GRADE “A” ARCHITECTURE
Architect: Dana Fry / Course Opened: 2018
When Arcadia Bluffs opened in 1999 the design by Warren Henderson and Rick Smith received high praise. Linking land and water side by side with Lake Michigan playing a prominent role. The sweeping nature of the 245-acre Arcadia Bluffs property provides for a range of quality holes. Although discussed for a number of years the possibility in adding a second 18 remained more on the wish list until recently.
The opening this year of the South Course at Arcadia Bluffs has added another solid golf contribution worthy of its older brother layout.
Architect Dana Fry, the man who was part of a three-person team responsible for the creation of Erin Hills,. the ’17 US open site, has created the ideal counterpoint with his newest creation residing on 311 acres of land and free of any clutter that takes away from the experience.
Fry was Inspired by a series of visits both during planning and construction to Chicago Golf Club — the oldest 18-hole club in North America. Created by the “Father of American Golf” — Charles Blair Macdonald in 1893 — Chicago emphasizes strategic calculations with large greens protected by bunkers meant to punish the hapless
play. Getting into sound position is a must throughout the round.
Among the more noted holes on the new South Course is the bedeviling par-5 6th. The hole is within reach in two shots for the stronger player when conditions permit. The key is realizing one’s capabilities and choosing the course of action that maximizes your scoring options.
“If trying to reach the green in two it’s best to hit the tee shot down the left side of the fairway to give you the best angle into the green,” said Fry. “If playing as a three-shot hole it’s best to aim your tee shot down the right side to leave the best angle for laying-up on your second shot. ” Pesky bunkers are quick to pounce on those who fail to execute smartly.
The putting surface is square in shape — with the 6th coming in at just over 8,000 and the average for the entire 18 holes just over 9,400 square feet. There’s a rounded edge at the front of the green with four distinct quadrants to set the pin and with the green falling off on three sides.
“It’s a very tricky green that demands a precise approach to have a chance at birdie,” said Fry. “If your ball is not in the right quadrant a two-putt will prove
The 6th ably demonstrates how a mid-length par-5 will yield to fine play but never concede to anything quality thinking and execution.