The Calm Before the Storm

Caledonia Design Spotlight: Hole No. 1

The late, great Mike Strantz decided at Caledonia Golf & Fish Club to design a first hole that lets players ease into their rounds. Caledonia Head Golf Professional Marc Guertin calls the hole a “nice, easy start.” Still, the course was designed by Strantz, so there are a few challenges you’ll need to look out for when you come to play with Caledonia Golf Vacations.

The first hole at Caledonia is a relatively short par 4 measuring 376 yards from the back tees. Says Guertin, “From the back tees, you’re teeing off out of a shoot of trees and underneath the canopy of an oak tree, which is indicative of the course.” But, he adds, “It’s fairly open from most of the tee boxes except for the back tees.”

The hole goes right along the oak tree-lined entrance road that you come in on, with No. 1 and No. 10 on either side. “There’s a couple fairway bunkers on the left and right to keep you honest,” says Guertin, “but it’s usually a driver/wedge or a 3-wood/wedge into the green, so it’s a nice, kind of relaxing start. Nothing too awful.”

On the hole’s green complex, Guertin calls it a “fairly round, small green” by Strantz standards “because of the length of the hole.” The green is guarded in the front-left and the entire right side by deep bunkers, which are found throughout the golf course. Guertin warns, “There’s a couple of large, steep bunkers to add a little difficulty, so if you mishit a wedge …” Once you’re on the green, he says it is “relatively flat,” with one large mound in the front-right corner that comes from off the bunker.

All of these factors add up to a first hole that can be birdied with three solid shots. But don’t let Strantz fool you! As Guertin puts it: “He’s kind of easing you into it!”

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