To answer your first question; yes, I’m just getting around to posting more. Not really a New Year’s resolution. Just feel like I want to talk more.
Now, back to the post…
I have had pretty rotten luck with playing Cleveland public golf courses in under 6 hours. Yes, 6. These have all been weekend rounds. I have no idea why the first one was, the second one was partially due to cart path only restrictions, and the last one was due to very poor golfer/member management.
So I had pretty low expectations when I stepped foot on Sleepy Hollow Golf Course back in May 2015. Somehow, I was able to snag a good tee-time with little notice. However, I came to find out there was an outing in front me. Rut-roh!
Sleepy Hollow is generally considered the crown jewel of the Cleveland Metroparks golf courses. Formerly a private club, Sleepy Hollow was designed by Stanley Thompson and features some of the fastest greens you’ll play on any course, public or private. I experienced this first-hand on the putting green.
The course opens with a fairly easy, downhill par 5. It then slaps you in the face with a 235 yard, uphill par 3 with a two tiered green, then a 481 par 4. On the 2nd, the hole placement on the day I played was not fair in relation to the green speed. How do I know this? Maybe it was the backup of three foursomes on the tee ahead of me. Maybe it was my chip shot that ended up 4 inches short and rolled all the way back off the green. Or maybe it was the fact the greenskeeper told me he moved that hole location after I saw them water greens later in the round.
Simply put: if you’re above the hole at Sleepy Hollow, you’re screwed. After playing Canterbury a couple years ago, I couldn’t imagine greens much faster than that. These were very close.
Another “fun” green is the 9th. In the process of blowing up on the hole, I bladed a chip from below the green to above the hole on the fringe. Despite barely breathing on the ball, my chip rolled past the hole and all the way off the green.
The people I was paired with mentioned that they wish the greens would be blown up and redone. I think that’s doing the course quite a bit of disservice. Instead, the course should recognize the ratio between speed and slope. To their credit, they saw a problem and made efforts to correct it by giving the greens some H2O.
I thought the par 5 14th was a bit disjointed. The fairway runs out, but then requires a carry over a creek with the hole doglegging sharply to the right. Perhaps there’s some strategic value here I’m not seeing.
Overall, Sleepy Hollow is an easy recommendation, but you must be on your A game. It’s a brute from the tips. Play the whites and hope your short game is ready to roll.