People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

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People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby thurman » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:11 am

It's finally time to start voting on the GKL People's Top 18! Here's your chance to help determine the best 18 public courses in the state. I'm putting group 1 up for voting starting today. Next up...

Fore please, Cherry Blossom golf course in Georgetown, KY.

If you've played it, you can rate it. Please use the following categories and rate on a scale of 1-5, as below (it's a tough scale, 3 is a pretty good score):

1 - Poor
2 - Okay
3 - Solid
4 - Very good
5 - Superb

Aesthetics – Is it scenic? Does the course “fit” its natural surroundings? Are the views unobstructed? Points off here for homes or buildings or power lines encroaching on the course, or other eyesores.

Ambience – Does the course feel “special”? Is it quiet? Is it a friendly, pleasant, or unique place to play in terms of atmosphere? Does it have intangibles that make you want to return? Points off here for loud highways, crappy customer service, pissy locals, and other things that negatively impact a course’s atmosphere.

Conditioning – Are the greens smooth? Do they run at the right speed? Are the fairways full? Does it play fast? Are the bunkers maintained? Points off here for slow or bumpy greens, dead spots in fairways, neglect, and unplayable bunkers.

Use of property – Does the course use its land well? Do natural slopes provide interest on shots? Are the course’s natural features used (water, trees, terrain, etc)? Does it drain well? Points off here for holes that ran out of room, constant drainage issues, unplayable slopes, wasted or misplaced features.

Risk/reward – Does the course give you opportunities to take a risk for some potential gain over the player who doesn’t take the same risk? Does the course extract a penalty if you fail? Does it make you want to hit dangerous shots? Points off here for forced conservative plays, cakewalk short par 4s and 5s with little danger.

Test of the full game – Can different types of players be successful? Does the course reward accuracy as much as it rewards distance? Is touch around greens as important as hitting strong full shots? Is putting as important as driving? Points off here for courses over-reliant on length, holes that don’t give short hitters a chance to put the ball in play, courses with interest tee to green but flat dull greens, etc.

Design variation – Is there a good mixture of short, medium, and long par 4s? Are the par 5s unique? Do you hit different clubs on the par 3s? Are there uphill and downhill holes? Are there doglegs left and right? Are different challenges present from one hole to the next? Points off here for repetitive shots, a ton of 380 yard par 4s, etc (note: It’s okay for a course to be cohesive. It’s ok if a course is “old school,” “wooded,” or “links style.” It just needs to present unique challenges throughout).

Memorability – Pretty simple: Do you remember it after you play it? Are there shots you replay in your head and think about before your next round? Do holes stand out for the right reasons? Points off here for forgettable holes or memorably bad holes.
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby LordofthePings » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:04 pm

I've played it, and liked it, but again, it was too long ago to offer any rating. Can't remember enough of the holes / conditioning.
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby JP » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:10 pm

Aesthetics –3. I think it is solid but not spectacular by any means. Houses are near but do not impinge on the course IMO.

Ambience – 3. Pretty quiet here. It has a country club feel but there is no doubt that the course is in a neighborhood, albeit a nice one.

Conditioning – 5. Year in and year out this is the best conditioned course that I play tee to green. Lush even in times of drought. My compliments to the maintenance staff and superintendent.

Use of property –4. I know some criticize the front 9 as boring but I disagree and I think given the property the course follows the natural terrain well especially on the back 9 where the holes really flow naturally.

Risk/reward – 3. For a player of average length I'm not sure there is a lot of risk/reward on the property. I suppose the par 5's on the back if you hit good drives but the targets are relatively small for a fairway wood. Depending on where you place the ball on #18 there is some risk involved in that approach but, a bail out to the left leaves a reasonable chip and putt so I like that design feature.

Test of the full game – 4. I think this course is a good test of all aspects of your game. Wayward tee shots are punished by often brutally thick rough. Greens generally slick so chipping and putting are tested. There are short par 4s and holes where you will be required to make longer approach shots.

Design variation – 4. Some criticize the front 9 but I think 1 is a good par 4 to start the day, 8 is a nice shortish par 4 and 9 is a solid par 5. This course is better than some give it credit for. I actually really like the last 5 holes and the variety that exists therein but I know most just like 16-18. The front is a little bland, but it's not terrible. 10 is probably the blandest hole on the course. 11 and 13 are solid par 4s and 12 is a good short par 3.

