Mallard Creek Course Overlay

Ronald Palmer, course designer, and Michael Hurdzan, course architect, didn’t design Mallard Creek for the sake of the golf course, they designed it for the sake of the golfers. On the far west side of Cleveland, Ohio, in an era when many golf courses were being created to sell homes in country club developments, or to mimic the championship clubs we see on television each week, Mallard Creek was built instead with the real golfer in mind.

The fairways are wide and open. The roughs are trimmed right to the tree trunks. The trees themselves are trimmed up about 20 feet off the ground. The greens are large and rolling. The tees are spacious and elevated. The length is only average and there are no sand traps. All of these things keep play moving without the interruptions and frustrations of looking for balls, digging out traps, or searching into the woods.

However, this doesn’t mean that either of Mallard Creek’s regulation 18 hole courses are overly easy. Off the tee most golfers will see the wide, inviting fairways and get a bit overzealous. That’s when they find out how the rough cut got its name. And some oversized greens may leave many golfers feeling great about their approach shot, that is until it’s time to test those putting skills on true breaking, bent grass greens.

As a result, the “four handicapper” goes home unsure how they shot above their usual and the “double bogie golfer” finishes feeling good about hitting a lot of good golf shots. This design has proven to be a perfect balance of challenge and forgiveness, making Mallard Creek the ultimate destination for league play, outings, and the “real golfer” in general.

The Woods Course

Holes 1-18

Hole No. 1

At 474 yards from the white tees, this hole presents an early scoring opportunity for most players.  The green may be reachable in two, but be weary of missing right as there is water.  A large and receptive green allows for an aggressive approach.

No. 2

The second hole presents one of the more challenging tee shots on the course with woods bordering both sides of the slight dog-leg, and thus accuracy is critical.  Fairway position should be valued over distance.  Approach the green with caution, as woods and out of bounds are just over the green.

No. 3

The first par three is a mid to long iron distance from the tee for most golfers. Woods border the right hand side.  A very receptive and mostly flat green awaits approaches and birdie putts. Recovery shots will be easiest on shots missing the green to the front or left sides.

No. 4

A straightaway par four, this hole requires driving accuracy with trouble on both sides of the fairway.  Keep flag position on green in mind when aligning for tee ball. Favor right side of green as shots to the left will often find trouble in some of the longest rough on the course.

No. 5

The second par three on the front nine may seem simple and short, but offers a challenge to most golfers.  Playing 160 yards from the white tees, golfers are required to be accurate as it is one of the smaller greens on the course.  Keep approaches below hole, as downhill puts will be difficult on this hole.

No. 6

This short dogleg left offers the gambling golfer a chance to take a risk.  Off the tee, one can choose whether to play a straight tee ball down the middle of the fairway, or may opt to play a large draw along the woods lines and place their drive close to a green.  A scoring opportunity with the only real trouble coming along the left hand side.

No. 7

A challenging tee ball, each golfer must choose whether to shape his or her shot with considerable draw, or to place a shot straight ahead in the short grass. Foliage along left hand side and a water hazard past the right side rough present obstacles on this dogleg.

No. 8

The eighth hole is one of the most individualistic here at Mallard Creek.  at only 292 yards, many will be tempted to hit the long ball from the tee box and go for the green.  Be cautious of a creek crossing the fairway at about  170 yards from the white tees, and woods sweeping along the right side.

No. 9

A great finishing hole to the nine, this par five plays differently for each player.  Water crosses the fairway twice on this hole: once at 230 yds. to green, again 15 yards in front of green.  Connecting the fairway crossing creeks, water also borders the right hand side.  The green may be reachable in two, but there is sufficient risk involved.

No. 10

One of the more challenging par fours on the course, the tenth hole places a premium on position over distance.  A fairway tee shot is critical with woods bordering both sides.  Water is over a receptive and flat green.

No. 11

At 313 yards from the white tees, the eleventh is perhaps the most reachable par four from the tee.  Trouble awaits shots arrant far to the left and woods right of the green, beginning at about 10 yards before the green. A great scoring opportunity for every player.

No. 12

The most difficult hole on the back nine, this par five requires some of the most thought.  Before teeing off, have a strategy for maneuvering towards the green around the large tree which overhangs the fairway.  More important than anything on this hole is to keep the ball in play.  The green slopes from front to back; be weary of flag position on approach.

No. 13

A straight and easy par three.  Large green receptive of all shot types. Do not go over the green as you will find trouble in foliage as well as a steep elevation change.

No. 14

A short and simple par four.  Do not over think this hole, keep the ball in play and let the putter do the talking on one of the easier greens on the course.

No. 15

Favor the left side of the fairway with tee shot as misses left will find more open areas than misses right.  Green elevation is slightly downhill on approach shot. Misses over the green may flirt with a creek.

