About the Course
The opening tee shot plays as a slight dogleg right. The ideal landing spot is on the left side of the fairway giving the player the best angle to attack the pin. However, going too far left can bring trouble in the form of tall native grass into play. Any approach landing too far left will find itself in a collection area chipping back into the slope.
Big hitters can take aim at this green. A reachable Par 4 that is very much a risk/reward. If the drive finds its way into either greenside bunker however, there is quite a bit of work to be done to make Par. There is a collection area to the left of the green that is a safe landing zone giving you an approach shot looking right at the pin. The conservative play is a simple long iron or hybrid into the fairway leaving the player with a short iron in.
Take an extra club and hit the center of the green. This Par 3 is one to “Get your Par and move on.” Missing the green here can create a whole mess of problems. More often than not it plays into the wind. A great test early in the round.
This tee shot is one of the most difficult shots on the course. From the back tees, it plays as a dogleg left with a blind tee shot over part of the canal to the fairway. From forward tees, it’s a straight tee shot looking right at the green. Regardless of what tees a group is playing, left is major trouble. Many will bail out to the right which can create problems with trees obstructing the approach shot coming in. Ideally, finding the left side of the fairways presents the best angle coming in. The green slopes severely from right to left and can impact approach shots. But don’t let this description scare you. Two good shots, and it’s a birdie hole!
A short downhill Par 3, hole number 5 is uniquely deceptive. Built in reverse after the 12th at Augusta, one pot bunker in front and two big bunkers guard the back, a shot that finds the green will allow for a good look at birdie. But missing the green will put a player’s short game to the test. Enjoy the view out over the water, hit a solid short iron, and live to tell that you survived our signature hole.
“A New Hope”
The 6th hole is very much a risk/reward Par 4. A player can take driver and try to attack the green off the tee. However, bringing out the big stick can bring big problems into play. Any ball that starts left will continue to go left and find the hazard. If a ball is lost to the right, the player will find themselves blocked out by a cluster of trees or out of bounds. The conservative play is to take your 200 yard club to find the fairway leaving a short iron into the green.
The player is presented with three options of the tee. The sightline shows a split fairway with a massive pot bunker in the middle at the peak of the hill. Option 1 is the riskiest play, but if pulled off is the most rewarding. Going down the left side of the fairway will cut a substantial amount of distance off the approach shot coming in. Too far left brings a large cluster of trees into play and puts the player in jail. Option 2 is the safest play by taking on the right side of the fairway. Going down the right side takes the trees out of play along with the bunker. It will leave players with a mid to long iron in for the approach with an abundance of fairway to use. Option 3 is to take on the bunker in an attempt to clear it on the fly. Depending on the wind, and a little gumption, the big hitters will carry the trouble and enjoy a short iron in. The green is well protected by bunkers running along the front left side as well as two bunkers behind the green on the right. This hole requires four really good shots to make Par. And Par is a great score here.
It’s all about finding the fairway here. Go too far left and the tee shot will find a cluster of trees or someone’s backyard and will be Out of Bounds. A tee shot too far right will either find the rough, or worse. There is a hazard on the right side that is no good. The approach shot on the right side is often blocked out by an overhanging tree forcing the player to aim for the left side of the green, unable to attack the pin. Find the fairway. A large green awaits you navigating a couple putts and on to the next!
The 9th is a fantastic front 9 finishing hole. It plays as a long Par 5 with a bunker that is a very much in play off the tee. The ideal line is 5-10 yards to left of that beast. There is long grass off the left of the fairway that seems to simply consume stray golf balls. And there is a wooded area that plays as a lateral hazard to the right side of the bunker. Finding the fairway makes reaching this hole in two a possibility. This green is protected by numerous bunkers making the approach shot a very difficult one. If a player does not want to take the pin on with their second shot, the ideal layup area is off to the right side of the fairway. This takes the bunkers out of play and makes for a pretty straight forward third shot. Long hitter can bail out left of the green, over the trouble where a nice sized mown area awaits a pitch-and-putt birdie.
“Beast of Birdie”
Making the turn (in style) at Kokopelli presents the player
with a seemingly simple tee shot but looks can be deceiving. There is trouble in the form of bunkers and woods on the left. On the right side of the fairway, there is a series of bunkers that collect many tee shots. Beyond the bunkers on the right is native grass that will result in a search and rescue mission. Finding the fairway makes this a birdie hole. Missing the fairway brings Bogey into play. The green is protecting by greenside bunkers on the left and right.
