Hole 1/10 - "Around the Bend"
Your trek begins with an excellent birdie opportunity in this par 5 dogleg right that can be reached in two shots. A fairway bunker guards the left side of the fairway at about 250 yards. The right side of the fairway is tree-lined. Misses to the right will often land out of bounds. A solid drive toward, or just right of the fairway bunker, will leave 200-220 yards into this short green that slopes away from approach shots. A long iron will have trouble holding this green and will often roll off of the back. It is best to land short of the green and allow the ball to roll onto the putting surface.
On the back, hole 10 can be a troublesome par 4 where accuracy off the tee will be critical to providing a scoring opportunity on your long approach shot into the green. Misses into this green should be short or left.
Hole 2/11 - "Up the Alley"
The second hole requires a blind tee shot to an elevated fairway. Favor the left side of the fairway to allow access to an elevated green. Drives along the right hand side of the fairway will bring trees guarding the right side of the green into play. This elevated green features slight undulation from back to front and is best missed short. Large greenside bunkers guard both the left-hand side and back of the green.
Hole #11 begins with an elevated tee box that will require an accurate tee shot and mid to long iron to reach this more difficult par 4.
Hole 3/12 - "Riverside Drive"
The third hole begins a three hole stretch along the rivers as the Mohawk lines the right side of the fairway. Your drive must carry a pit in front of the tee box to a wide fairway. While your tee shot should slightly favor the right side, be aware of the river hazard along the entire fairway. Approach shots will be into a slightly downhill green that slopes from back to front. Three greenside bunkers guard the putting surface. Misses into this green should be short or left.
Hole #12 requires a tee shot from the left side of the pit and should again favor the right side of the fairway. Long hitters may reach a severe downhill slope in the fairway inside 150 yards. Reaching this slope can pay dividends and require a short wedge into this green, though, coming up short may leave a tough downhill lie.
Hole 4/13 - "Tough-N-Tight"
The fourth hole is the #1 handicap hole on the course, and for good reason. This tight fairway is lined with trees on both sides as you tee off from the tip of Van Schaick Island. The Hudson River can be spotted down the right side of the fairway. A long but accurate tee shot that finds the fairway will require a middle iron into this very small green. The putting surface slopes severely from back to front and left to right, making par on this hole quite an achievement.
Hole #13 adds an additional 70 yards to this hole and converts the par 4 into a par 5. A tee shot that works from left to right will follow the natural dogleg of the hole. This hole will be very difficult to reach in two, so an accurate tee shot, even if it's short, will provide a good opportunity for par.
Hole 5/14 - "Putts-A-Plenty"
The fifth hole will test your mettle with an ultimate risk-reward tee shot opportunity. From an elevated tee, long hitters may hit driver and try to carry a small pond on the left-hand side of the fairway. Success on this tee shot will leave only 200 yards into this par 5. Failure will cost you a stroke. The conservative play is to hit driver or 3 wood to the right of the pond and reach the green in three shots. The fifth green offers a slippery putting surface with many slight undulations. Do not miss to the right side of the green as the severe downhill slope will carry your ball further away from the green.
The fourteenth tee shot allows aggressiveness into this wide fairway. Be wary of the pond on the left side of the fairway. Long hitters that find the fairway off the tee should have no more than 200 yards into this short green. Birdie opportunities should present themselves on the 14th hole.
Hole 6/15 - "Breezy Beast"
The sixth hole is the first of VSICC's two par three opportunities. A long and accurate iron / hybrid, or wood into this 199 yard hole will be a tough test for par. A large tree protects the right side of the green and will undoubtedly come into play. Misses short of this tree will bounce back toward the green. A greenside bunker protects the left side of the green.
Hole #15 is shortened to 159 yards and will require a short iron from the left side of the green. The left side tee location will somewhat take the greenside tree out of play. The sixth green has been rebuilt for the 2007 golf season.
Hole 7/16 - "Testy Treat"The seventh hole requires a blind downhill tee shot to this sloping fairway. The left rough is protected with numerous trees and fescue. Your approach to the seventh green will be a blind shot over a shale mound. Beyond the mound, the rough slopes from right to left kicking misses back toward the green. The putting surface is protected by three greenside bunkers.
The sixteenth hole will require a tee shot favoring the left side of the fairway while allowing the natural slope to roll your ball back to center. You will again face a blind approach to this well protected green.
Hole 8/17 - "Tree Tunnel"
The eighth hole requires an uphill drive to a relatively flat but narrow fairway. Tee shots that find the right side will have to contend with pine trees 220 yards out. Favor the left side to easily access this green. The putting surface slopes severely from front left to back right and is protected by four greenside bunkers.
Hole #17 requires a similar tee shot placement to the left side of the fairway or rough to access this green in two.
Hole 9/18 - "Barside Beach Beauty"
Hole nine is VSICC's signature par three as you carry a short iron over a pond while overlooking the clubhouse. The green is well protected by six bunkers. The putting surface is a tricky one sloping from front left to back right.
The finishing hole will require a mid to long iron into this treacherous green. Again, you must carry the pond and avoid the numerous greenside bunkers to have success.
* Hole names courtesy of VSICC member Kevin Duncan.