People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

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People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby thurman » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:28 pm

Group 5 of the GKL People's Top 18 goes off today. Here's your chance to determine the best courses in the state! Next up...

Fore please, Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington, 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: Kearney Hill

Postby kygolf99 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:57 pm

4,3,3,4,2,4,3,3=26
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby moe » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:55 pm

3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3= 26

Good service, mostly good holes, not enough trees.

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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby wilma » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:19 pm

3,3,3,3,4,3,4,4 = 27 I like this one less than most, but still a course to be played. It should be in the list.

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125yd hole out for Eagle at #7, Stonelick Hills, with a 9-iron. 6/13/06. 115yd Hole out for Eagle on #9, Stonelick Hills. 10/22/08.
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby Docugs » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:05 pm

aesthetics 3
ambience 4
condition 3 Bunkers suck
use of property 4
risk reward 3
test of game 3
design variation 3
memorability 3

should make the list just not sure how high yet.
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby A-Dub » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:51 pm

3 4 3 5 4 4 4 4
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby cesmal » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:49 pm

4,3,4,3,3,3,3,3 - 26

Nice course, needs attention to yardage markings and bunkers. Not in that elite "special" category, just a notch below the top tier.
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby thurman » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:15 am

Aesthetics - 4: Not a house in sight, and it's pure Kentucky horse-farm country. Beautiful area. I'm going to sound like a snob, but the only reason I'm taking a point off is that the mowing patterns look absolutely hideous on certain holes (see the pic of 14 in the course profile on this site, for example).

Ambience - 4: The interstate is a little close by, but otherwise it's perfect. Probably more national tournament history than any public in the state, and it's a great municipal facility. I like courses that are an asset to their golfing communities in this category, and I think Kearney is. Bonus points for being one of the most walkable routings in the state.

Conditioning - 3: Fairways tend to be very good, greens usually are but can be hit and miss. Bunkers aren't great, but I think they get way too many complaints considering that they're hazards. The rough is as tough as it gets, but that's a double-edged sword since it slows play and hurts some of the course's "fun factor."

Use of property - 2: It's a good design on what isn't a huge piece of land, but internal OB is pretty much unforgivable.

Risk/reward - 5: It's everywhere. The 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 14th are obvious. 16's drive really requires gauging risk well, as does 13.

Test of the full game - 3: It's definitely playable and any type of player can compete as long as they have some game, but you'll need to drive it accurately and/or have plenty of strength to escape the rough to score well.

Design variation - 4: Above anything else, probably my favorite set of par 3s in Kentucky. The stretch from 4-6 is maybe a bit repetitive, but with the wind and green complexes those holes tend to play very differently.

Memorability - 5: Where in KY is there a better stretch than 12-17? Or a better set of par 3s and par 5s?

Easily top 5 for me.
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby LordofthePings » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:37 pm

I've always enjoyed playing this course, and can't recall a negative experience. I like the links feel, the openness and wind, traps, deep rough, etc. It just seems to do this better than most other courses in the area that I can think of.

That said: 4 4 3 3 4 4 3 4 = 29.

Pretty high on my scale.
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby JP » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Aesthetics - 4. Nice movement of the land here. Typical central KY terrain. Ponds, elevation. Strategic use of trees to frame holes or impact strategy (#16).

Ambience - 4. It feels like it's just you and the golf course. I like the fact that they bring carts to you as you arrive and have a starter on weekends. Nice but not overdone clubhouse and the staff is always friendly and will work with you to try and get everyone on the course in timely fashion.

Conditioning - 3

Use of property - 3. I too hate the internal OB (no excuse for it) but at least for tournaments they have discarded it and maybe regular play as well. I understand the reasoning but it should never been done.

Risk/reward - 5. #3 alone is a tremendous hole for this but it's not alone. Even a relatively short knocker like me has to to consider the second shot carefully as I can usually get within range with a good drive from the proper tees. 16 is another one and 5 too. Come to think of it #10 is another one.

Test of the full game - 4. Can't think of a shot you don't need or use here. Suitable for both aerial and ground game, huge greens with slopes make you really think about approaches and even tee shots to gain the proper angle of attack. Might should put this one at a 5.

Design variation - 4. As thurman mentioned you do have that repetitive feel to 4-6 but they really are distinct when you think about the shots required and the options off the tee. For a links style course I'm not sure you could do this any better.

Memorability - 5. "Where in KY is there a better stretch than 12-17? Or a better set of par 3s and par 5s?" I had to just copy and paste thurman's comments here. I can't add a thing except to say that I really love the back 9 and the front ain't too shabby. This course just builds as you go along.
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby foreleft » Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:41 pm

My favorite Lextown course. I love what Mr. Dye does to golfers. He hates us and we love him for it

aesthetics 4 Horse country. Watch were you step. Good pasture land gone bad.
ambience 3 Too close to highway. Too much UK blue on the course. But it is special
condition 3 Need to keep up with this. I can remember when the conditions were flawless. Love the deep thick rough
use of property 5 "nobody does it better' Great placement of bunkers, slopes, and tall grass. Green areas rock
risk reward 4 Very good on this. You can get your ass in a sling on this course
test of game 5 True championship course. It test the nerves. Especially when the wind is 15 plus
design variation 5 Great mix. Some of these guys that average 300+ could overpower this course but we can't
memorability 3 Nothing terribly memorible but just a very good course. You might still hear the wind blowing between your ears a few hours after that round. I always remember that greens and green areas and how I wish more designers did things like it. You can clearly see his intent in his design. So many courses are designed for beauty over function these days. When you hit a bad shot into one of his greens, you are punished for it. You will never hit a side of a bunker and bounce onto the green here. What is really cool is that with all the nasty little spots you can get in, if you have a good day and hit the ball really good on this course, you can go really low. One of those courses that I can shoot 75 and 95 in the same week.

total = 32
Not raking a bunker.
Littering is wrong too.
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby stammalammy » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:25 pm

3, 4, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3, 4

Nice course, but I'm not a big fan really. Just don't enjoy playing it and its not just because of the difficulty.
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby rocket68 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 pm

Aesthetics – 2
Ambience – 2
Conditioning – 3
Use of property – 2
Risk/reward – 3
Test of the full game – 2
Design variation –2
Memorability – 2
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby JP » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:28 pm

:roll: Man you are really tough on every course not named Cherry Blossom. If you rate Eagle Ridge I think Doug's head may explode.

Care to explain the low ratings here. They don't host a Hooters event but the USGA sure seems to like KH.
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Re: People's Top 18: Kearney Hill

Postby Cardinal Empire's Big Bro » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:59 am

3,3,3,4,4,4,4,4=29

Dye brothers plant a good course in Lextown.
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