FREDERICKSBURG – (Editor’s note: What follows is the initial installment of a ten-part series dedicated to indentifying Lebanon County’s top ten golf holes, which last aired during the summer of 2016. Based on an informal survey of the locale’s top amateur players, the countdown strives to feature the ten truest tests of golf, rather than naming the most popular or most difficult holes.)
Compact. Treacherous. Strategic.
No hole typifies or embodies the true flavor of Fredericksburg’s Blue Mountian Golf Course better than its Number Six. But those characteristics also make Number Six Blue Mountain’s best.
With emphasis placed more on accuracy and finesse than length and power, the scorecard says Number Six is a 354-yard, par-four dog-leg right. But for those who have played it, they know there’s more to Six than meets the eye.
“What some of the big hitters can do on this hole, they can actually fly the pond,” said Jack Yeager, Blue Mountain’s general manager. “They’ll take a driver and go for it. But the other 95 percent of the people will have to lay up in front of the pond. The shot you want to hit is a fade off the tee. If you do, you’ll have a good look at the green.”
Reachable with a wedge on one’s approach shot, Number Six is definitely a birdie hole. That is unless a player finds himself above the stick on the sharply inclined green, then he’s looking at bogey – or worse.
“It’s not long,” said Yeager. “But you’ve got to put yourself in good position. It’s a positioning thing.
“It’s a birdie hole for sure,” Yeager added. “There’s a generous lay-up area. It’s a pretty easy short iron in, if you keep the ball below the hole. If you get up on top with your approach shot, there’s no stopping it (the initial putt).”
On this day, Yeager chose a seven-wood on the tee box and was careful to land his first shot between the menacing trees on each side of the fairway. From 20 yards in front of the pond, Yeager hit his gap-wedge 105 yards to the left of and below the flag.
He just missed a 20-foot birdie attempt when his straight putt slid off to the left. Tap-in par.
“My idea was to not go past the cup,” said Yeager. “That’s a horrendous putt from up top. Most local players know that. They’ll hit it short.”
Known locally for its undulating and tricky greens, Blue Mountain, which plays to a par of 71 and a total of 6,059 yards from the blue tees, is currently celebrating its 50th year of existence. It is also home to a wildly popular senior league.
“This course is all about greens,” said Yeager. “It has some of the best greens in the area, every year. And when the weather is nice, the older folks come out.”