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Golden Tee Courses - Rustic Bridge

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RUSTIC BRIDGE

Set amidst a buzzing Manhattan city scene, Rustic Bridge is sure to become enshrined as one of the greatest Golden Tee courses in history.
 
Rustic Bridge Indigo Mound Glacier Ranch Palm Springs Moose Landing

 

Click on Images for a Video Fly-by of Each Hole!
HOLE #1 | PAR 4

SOBE
The starting hole at Rustic Bridge is a par 4 that can be looked upon in two ways. One is to lay up for a sure-fire birdie or another is to be aggressive and attempt to drive the green. Look for a right-to-left wind to offer the best opportunity to make the green from the right side. The trees off to the right of the tee box don’t leave much room to maneuver your ball so try not to get too cute. A tree-lined road resides along the left side of the hole and curls to the right between the fairway and green. While driving the green is possible from the roadside, the window through the trees is very small. Most of the path slopes to the right and can be used to bounce your ball onto the green, just watch out for the curbs! A long bunker lines the entire left side of this large, flat green. A short wall sits behind the green just in case you go long - go over and it’s OB. Welcome to NYC!

DUFFER
Ah, it’s good to be back! Welcome to Golden Tee LIVE 2007! If you’re anything like me, here’s some advice on #1 – play it simple, take your birdie and run. You don’t want to celebrate the release of the new courses with a bogey after hitting a ball into the woods trying to look cool on the first tee. Trust me…

HOLE #2 | PAR 4

SOBE
#2 is a straight-ahead par 4 that’s always reachable. A gigantic boulder is located at the end of the fairway and feeds downhill to a medium-sized green. The left side of the green is partially blocked by an overhanging tree along the fairway and the backside of the putting surface falls sharply down to a road. Shallow bunkers guard the left and right so if you miss, miss short.

DUFFER
Wow, hole #2 puts in perspective how beautiful this course is! You’ll notice that the pin is hidden since the tee box is elevated. I recommend that you hit fly-by to determine where the pin is located and use the Manhattan skyline as a guide to line up your shot. Then all you have to do is hit the right club, with the right speed!

HOLE #3 | PAR 3

SOBE
The first par 3 at Rustic Bridge is pretty straightforward and shouldn’t create any problems unless you land short. Your tee shot has to carry over water to this large, deep green that is guarded in back by friendly rock walls. Well, friendly as long as you don’t hit them on a fly! A sidewalk winds in front of the green and can be used to bounce on. Make sure that you reach it, otherwise KAPLOOSH!

DUFFER
Yeah, yeah, Sobe… Why don’t you tell everyone the truth – you play the small island 80 yards off to the right and chip it in for birdie. Showoff!
HOLE #4 | PAR 5

SOBE
The first par 5 of the round is a dogleg right with a rock-faced embankment lying halfway up the left side of the fairway. There are two different ways to attack #4. The first is to hit your drive beyond the dogleg – which is further than it appears - for a clean look at the star-shaped green. Another option is to lay up near the front of the rock to leave a high-lofted wood shot to the green over the gap in the trees. Take note that the fairway slopes sharply to the right, which makes this lay up more difficult than other holes. Normally, I tend to play the first option as long as I am sure I can get past the trees.

DUFFER
The only thing that would make this hole fun for me is to be able to race golf carts on the crazy path in front of the tee box! This can seriously be a tough hole to birdie, since the approach shot over the trees (after the lay up) has to be extremely precise to hit the somewhat small green. Just do everything you can to make sure the ball stays out of the stream. There’s nothing worse than dropping your second shot in the water. Well, I suppose dropping your third… But you get the idea!
HOLE #5 | PAR 4

SOBE
#5 is a drivable par 4 that doesn’t line directly up to the pin off of the tee. The view to the green is partially blocked by trees that are near the front-left of the tee box. Water resides between the tee box and green. A flat landing area is off the front right side of the green but thins out towards the back and banks down to a flowing stream with remarkably magnetic powers! A deep bunker blankets the entire left side of this long, narrow putting surface. A hook shot is required to hit this green but you never want to turn away from the pin more than necessary. Backspin is optional here depending on the pin placement. Oh yeah, watch out for the pedestrians, they have the right of way!

DUFFER
What’s up with these giant hills in the middle of Central Park? Sheesh! This par 4 is very doable for the duffers of the world. Be aggressive and plan on hitting the sand if you’re going to miss the green. The chip is fairly simple and virtually guarantees an easy birdie. Hey, it beats a bogey?!
 
HOLE #6 | PAR 4

SOBE
The par 4 sixth is a dogleg left that is sometimes drivable depending on the wind. A road runs through the fairway with walls that can grab a lackadaisical lay up shot. Trees overhang near the left side of the dogleg and beyond the fairway to the right. The window to the green is narrow but achievable. You will have to play a C-3 type of shot – more of a C-2½ - depending on the wind. If it’s blowing hard right don’t even think about trying it. Also, there’s plenty of room short of the green to run a low punch shot up to the pin if necessary.

