Course reviews – March 2010
Forest Hills Golf Club (Public)
1500 Comfort Rd., Augusta
STAFF: Bill Robinson is the PGA General Manager/Golf Professional; Darren Davenport is the Superintendent.
PAR/YARDAGE: Forest Hills is a par 72 with five sets of tees: Black (7,231 yards); Blue (6,886); White (6,335); Gold (5,529); Green (5,053).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 74.5/138 (Black); 73.1/129 (Blue); 70.5/126 (White); 67.1/121 (Gold); 69.5/118 (Green).
ABOUT THE COURSE: An original Donald Ross design from the mid-1920s, Forest Hills has undergone numerous changes over the years, with several major modern renovations beginning in the 1980s. The course, one of the state’s most prominent in its early days before a long stretch as a military facility, was taken over by Augusta College in the late 1970s, with the college’s expansion leading to the first major renovation in the mid 1980s. Several holes were completely altered to make room for new dormitories, and those holes, plus others on the course, have undergone a facelift since then. A number of the holes have not changed a great deal in design, but many of the greens complexes have been significantly re-worked, with the putting surfaces featuring considerably more contour than in the past. As the home of the Augusta State golf team, Forest Hills has taken on a more modern feel, with new back tees adding some 500 yards to the layout. The blue tees are a little longer than the former back tees, with the whites comparable in length to the men’s tees prior to the new tournament tees. The biggest changes are found early in the round, with the nines reversed from its pre-college days. Holes 2-6 are either completely new or vastly different from their predecessors, with 3 and 5 a pair of lengthy par 4s and the 6th changed from a par 4 to a par 5. The final three holes on the nine are longer with much more movement on the greens, but are not a great deal different from their previous design, as is much of the back nine. The big changes on the former front nine are the par-4 12th and par-3 13th, among the handful of holes with water in play and among the most scenic on the course. From there in, the changes are confined mainly to the greens, with the drivable par-4 18th remaining one of the more entertaining closing holes around. Forest Hills remains a relatively tight course off the tee, with a number of elevated tees effectively reducing the yardage a bit. The renovated greens complexes provide much of the challenge, and while they will give your short game a complete test, you don’t have to be a college golf team caliber player to earn a passing grade.