realize that a top-notch golf course sits just a few hundred yards from the main lifts and condominiums.

It speaks volumes to say that the Killington Golf Course demands accuracy over distance. The course is very short compared to most off-mountain resort courses: 6,168 yards from the back tees. As a result, all golfers will be using a variety of clubs all over the course, and especially on the tee boxes. For those players unfamiliar with mountain golf, one should expect many blind shots, elevation changes, and a variety of different lies no matter where a shot is played from. Another aspect making the course difficult is that it is heavily wooded, and many greens are elevated with drop-offs to the side and back that can cause havoc for inaccurate approach shots. While there are just two lakes on the course, rivers and creeks wind through nine other holes, which makes club selection and shot strategy all the more important.

There a number of holes on the Killington Golf Course which represent these aspects of mountain golf perfectly. The first such hole is the second, a 510-yard par 5. The tee box sits very high, overlooking a straight fairway. The tee shot need not be very accurate, unless players wish to go for the green in two shots. A river runs through the width of this hole, about 50 yards from the green. Even worse, the green sits well above the fairway, and anything short of the green has a tendency to roll back into the hazard. Even those players reaching the green in two shots are not assured a birdie. Once on the putting surface, players will have to deal with a two-tiered green that can make putting treacherous.

Immediately following that hole is the 183-yard, par-3 third hole. This is easily the most difficult par-3 on the course, with a narrow green that has a steep drop-off into the hazard on the right side. Furthermore, the prevailing wind will push a player’s tee shot right, meaning that most players will have to flirt with the trees on the left side of the green to ensure a putt for birdie.

After looking at the scorecard, long hitters may be salivating at the thought of the 286-yard, par-4 ninth. However, chances of reaching the green from the tee are very slim, as the hole is a sharp uphill rise the entire way. Even long hitters may be as much as 50 yards from the green. Take in a round at Killington or any of the summer mountain resorts on the Tours de Sport website.

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