DUFFER
Allow me to clarify “sometimes drivable”. If you’re a good player and get a favorable wind, it’s drivable. If you’re a good player and get an unfavorable wind, it is not. If you are like me, lay up and take your birdie…
HOLE #7 | PAR 3

SOBE
This par 3 plays over water to a huge down 5°, left 4° green that shrinks when the pin is on the left side. Deep, shapely bunkers guard the right and left sides of the putting surface and the back banks steeply down to the road so do not miss long!

DUFFER
Here’s my only advice: do not walk up and just crank this ball off the tee. Anything long will result in major trouble. If you are a mediocre player, just play to hit the fattest part of the green, make your putt and move on. Overcomplicate this shot and you will pay. Also, here’s a pointless observation - the sidewalk needs a crossing guard.
 
HOLE #8 | PAR 4

SOBE
#8 is a drivable par 4 that looks similar to hole #7 at first glance, but isn’t. The tee shot is longer and plays over the water to the front of the green where trees block the right side. And no, the driver does not carry them so you have to use a 3-wood to get over. A driver can sometimes make it around the left side but the sand will come in to play. Two semi-deep bunkers closely guard the front, left and back sides of the green making for a challenging approach. Go long past the back bunker and you’ll end up running down the bank on to the road and meeting Mr. Unplayable Lie. Also, beware of the light pole at the front left of the tee box. Even I have hit it…

DUFFER
Hey, Mr. Unplayable Lie and I are old buddies! But anyway, this hole isn’t as bad as it looks. Just as on #5, there is a lot of sand that will allow you to be aggressive and leave a chip shot at worst. But, like Sobe says, there is a fine line between aggressiveness and stupidity. Unfortunately, I get the two confused all of the time…
HOLE #9 | PAR 4

SOBE
The last hole on the front nine is a straight up old-fashioned Golden Tee par 4. You may notice that you’re lined up very close to the bunker along the left side of the fairway by default. The bunker is playable at times but I don’t recommend it just in case you get stuck on the lip. The idea of this hole is to simply get past the trees that line the right side of the fairway and give yourself a direct shot into the green. The green is slightly elevated and sits on a rock-faced hill with huge bunkers positioned on the front left and back right. Water resides off to the left of the green and curls around to cover most of the backside. Don’t miss long unless you are way right!

DUFFER
It doesn’t get much easier than #9. Drive long and straight off of the tee and be cautious of the small, elevated green on your approach. Get your birdie, grab a hotdog and I’ll see you on the 10th!
HOLE #10 | PAR 3

SOBE
The back nine starts off with another par 3 over water to a long, narrow green. Two shapely bunkers guard the left side of the upward-sloping green. A few trees stand off to the right side but will only come into play with a pin placement along the right edge of the green. A bank sits in front of the green that feeds back to the water while the backside crowns to a sidewalk to give you a little breathing room. Anything beyond the sidewalk will be out of bounds!

DUFFER
#10 is a prime example of a hole that separates a mediocre player from a good player. The green is long and easy to hit, but can be very tough to stick depending on the conditions. If you are unskilled at cut shots and the wind is strong, I recommend you ignore the pin and just playing for the green. The 9° slope makes a chip from the sand extremely tough.
HOLE #11 | PAR 4

SOBE
#11 is a par 4 that is rarely drivable. The fairway doglegs to the right and has trees “perfectly” positioned on both sides of the neck. You can try to reach the green with an A-1 type of shot only when the wind is blowing from right-to-left. Otherwise, I recommend using a short club off the tee and staying close to the trees along the right side. From there you will see a clear path to the green. Water covers the backside of this medium-sized, shallow green with bushes off to the left and right. The fairway slopes hard towards the putting surface so play it short to be safe!

DUFFER
Rarely? How about never for me! I aim for the middle of the fairway off the tee and then play my approach shot short of the green to get the favorable bounce on. This green is tiny and the pond behind it is not, so be careful!
 
HOLE #12 | PAR 5

SOBE
#12 is a par 5 with two options. One, go the long way around the dogleg right but note that the tree positioned along the left side causes problems with a big A-1 drive. At the dogleg, trees line the right and will block off a potential clear look to the green. The goal on #12 is to get past these menacing timbers or you’ll have to curve an approach shot and increase your chances of making a mistake. The green is long but narrow and banks down to water so you’ll want to have as simple of a shot as possible. Option 2? Look around a little bit and see what you find… I can’t tell you everything!

DUFFER
Sobe, are you losing it? I looked around. I saw a gazebo, some birds, some trees and a little postage stamp floating in the water. What are you trying to say?
HOLE #13 | PAR 4

SOBE
A non-drivable par 4, #13 requires a little thinking ahead. The fairway doglegs slightly right and is separated by a cement area with a statue and some NYC street vendors. If the wind is in your face, lay back. Otherwise you may get stuck on the cement and left with an unplayable lie. For your approach shot, everything short of the green feeds to the right towards a bunch of bushes. The concrete can be used to bounce onto the huge right-breaking green.

