Harbor Links Golf Club at the Sagamore Resort – Liberty, IN

The word I would always associate Buck Point Golf Club with is “potential”.  I always thought the layout was very interesting, but the conditions left something to be desired.  When they changed superintendents.  As I visited in 2008 for my fourth round at Buck Point, I hoped that it would finally live up to its potential.  I’m happy to report it’s closer than it’s ever been.

The course starts out with a forgettable medium length par 4.  Holes 2 and 3 are short par 4 dogleg lefts.  2 (pictured below) requires a forced carry over a ravine, leaving the player with a mid/short iron in to an open green.  3 doglegs harder than 2 and requires the player to go to the air with the second shot.

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For me, the fun starts at the par 5 4th.  For most, this is a three-shot par 5.  You start off level, then around 200 yards, you go down a 30ft. ravine.  The green is another 30ft. back up the ravine.  If the third shot is played from the bottom of the ravine, expect to take at least two, if not three clubs up to account for the elevation.

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P.B. Dye comes right back at 6 with another par 5.  The hole curves right all the way.  The player must ask himself how much he wants to cut the corner, risking mounds, woods, and a pot bunker.  While reachable in two by the long hitters, this green complex is much smaller and contoured than the previous hole, and is protected by bunkers in the front left and back right.

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6 is a cool par 3 along Brookville Lake.  Certainly not a hole you would expect in the middle of Indiana.  Typically the wind blows hard through here, but during my last visit, the wind was rather calm.

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Hole 7 is notorious for flooding.  Quite frankly, I think this hole is too low to be so close to the lake.  The grass here is never in good condition and it’s usually pretty soggy.  As you can see from my pictures below, the hole doesn’t look too bad and the green complex is actually quite nice.  Something tells me they’re going to have to re-route 7, 8, and 9 someday.

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8 and 9 are good, not great holes.  On to the back 9…

I think most that play Buck Point look at the back 9 as the stronger of the 9s.  It starts out with 10, a 494 par 5 that is easily reachable in two for the long hitter.  There’s nothing fancy about the fairway.  The green complex is three-tiered and very long.  If the pin is at the back, the hole plays at least 35 yards longer.  Very difficult to judge the distance and make a putt.

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Hole 11 reminds me a bit of #9 at Shaker Run.  A sweeping right medium par 4.  Bite off as much as you can chew off the tee and then hit a precise iron shot.  The rock bed in front of the hole will reject any shot short.  The rough around this hole used to be really patchy, but things have improved here big time in the last two years.

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On Hole 12, the player must once again deal with a long, three-tiered green.  If the pin’s in front, go down at least one club, possibly two.  As you can see from this photo, I didn’t judge the distance too well.

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After the okay par 3 13th comes my favorite hole on the course, the short par 4 14th.  Some might consider this a risk/reward hole, but I don’t see it that way.  After a fairway wood/long iron tee shot, the player must hit a precise aerial approach to a TINY green that can’t be wider than 10 yards.  This hole reminds me of something out of Golden Tee.  Birdies and Others are all possible on this hole.

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View of 14 green from 12 green

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15 is a long par 5 with a split fairway that runs to an elevated green.  16 is another fun par 3.  At the highest point of the golf course, the player is more exposed to the wind than any previous hole.  Like 6, it is semi-blind on the left side.  Short is okay.  Long shots will go all the way down the hill where an up-and-down is nearly impossible.

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17 is another short par 4.  Unlike 14, this would be a risk/reward hole.  One can play anything from a mid-iron to a fairway wood on the tee shot and be left with a short iron/wedge approach.  Or, you can take out the big stick and go for broke.  Wind will usually dictate the players decision.

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The round ends on a long par 4 that isn’t quite as memorable as the holes that precede it.

I haven’t played enough courses to give Buck Point a state ranking, but I will say it’s in my top 5 public courses in the Cincinnati area.  I like the fact that the course still operates out of a trailer, but a proper small clubhouse wouldn’t be a bad idea.  I think 7 needs to be re-routed somehow.  It’s too close to the water in too low of an area; therefore the condition of this hole is usually pretty poor due to ground moisture.  There’s enough land in between 5 and 1 that some re-routing could be done.

My visit came after all the rain that Indiana had 3 weeks ago, so every hole except for one had water in it.  I wonder if Brookville Lake has that much of an affect on the draining of the course.  I don’t know much about that kind of stuff.

OINK Rating – 6

Edit Apr 3, 2010. Over the 2009 off-season, Buck Point Golf Club became Dye Golf at Sagamore Resort.

Edit February 25, 2011. Over the 2010 off-season Dye Golf at Sagamore Resort was purchased again. It is now managed by under Tartan Golf. The new name is: Harbor Links Golf Club at the Sagamore Result. However, I’m not going to keep changing the name from my original post; thus, the name will remain Buck Point in the review 🙂

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Posted in Indiana

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