Archive for Thursday, July 13, 2000

Alvamar Golf Club is no leisurely stroll in the park

Narrow fairways, trees, plenty of rough can make it rough

July 13, 2000

Editor's note: This is the sixth part of a summer-long series highlighting some of the better golf courses in the Kansas City metro area. This week, we take a look at Alvamar Golf Club.

It's safe to say Alvamar Golf Club might be as tough a course as there is in the Kansas City metro area.

It's long 7,092 yards from the tips.

The par-4 18th hole at Alvamar Golf Club requires a player to drop
his or her tee shot short of the water before hitting uphill over
the pond to a green that is well-protected by trees and bunkers.

The par-4 18th hole at Alvamar Golf Club requires a player to drop his or her tee shot short of the water before hitting uphill over the pond to a green that is well-protected by trees and bunkers.

It's narrow. Plenty of trees along the fairways.

And the rough is thick.

That probably has a lot to do with why the golf course is so highly regarded throughout the state and the reason so many tournaments and corporate events are held there.

There is nothing easy about this course except that it's pretty easy to shoot a high score there. The Jayhawk nine is a little more forgiving than the back nine, which is known as the Quail Creek nine, but it's still no cakewalk.

Hole No. 2 is a 534-yard par-5 with a drastic dogleg to the left. Hit it straight and you're in good shape, but stray to the right and you're in someone's backyard. Hit to the left and your second shot will be a punch-out from a grove of trees.

If you can avoid the left side, this is a hole where a birdie is a definite possibility. However, it's one of the few birdie chances you might find because each hole is fraught with something be it a creek, a narrow landing area or a fairway bunker that forces a golfer to look at each shot with a great deal of trepidation.

Hole No. 6 is considered the toughest on the course. It is an uphill 444-yard par-4 with an extreme dogleg to the right. Getting into position for an unobstructed shot at the green is the main objective on the tee shot, but it is easier said than done.

Doing that requires a golfer to hit it far enough up the hill to clear the trees to the right. More often especially with players who aren't long hitters the second shot is going to be a lay up with a medium iron to get it close to the green.

A par on this hole is an accomplishment.

The Quail Creek Nine features a few holes worth noting, including the par-5, 524-yard 11th hole, which has undergone some repair in the last few months. With new drainage pipes installed, the sod is still recovering, but the improvements will pay off in the long run.

A gazebo to the right of the fairway adds to the splendor of the hole, which is long, narrow and unforgiving, but is still quite aesthetically pleasing.

Hole 16, at 380 yards, is the shortest par-4 on the course, but it is also the most narrow. A hill to the left and trees to the right, coupled with a fairway that is part of the hillside, makes this gimmick hole into a teeth-gnashing endeavor.

The same can be said for No. 17, a 562-yard par-5 that requires a long, straight tee shot, an approach shot through a narrow passage to a landing area just shot of a pond. And then a third shot over the pond to an ample and undulating green.

It takes three great shots and a keen putting eye to land a birdie here. A par is a welcomed surprise and, not to sound pessimistic, a bogey or worse is the more likely outcome for the non-seasoned golfer.

It doesn't get any easier on No. 18, where a player is required to hit long but not too long off the tee. A pond intersects the fairway about 230 yards from the tee box and forces a player to make certain his ball doesn't roll through into the water.

It's a small taste of target golf, which only adds to Alvamar's challenge and charm. If a player can stop it short of the water, the second shot is about 180 yards, uphill and over the water to a green that is protected by bunkers on both sides.

It's another difficult hole that requires at least two great shots.

Alvamar's rates are steeper than some of the courses we've played this year. During the week (Monday through Thursday) the cost is $28.50 to walk the course and $42 with a cart. Fridays through Sundays, the cost is $39.50 to walk and $52 to ride.

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