DUFFER
If it’s one thing I know, it’s duffers. And duffers will always try to carry the park because it’s simply more fun than laying short! So, after receiving the drop from your inevitable unplayable lie on the cement take note that your club will clear the short wall that lies in front of the ball. And shame on you for not listening to Sobe!
HOLE #14 | PAR 5

SOBE
The third par 5 of Rustic Bridge, #14 has trees lining both sides of the fairway close enough to the tee box to ruin any attempts at a big A-1 or C-3 drive for distance. The idea here is simple - get beyond the trees along the right while making sure you stay out of the deep rough along the left. If the ball does not make it past, it’s likely you’ll have to play a small slice-shot to approach the green. Three shallow bunkers guard the left and right sides of this small, circular green making the second shot very tricky at times. Hit a good drive on #14 and you’ll be moving on with an eagle.

DUFFER
#14 is a tough par 5. It’s more about accuracy and less about distance. If it seems impossible to reach the green from where you leave your tee shot, it most likely is. Play smart and try to conserve your scorecard before moving on to Rustic’s finishing holes.

 
HOLE #15 | PAR 5

SOBE
Back to back par 5’s – now that’s what I’m talking about! This hole is tough! Just keep trying and eventually you’ll get the hang of it. The fairway goes straight out and doglegs hard to the left with trees everywhere. To make it in two, look about halfway up the fairway and you’ll notice a cement path with benches on both sides. Obviously this path leads to the green. Position a tee shot at the center of the path’s entrance for the best opportunity but keep in mind that you’re still not out of the woods yet (pun intended). Trees hang completely over the cement forcing you to hit a low – but long – approach to the green. This normally wide green is shallow from this awkward angle. Here’s a hint: club up and swing soft.

DUFFER
I don’t know what’s harder, the fist shot or the second? Again, #15 requires you to formulate a plan before teeing off; otherwise you could wind up in big trouble. To reiterate, be sure to land in the center to the entrance of the path! If not, don’t even bother trying to hit it through. The worst-case scenario is clipping a tree and bouncing into the thick brush and from there, you’ll be looking at possibly two more strokes just to reach the green!
HOLE #16 | PAR 4

SOBE
Here’s a par 4 with a lot going on. Roads run vertically and horizontally separating different areas of the fairway. You’ll want to lay back short of the horizontal road while being cautious of the downward slope. #16 is a short hole, so no need to crush anything off the tee or you’ll wind up on the road with an unplayable lie! Everything short on your approach slopes to a gigantic down 7° green. There’s plenty of room around most of the green, so be aggressive.

DUFFER
The main obstacle that duffers need be aware of is the cavernous road that slices through #16’s fairway. While a big out-wind makes it possible to reach the second fairway, there’s really no need to ever do it. Sobe’s absolutely right (again), lay short of the road, take your birdie and move on. Prove that you’ve been eating your Wheaties off of a different tee.
HOLE #17 | PAR 3

SOBE
Here’s an unassuming par 3 that is much nastier than it appears. Trees are positioned on both sides of the hole, leaving a small angle to attack this up 4°, right 9° unforgiving green. I know what you’re thinking and NO; it’s not another Heather Pointe #17. This is a tough, but fair hole. A sidewalk runs along the left side and is separated from the putting surface by a bank of grass that feeds down to most of the green. Hit the bank on the fly and you’ll likely kick into the water that stands beside the entire right side of the green. Here, the mentality is to hit a shot that starts out right and hooks left. This line will give your ball leftward momentum to help defy the laws of gravity that otherwise bounces it towards the water. May the force be with you.

DUFFER
Yeah, the real difference between Heather #17 and Rustic #17 is the salt-water sea that catches your tee shot in Scotland verses the fresh water pond of Central Park. Close your eyes, swing and hope for the best!
HOLE #18 | PAR 4

SOBE
The finishing hole on Rustic Bridge is a staggered, drivable par 4 that is somewhat different than the finale holes we’ve seen over the years. An overhanging tree to the left of the tee box forces a hook shot the over water to the round, uphill green. A running path and a small grassy area stand between the water and the green. Use this area to land a shot and bounce on the green. Large, shapely bunkers curl around both sides of the green towards the back, leaving a small grass area that feeds moderately down.

DUFFER
The tee shot on #18 is the least of your worries. Like many other holes of Rustic Bridge, the sand provides enough cushion to allow you to aggressively attack the green. But don’t be totally deceived; the hard-sloping putting surface makes a chip extremely difficult execute. Keep it simple and you should be walking away from Rustic Bridge with at least another birdie on the scorecard.

 

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Golden Tee Courses - Rustic Bridge