Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Golfing Gem in the Valley

Neshaminy Valley Golf Club
Jamison, Pa.
Yards: 3338/2676 - 6014
Par: 36/34 - 70
Rating: 68.7, Slope: 118
Score: 47/47 = 94
Date: June 17, 2011

Yesterday I played Neshaminy Valley Golf Club, a nice family-owned public golf course on Almshouse Road in Bucks County. The course is built along the Neshaminy Creek, which runs along the Fourteenth Hole, a 473-yard Par 5. I had previously played at Neshaminy Valley about 15 years ago, but the course has undergone a complete renovation since. While the course is fairly open, its has some decent length from the white tees, playing just over 6,000 yards. Sloping fairways, doglegs and well-placed bunkers can make for a challenging round. The course is also well marked for distance, with blue, white and red poles signifying 200/150/100 yards respectively. And at only $26 to walk, Neshaminy Valley is a good value for your golfing dollar. I played this round with my cousin, and we were teamed up on the First Hole with a future father-in-law/son-in-law who were practicing for a family golf trip this weekend.

 Neshaminy Valley Scorecard

I came to the first tee on Friday still brimming with confidence over my play thus far this season. Despite a late start, I have been hitting the ball pretty well and my scoring has been better than I could have possibly hoped with so little rounds played. I started off with double bogey at the First and Seconds Holes--the Second being a 529-yard Par 5 in which a I hooked my tee shot under some hanging branches and it was all I could do to punch out. I regrouped with bogeys at the Third and Fourth Holes, then made my first par of the day at the 390-yard Fifth Hole. Another bogey at the long, 219-yard Par 3 Sixth Hole was followed by a very bad double bogey at the 398-yard Par Seventh Hole after my tee shot found the left rough and all I could was hit a poor punch shot about 15 yards. a bogey at the short 317-yard Par 4 Eighth Hole, where I found the right bunker with my approach shot, was followed by a par at the 537-yard Par 5 Ninth Hole. This sent me out in 47.

 The Par 5 Third Hole

The back nine at Neshaminy Valley starts with two Par 4s in which the fairways severely slope left-to-right (Tenth) and right-to-left (Eleventh). I made double bogey at each, then followed that with another double at the Twelfth, a 304-yard Par that doglegs right, in which you hit downhill to a fairway that has a creek crossing it at about 260 yards. Your second shot is slightly uphill to a two-tiered green that slopes back to front. The Thirteenth is a very short, 128-yard downhill Par 3 that I played with a 53-degree wedge off the tee. My birdie putt hit the cup too hard and bounced about four feet past. I missed the par putt for a bogey 4. I then parred the 473-yard Par 5 Fourteenth after my chip from the left of the green stopped about a foot from the hole. The fifteenth is another short Par 3 (149 yards), but with the tees up, I hit a 9-iron over the green, then failed to chip on. After chipping on, I three-putted for a triple bogey 6. I redeemed my self with a par 4 at the 344-yard Sixteenth Hole, but a fat tee shot at the 173-yard Par 3 Seventeenth led to another double bogey. The closing hole is a 367-yard Par 4 that plays slightly uphill and doglegs left. My tee shot left me on teh left side of the fairway, 152 yards to the hole, but I nuked a 7-iron over the green and closed out my round with a bogey and another 47 for a total of 94 on my round.

 The Twelfth Hole

Overall, I continue to be happy with my play. I hit it well off the tee, especially with my Wilson Staff Smooth Driver and my iron play continues to be pretty good. I also hit some really good chips and pitches to help my score. My putting, however, has not been that good over the past three rounds. I have left way too many putts woefully short and I missed the second putts. This has led to an acceptable number of three-putts the past three rounds. I am thinking that maybe I need to change putters to try and get my stroke back to where it needs to be.

 The tee shot at the Eighteenth Hole

As for Neshaminy Valley, it is a course I will definitely look forward to returning to play in the future. If you get the opportunity, try a round at this hidden little gem. I didn't think you will be disappointed. On a quick side note, my camera gave me some problems early in the round, so the pictures here are taken from Neshaminy Valley's Web-site.


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