Memorability –4. I may be above the norm here but for me this course has always been a standout. I don't play it as often as others in the area for a variety of reasons but I have always found Cherry Blossom to be a great experience and for me is memorable beyond the round at hand.

If my math is correct, I guess that's a 30.
Last edited by JP on Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby stammalammy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:29 pm

Aesthetics – 3 - Houses bring it down to the 3 although they are not infringing on the course too much.

Ambience – 3 - Solid, housing again puts the limit.

Conditioning – 5 - Always very very nice shape.

Use of property – 3 - Somewhat ho hum but some other spots that are very nice.

Risk/reward – 3 - A few holes stick out in my mind.

Test of the full game – 4 - Always seems like I get to hit many different clubs on this course.

Design variation – 2.5

Memorability – 3 - Remembered for the conditioning mostly.
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby A-Dub » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:25 pm

Just give it all 5's from me....
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby A-Dub » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:40 pm

Ok, just kidding. I thought I'd just play into the bias people think I have. It is a bit special to me, but I can rate it fairly.
Aesthetics- 3 The houses are the problem. They aren't on top of the course though. Takes a pretty bad one to plunk a house. 13 is probably the best spot to get one if you hook one good.
Ambience- 4 and I might get some crap for that, but everything about it feels like a golf course. The points are off for the houses only. It's good service :D, you can hang out in the clubhouse, etc. A lot of people return to Cherry Blossom and pay the extra money b/c it's just a nice place in great condition.
Condtioning- 5 Did you like that segue? Always the best condition in Central KY and probably best conditioned public in the state.
Use of property- 5 Like JP, I feel they used the land as best they could. This is not a place where tons of dirt could be moved. Drains well, the only hole that even resembles an "oh shit" hole for room purposes is 17, but they made it a helluva hole, so it doesn't qualify.
Risk/Reward-3 Most of the risk is on the back, and it is really all throughout the back. The front hurts it for risk/reward, but for me its solid.
Test of the full game- 4 The course obviously doesn't rely on distance, and its obviously a place different types of players enjoy b/c all year long they get great players and terrible players and all enjoy it. I hit a lot of my clubs out there.
Design variation- 4 We talk about the ho-hum start, but there really isn't a lot alike. A few par 4's leave you the same club in, but all the 3's and 5's are pretty different. I also feel like 12-18 are one of the more solid stretches of holes around. All different and make you hit some shots. They all fit.
Memorability-4 Maybe personally this would be a 5, and maybe this is a subjective one that should make it 5, as I will always remember every step of every hole out there. I feel like most people remember the course pretty well after those first 4 or 5 holes.

Ah hell, maybe I should give the last one a 5 as well.
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby cobra » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:47 pm

Aesthetics – 3
Ambience – 3
Conditioning – 3
Memorability –3
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby Docugs » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:00 am

Aesthetics-3 I do agree it feels like a golf course, the houses don't really bother me at all.
Ambience- 3 service from the staff has never been a problem, and Gps on the carts helps some.
conditioning-4 Most of the time the course is in very good condition. There are some times where it can get burnt up and tee boxes get really torn up.
Use of Property-3.5 They did a ok job here, I wish that they used some more property instead of trying to put as many house lots out there. There is room to make some of the holes longer and some different tee boxes, and they skimped on the greens structures when the built this course. All the greens are 33 feet deep and basically flat.
Risk reward-3 not many holes in my opinion that really encourage you to gamble. Many wedges or mid irons on most of the course.
test of full game-2 for me it is just ok, like I said before many wedges or 8 irons in your hand. I can think of only two par 4's on the back where I would have anything longer than a 6 iron in my hand.
Design Variation-2 Its just ok with me
Memorability-3 Maybe because I have played the course alot, but I can still tell you how every hole is set up.

I am going to be hard on most of the courses I rate, But Cherry Blossom is right at the top for the lexington area, by my judgement, and the price doesn't get out of hand. Good value for your money.
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby foreleft » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:55 am

Aesthetics-2, Ambience-2, Conditioning-5, Use of property-2, risk/reward-3, test of full game-3, design variation-2, memorability-2

Lots of unmemorable holes. Great finish in 16, 17, and 18. Always in good shape. It has some good things going for it but that stretch of nothing holes on the front and 10, 11, and 15 on the back make for too many unimaginative hole designs.
Last edited by foreleft on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Not raking a bunker.
Littering is wrong too.
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby JP » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:28 am

You don't think #15 is a well designed, short par 4?