No. 16

A straight par three with a receptive and back to front sloped green. A chance to gun it at  a pin with little risk.  Recoveries will be most difficult on misses to the right of the green.

No. 17

A dogleg right, the seventeenth is a great birdie chance coming in.  Drives should favor the left hand side as it opens up more so than the left hand side. Green is large and flat.  Woods off the tee present the most risk to players.

No. 18

A great par five to finish the back nine, this hole offers a risk/reward decision from the tee.  Players may choose to hit to a wide fairway, or may cut the corner of the dogleg by hitting the ball far left and playing through the rough on their way to the hole. Green requires accuracy coming in, and shots over the green will often end wet.

Scorecard (1-18)

The Lakes Course

Holes 19-36

Hole No. 19

Starting off the third nine, this par four is fairly straight and open.  The right side of the green has some foliage, and will make recoveries from their difficult. Important to note water hazard on shots missing far left.

No. 20

A picturesque par five, this dogleg left presents ample challenges to any golfers. Tee shots need to be accurate as water banks right side of fairway and woods border the left.  Coming in along the right side offers the most room if the water can be avoided.

No. 21

A short par three with woods bordering left and extending behind the green.  Green slopes back to front and offers a scoring opportunity for accurate approach shots.

No. 22

An interesting hole, this dogleg left offers golfers a chance to swing away on a gamble.  Choose from hitting a tee ball straight ahead into the fairway, or hit a high tee ball over the left hand side woods in hopes of landing it on the green.  Trouble on this holes comes from woods on the left and a creek which runs along the right hand side of the fairway.

No. 23

Perhaps the most demanding hole on the course, this par five requires accuracy and distance.  Drives worked from left to right will work best, but anything in the fairway should be considered a success. Out of bounds and pine trees border left side rough.  A large pond requires thought on the second shot. The green is large and receptive.

No. 24

A straight and easy par four presents a scoring opportunity. Water must be cleared on tee shot and reappears about fifty yards in front of the green left of the fairway. Green is sloped back to front.

No. 25

Short and easy par three gives every golfer the opportunity to knock it close.  Be wary of missing to the back right of the green as it will present the hardest recovery shots on the hole.

No. 26

A drive over water will intimidate many, but it leads to a nearly wide open fairway.  Shots favoring the left will be far easier to manage than those to the right side. Take note of the undulation around the front of the green on approach shots.  A water hazard borders the back of the green.

No. 27

A short par four with a creek fifteen yards in front of green, some golfers may need to club down from the tee box.  Approach shots need to be below the hole, or a difficult downhill putt awaits.

No. 28

There are two plays off the tee with a water hazard being the focal point of the hole.  A player may elect to play a long iron or fairway in order to stay short and safe of water, or hit driver and attempt to fly the hazard.  Attempt to stay on right side as approach shot will be easier.

No. 29

A short par four, this hole requires accuracy over all else.  Out of bounds runs along the left hand side while water banks the right.  Green offers a scoring opportunity from short approach shots.

No. 30

The longest par three on the course, this hole often requires most to use a long iron or fairway wood.  Avoid missing left as the it features some of the longest rough one will find on the course. A large green offers scoring opportunities for accurate tee shots.

No. 31

The first par five on the fourth nine, one of the most visually pleasing holes, offers it all.  Off the tee, golfers will be required to carry water.  The more conservative the drive, the less water that will be required to be carried.  Long hitters may be able to reach the green in two.  A creek longs alongside the left edge of the hole.

No. 32

A scoring opportunity for players of all skill levels.  A wide fairway leads straight towards a flat and receptive green. Water alongside right makes favoring the left side of the fairway a smart play. Going at the flag on this hole comes with little risk.

No. 33

The ultimate risk versus reward hole at Mallard Creek. Golfers may choose to favor the left side of the fairway avoiding the right hand water hazard which frames the hole throughout.  Choosing to play ball closer to water off the tee will result in a shorter approach shot if it stays dry.  Shots at the flag should remain below the hole with a back to front sloping green.

No. 34

A birdie hole at its finest, this par three offers golfers the chance to aim for the flag aggressively. Missing right may result in water and missing left will make recovery difficult from a lower elevation than that of the green.

No. 35

A straight and open hole, the last par four on the course still represents a challenge to most.  A creek runs across the fairway fifteen yards before the green, and thus makes the tee shot critical.  Many choose to hit an iron off the tee in order to avoid the water while other opt for the long ball and attempt to run the ball right up to, or over the creek.

No. 36

A fun finishing hole, a tee shot must carry preliminary water towards a straightaway green.  Some may be able to reach the green in one and have a putt for eagle.  Creek runs along left side and will come into play on errant shots left.

Scorecard (19-36)