If he were naming the holes at Geneva’s Mill Creek Golf Club, Steve Feddern might have called the challenging ninth hole “San Francisco Treat.”
There are several elevation changes, starting with a steep, uphill tee shot on the 508-yard par 5 that runs west along Herrington Drive to the clubhouse. It usually plays into the wind and is definitely no picnic.
“Definitely a risk-reward type thing,” said the facility’s general manager/director of golf. “There’s trouble left of the entire hole and there’s rowhouses along (the north side of) the street that give it a San Francisco feel to it.”
Only big hitters with very good accuracy are likely to consistently reach the challenging green in two shots.
“If your tee shot reaches the top of the hill, you’re probably 215-220 yards to the green,” said Feddern. “(From there) you have a big lake on the left (before the green), so anything you miss left is wet, and then there’s like a little outcropping of trees (on the right) that you have to make a decision to go over or not.”
Due to a second hill, “you can’t see the green from there so you have to make the call to go for it or not,” he said.
Big hitters off the tee are more likely to go driver and then lay up short of the water with a wedge or 9 iron and follow with another wedge to the green, Feddern said.
“For your average guy, it’s probably more like driver, 5 iron and then 8 iron into the green,” he said.
Dealing with the green presents more challenges.
“It has hard undulations, it’s well-bunkered and there’s a really tough pin we put in sometimes, back left and down in the very large swale and it makes it a really, really tough pin,” Feddern concluded.
Not all the holes that wend through the scenic Mill Creek development have that many challenges thrown into one, but there are plenty of concerns for golfers of all skill levels.
“It’s not what we consider a long golf course, but it’s a tight golf course for sure,” said Feddern. “Long hitters don’t even use their driver a lot. They’ll go with 3-wood.”