JUNE 9, 1997

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Sports

Golf-In' the Northwest: Lazarus Links

golf by Chuck Reidt
I am pleased to report the demise of Battle Creek Golf Course has been greatly exaggerated; the failed bent-grass greens' experiment in this newer Marsyville golf course has been reversed, and the Pen Links seed/poa anna is raised up and thriving. Hallelujah!
   Fred Jacobson, Battle Creek course designer and director of golf, has both the gift of golf course design and the patience of Job. Jacobson, in the process of carving out a dazzling golf venue through heavily wooded hills and valleys, has created several of this area's more thought provoking golf holes and nurtered the greens and fairways to an excellent condition.
   The front nine begins kindly with a short par four, a tight but very reachable in two par five, and then a short par three. The jolt of reality occurs on No. 4, a 405-yard par four, that is straight and narrow. If this wake-up call didn't work, No. 8 will certainly get your attention. From the elevated tee box, you'll need a long and straight drive to allow a short iron approach shot over a large marsh to a small green located at the marsh's edge which is the greenskeeper's favorite place to tuck the flagstick.
   The par five No. 10 requires your tee shot to land right of center due to the leftward fairway slope. Use care on your second shot not to hit through the dog leg left turn of the fairway.
   Now, the infamous Rock Hole, a 160-yard (middle) par three that carries over a densely wooded valley to a treed peninsula of land where a mountainous rock protects the front of the green. Congrats on a good score here; the mental and physical aspects of your game must've merged.
   Next hole is a short par five from an elevated tee box, providing a spectacular panorama of treed expanse and the Puget Sound. Use less club off the tee here or expect a field trip into the marsh that crosses the fairway.
   Finally, No. 18, one of my Elite Eighteen picks, is a 411-yard par four that requires a strong drive off the tee to set up a mid- to short-iron approach shot to a very narrow hillside terrace green, entirely fronted by a deep ravine. Par or better deserves a small town parade in your honor.
   A good driving range and large putting green close to the first tee-box provide a fine practice area. Additionally, there is a great nine hole par three course to hone your iron play. It's also a great place for kids or beginners.
   Battle Creek is superb, a natural setting with a number of great golf holes. It's in wonderful condition and is inexpensive to play. It's not conducive to beginners and is a more difficult course to walk, but will provide you with an exceptional golf experience. I consider it a "must play."

Battle Creek G.C.