Grade “A” Architecture
Barona Creek Lakeside, CA
16th Hole / Par-3 / 174 Yards
Architects: Gary Roger Baird and Todd Eckenrode
Located roughly 30 minutes from downtown San Diego, Barona Creek is full scale resort that opened in 2001. Owned and operated by the Barona Band of Mission Indians the 18-hole layout has been consistently rated among the best public golf courses in California.
One of the main attributes when playing Barona Creek is its consistency for providing a firm and fast surface — where golfers must judge carefully not only the flight of the ball but the bounce upon its landing.
Designed by Gary Roger Baird and Todd Eckenrode — the golf course also accentuates the need for proper playing angles at all times. While there is sufficient width on many of the holes — there is a preferred area where the golfer can gain more of an advantage with their approaches into the putting surfaces.
There are a number of superb holes throughout the round but one that can be especially vexing is the par-3 16th. Although the overall yardage is not especially demanding at 174 yards — the need for pinpoint control is paramount.
Generally, the 16th plays downwind with a green engulfed by sand – flanking nearly the entire front and a substantial amount in the rear area. As you stand on the tee and look at the hole it appears there’s only a fraction of landing area available. Much of the success for any golf architect is to attempt to deceive the player — cause indecision – spark hesitancy in terms of execution. The 16th does this very well.
In addition, the prevailing wind is usually behind the player and being able to flight one’s golf ball with sufficient spin is mandatory to get anywhere near the pin position. The green is appropriately contoured and any shot hit too hard will simply run towards the back — reaching rear bunkers or rough grass.
The 16th is one of four standout par-3 holes at Barona Creek and since it comes late in the round can ultimately impact the way golfers finish their rounds. Controlling the trajectory one’s golf ball is central to success here — knowing how to estimate the impact of the wind and executing confidently makes the 16th at Barona Creek a special hole that yields only to the finest of plays.
Photo Credit: Barona.com WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?