This hole is a severe dogleg to the right. The ideal line is taking your tee shot at the tree on the top of the hill playing a fade. Drawers of the ball should take less than driver here. There is a creek that runs along the entire right side of the fairway, and if a ball is blocked to the right, a player will more than likely be adding penalty strokes to the score. Finding the fairway is very important on this tricky Par 4. The green is protected by greenside bunkers on both the left and right sides. Good golf hole here, requiring some thought and execution. Save swinging-away for the next hole.
The Par 5 12th is a beast. There are a few options for players to consider off the tee. Bailing out to the right is the safest option but will likely mean a layup short of a creek that splits the hole into two distinct landing areas. A layup short of the creek will leave 150 yards coming in. A second tee shot option is to aim at the cattails and attempt to clear the water and bunkers. Any kind of miss hit will likely find trouble. If cleared, the player is left with 220-240, leaving the players with a choice. They can bust out 3 wood but that can bring the woods on the right into play. A long iron or hybrid will clear the creek easily and leave the player with 80-100 yards coming in for their 3rd. The green has a severe bowl shape just on the other side of the greenside bunker. Any shot that finds the slope of the bowl will be collected in the bottom of it (which is great if the pin is in the bowl). Otherwise, this green is no easy two putt.
Finally, a short, straight Par 4 (so the scorecard says). Driver is a safe play, but depending on the pin placement, it can leave with an awkward 85-100 yard shot in. The green is heavily protected by bunkers, so the best way to play this hole is to leave the approach shot in a place where the player can take a full swing with a short iron. Being below the hole here is very important as the green has a pretty severe slope from back to front.
To the eye, this Par 3 doesn’t appear to be all that difficult. Like any Par 3, a well struck tee shot sets up a birdie look. But, if a player misses the green here, bogey is very much in play. There are bunkers on the left- and right-hand side of the green that will definitely get your attention. Long and left will send the tee shot into a tight lie collection area, making for a fun little roller coaster of a putt.
The Par 4 15th is one of the hardest holes on the back nine, and for good reason. It’s a 420+ yard Par 4 (470 from the tips) that plays uphill, and almost always into the wind. This hole is an absolute beast even for big hitters. Be prepared to hit driver followed by a long iron or even a fairway wood. The fairway is very wide, but there is native grass left and right that are both very much in play for your tee shot along with huge bunkers around the green to collect an offline approach shot for your tee shot. The green slopes from left to right and can act as funnel toward the center of the green. A Par here is a fantastic score, and birdie here gains a shot on the field!
“Top of the World”
This is a well-designed Par 4 and is the prettiest hole on the course. A group will find themselves overlooking the entire course as the tee shot is perched up on top of the whole golf course. Playing this hole around sunset can be breathtaking. The tee shot is a difficult one with trouble in the form of native grass on both the left and right sides. However, finding the fairway opens the dogleg up into a birdie opportunity just have to miss the two left side bunkers. The green is slightly elevated on the approach shot, adding a few yards to the distance. If played correctly, there is a chance to get a stroke back on this gorgeous Par 4.
This Par 3 is one to “Get your Par and move on.” The green slopes, from back to front, with some undulations throughout. There are deep bunkers all around as well. Missing the green here can create a whole mess of problems. So, aim for the center of the green, take a two putt and move on.
“The Black Diamond”
This fantastic closing hole here at Kokopelli can give you a ‘black’ eye, or a ‘diamond’ studded finish. Matches are won and lost depending on how a player attacks this hole. All scores are in play here from Eagle to Double Bogey and it all starts with the tee shot. The safe shot is straight away with a slight fade. This will leave the player with 250+ yards and becomes a three-shot hole. The aggressive line to try and get home in two is taking aim to the right side of the fairway bunker over the native grass. But failing to find the center of the club face will result in the tee shot either finding the bunker or getting caught up in the native grass. Conversely, a good tee shot on this path will have the player licking their chops with less than 200 yards coming in for their 2nd shot. It’s a reachable Par 5 with a false front green for long hitters and has plenty of room for the rest to navigate this finishing hole. A huge green provides ample hole locations, and even the most errant short iron will find the putting surface. It’s an amazing closing hole to end a round of golf where anything can and most likely will happen.
Yardage & Slope Stats
Kokopelli Golf Club
1527 Champions Drive, Marion, IL 62959