|Hole 1 at Thousand Hills Golf Course | Thousandhills.com|
The first hole at Thousand Hills is a very difficult starting hole: it is not the hardest hole on the course, being handicapped as the fifth toughest; and it is not the longest hole, playing to only 385 yards from the blue tees to a very generous fairway. What makes this hole difficult is the intimidation factor off of the tee. As you approach the tee you get a sense of the beautiful Ozark Mountains and are almost lulled into the landscape. Then you realize you have to make the Ozark Mountains part of your game. Wildwood creek is in front and below you, a steep slope and fairway bunkers are to the left and sheer rock outcroppings are to the right.
The perfect first shot from the blue tees carries 175+ yards to a flat fairway and a relatively easy short iron approach to the green, anything else and you will be scrambling to make par. A missed shot will want to be right and pray that you get a favorable bounce off the rocks or a decent lie in the Ozark Mountain rough. A missed shot to the left will leave you searching your bag for another ball as the Wildwood creek is generally hungry. Remember Wildwood creek because it will come up again as it and its tributaries can come into play on 15 of the 18 holes.
Even from a questionable lie the approach shot to the first green should be a relatively short iron to a green that is wide and deep. Again, if you are going to miss, miss to the right: you may be able to get a lucky bounce out of the rough to the short stuff; a missed shot left will likely leave you looking in your bag for another ball. There is some character to the green and the speed is generally moderate to add to the difficulty but a well placed shot should enable you putt for birdie or two putt for par.
The first hole is a great characterization of what an Ozark Mountain golf course is and it is carried through to the rest of the holes. If this is the first time you have played an Ozark Mountain golf course then you are in for a unique golfing experience. Enjoy the rest.