I do because it's up hill. You have several club options depending on your length and the approach is semi-blind rewarding great approach shots but making them difficult because you can't properly see the green. Just my $.02
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby thurman » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:45 am

Aesthetics - 2. It is what it is, but it's a subdivision course. If the whole course looked like 8, 15, 16, and the tee at 17 I'd be much higher on it, but they compromised views for cash from the development.

Ambience - 3. It's not great, but it is a bit of a unique country club feel for a public course in the greater Lexington area. I've never had pace of play or idiot issues on the course, and whether due to its slightly higher than average price or something else, it is a place that feels a little more special than most courses.

Conditioning - 5. The gold standard in KY. Only potential complaint is that sometimes it's a little too soft, but it's played fast the last few times I've been there.

Use of property - 4. There honestly isn't much going on with the property, but they used what they had when they designed it. I really like the sweeping first tee shot, the use of the ridge on 6, and the way 8 is routed along the dropoff right. I also think the area on which 15 is located could easily have produced a really mundane hole but instead they came up with something unique. There's nowhere on the course where you say "Man, this awesome terrain should've produced a better hole."

Risk/reward - 3. There's some on the second at 17 and the first at 18. I also have to disagree with foreleft. I think 15 is one of the most unique holes I've played and definitely has some risk/reward (you really have to decide how far you want to try to hit it while still being able to keep it on your target tier), and 11 is a solid risk/reward par 4 for someone who hits the ball a decent length. Unfortunately though, I think 9 wastes a good risk/reward green complex by being unreachable for anyone who doesn't hit a perfect and smashed drive. It would be a much better hole at 500 yards than it is at whatever length it plays now, for the same reason that 13 at Augusta is a better hole for being at an easily reachable length.

Test of the full game - 2. This course really rewards the long hitter who can hit the ball high (14 is the most egregious example, as it's a pushover potential-eagle hole for the long high ball hitter but very difficult for anyone who hits the ball lower because of the shallow green and fronting bunker). A lot of holes demand high, soft approaches. Even though it's not overly long, it's still very hard for a short, accurate hitter to compete with a long, less accurate hitter. The greens are also much too flat to give good putters any real advantage over poor putters.

Design variation - 3. You never play the same hole twice, but I tend to hit a lot of the same clubs over and over here. The par 3s especially, aside from 12, are all downhill and something between an 8-6 iron for me.

Memorability - 3. No memorably bad holes. 17 and 18 are memorably good, but most of the course is rather uneventful even if it is a fun and consistent place to play.

I really enjoy this course, but I just gave it a 21/40 total. Some of these later courses are gonna get embarrassing numbers from me... (edit: I gave it a 21 because I forgot a category in my original post. Oops).
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby moe » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:01 pm

2
3
5
3
3
3
2
3
total 24

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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby A-Dub » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:04 pm

15 is not a good hole? Only person that has ever said that. Crazy....

This course gets lower ratings than normal b/c of the accolades it gets and people disagree with that.
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby foreleft » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:38 pm

Course just has too many boring holes. With 15 being one of the most boring. Driver to a huge fairway leaves you about 60 yards in to a huge green. I like the staff. I love the fact that they do an excellent job with conditions. I really not sure if we should discuss our opinions or not during this. It may influence the scoring. Of the courses I have played in the Lexington area, only Widow's watch or whatever they call it now is below this one. I went back again this year and gave it another chance and still just thought blah. #6 and #8 are the only holes with character on the front. #16, 17, and 18 are good on the back. I love #17 and 18. I gave it a 5 for conditioning. I am not sure if any other course on the list is going to get that from me. What is really silly is I will go back again sometime. I am that much of a golf nut and it is always nice to play a course that takes pride in conditions.
I really don't think people are going to be unfair with these ratings because a course got accolades from a source we all know is consistantly off. Thanks for your implication Adub. Get a effing clue.
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Re: People's Top 18: Cherry Blossom

Postby thurman » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:46 pm

I don't think Dub was insinuating that people have rated Cherry Blossom unfairly on this thread. I think he's talking more about the general perception of the course. It does seem like a lot of people rush to call Cherry Blossom overrated or "not that good" when they discuss it, while then singing the praises of courses like Gibson Bay or Houston Oaks. To me, it's hard to differentiate between those courses, but the general perception of GB or HO seems more positive than that of CB, and a lot of it is probably the result of backlash against Cherry Blossom's good marketing. It's one of the courses I'm most interested in as we go through these ratings, as I think it's been one of the more polarizing courses in central KY on this forum.
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