The course, named in memory of longtime superintendent Ralph Myhre, is the home course for the Middlebury College men’s and women’s golf teams. It is an 18 hole public course.
Here’s a hole-by-hole look at Middlebury’s Ralph Myhre Golf Course, courtesy of Jim Dayton, PGA.
Some General Thoughts
A quick word about our golf course: Be patient if you don’t hit a lot of greens because they are relatively small. Bring your short game to get it up and down on most holes.
Twelve of our greens are elevated, which means you must add a club when calculating yardage.
Finally, be aware of the ground conditions. The course will change with the weather and play very differently when wet or dry.
Hole #1 is an easy par 5 that a longer hitter can reach in two. It is straight away with trees guarding both sides of the fairway. A bunker near the top of the hill on the right could catch a fade off the tee. The green is guarded in the front both left and right by bunkers. The putting surface is large and putts will tend to break towards the fairway. A row of trees guard the back of the green and could cause problems if you are long and or left.
The second hole is the hardest on the course. It looks harmless from the tee, but if you miss your tee shot left or right there’s only a slim chance of being on in two. Drives tend to bounce right in the fairway. The green is elevated and very narrow in depth making it very difficult to hold even with your best approach shot. Don’t worry if you come up short half way up the hill. This will give you your best chance at getting a par. If you are long you will have a very difficult chip back onto the green.
The 3rd hole is a short par 4, dogleg to the right. You cannot see the green from the tee box. It is 100 yards to the green from the top of the ridge running across the fairway (adjacent to the fairway bunker). From the tee, if you calculate to hit your tee shot to the 100-yard marker you will be fine. Getting greedy will put you in trouble both left and right. Drives will bounce to the left in the fairway. The green is long and fairly narrow, it will play a club long/short depending on the pin location. All shots hit into the green will bounce and move right to left. Putts will do the same. Remember, downhill sliders will break more and run farther than you think.
Hole #4 is pretty straight forward: what you see is what you get. It is downhill and plays a little short off the tee, especially from the blues. The view from the blue tee is spectacular. The green is large enough to hold your shot nicely.a
Hole #5 is probably my favorite. It’s slightly uphill and your tee shot must be accurate and will change almost daily depending on wind, temperature and ground conditions. If you are a long hitter be careful not to hit through the fairway; it will be tough to make par from those big pines that line the fairway on the right side. Play your aim and distance to the 150 yard pole. Your approach shot is also slightly uphill and the green is protected by bunkers on the front right and left. The green usually holds well and pitches gently from left to right. Hole 06
Hole #6 is a dogleg right and it’s best to stay middle, left side of the fairway with your tee shot. There is trouble all down the right side, including trees and two bunkers. And if you get lucky and still have a shot, there is a nasty area of brush that is right in line with the green. If you are going to miss the green with your approach it may be best to be short. Left and long leaves you on a steep sidehill or in a water hazard. There is a small bunker short right you may not see from the fairway. The green is sloped back to front and should accept a shot nicely. Putting downhill and side hill can get tricky; it may be quicker than it appears.
Hole #7 is a dangerous hole. Even when you decide on your club selection it will be tough to make a good swing. It’s hard to concentrate knowing that anything hit left, long or right is probably going to be a double bogey. The best advice is to play for the front half of the green. It has the largest landing area and takes most of the trouble out of play. The putts don’t break as much as you might think. Take a par or bogey and head for the next tee; this is not a hole to be greedy with.
Hole #8 calls for a slight draw or straight tee shot. It will be tough for a slicer with the tree line so tight running up the left side. If you miss the bunker on the right and you’re not blocked out by the tree in the fairway you are ready for a challenging shot to an elevated green. Left puts you in the biggest, deepest bunker on the course. Short approaches will roll off the green and back down the slope toward you. (Though this is the preferable miss.) All shots long left, long and right will leave you with a very tough chip onto a very fast putting surface. The green is sloped back to front and putts very fast. Good luck!
Hole #9 is uphill and plays long. Definitely add at least one extra club for your approach shot. The right side of the green is relatively flat but the left side can get a little tricky because of a crown on the backside.
About the Back Nine
I hope you have straightened out your slice by now because the back nine is no place for those who hit their tee shots far offline to the right. The back nine was built pretty much around the perimeter of the original nine and there is trouble on the right side all the way around. It plays about two strokes harder than the front, and demands more accurate shots and lots of patience. So take a deep breath, be confident, and have fun!
The 10th hole is the consensus favorite. You need a solid drive up the right side to set up the hole. Tee shots hit down the left side will kick left into some trees and will leave a difficult shot to the green. The uphill approach shot is to a large green guarded by two bunkers left and right. Putts will break from back to front.
The 11th hole is probably the most memorable. It will take three (or four, or five) good shots to get to the most challenging green on the course. The tee shot takes off from the highest point on the course and drops down to the lowest. There is a pond on the left and a ditch running all the way across the fairway. A 190-210 yard drive to the right side of the landing area will give you the best angle for your next shot. The second shot is very challenging. You want to get into a good position for your shot at the green, but if you are short and/or left you’re dead because of the trees at the corner of the dogleg, if you are right you may have tree problems and will have a much longer shot. The long hitter has to be sure not to hit through the fairway. Don’t be greedy; check the yardage and play for the 150 yard pole.
The green is very small and made smaller by a large false front that will release any short shot back toward you in the fairway. Not many golfers hit this green with their approach shot, which means you are chipping onto the green from somewhere. If you are long or right you will be left with a very difficult shot onto a very sloped green which breaks from right to left. Good luck!
Hole #12 is a straight away par 3. Two bunkers protect the green which is sloped toward you and should accept your shot nicely.
The 13th hole is a sharp dogleg to the right. You will not see the green until you are well down the fairway. Accuracy is more important than distance off the tee. Down the right side may leave you blocked from the green and there is a drainage ditch on the left. Any ball placed 75-150 yards from the green will set you up for the approach.
The green is elevated, small, and usually firm. Putts will break from right to left. The amount of speed and break may deceive you.
The challenge on the 14th hole is picking the right club. The tee is set back in the woods a bit and you can’t always feel the wind up by the green. Check out he flag and trees for wind direction and velocity.
The green is relatively small and putts will break toward the front side.
Hole #15 is a dogleg right that requires extreme accuracy with your tee shot. Again, check wind and ground conditions. If the fairway is very dry the ball may roll into an unseen drainage ditch that runs along the left side and continues across the fairway. Any ball hit to the right will kick even farther to the right. If you can land your tee shot just to the left of the 150 yard marker, you have hit a great shot.
Your approach shot is, believe it or not, slightly downhill. Be careful of the pond on the right.
When on the green watch out for the buried elephant, it can have quite an effect on your putt.
The 16th is a full par 5 with OB all the way up the right side. It requires a long and accurate tee shot that lands into a slope, which gives little or no roll. You will need a full fairway wood for your next shot and be careful of a pond 10 yards off the left side of the fairway. When you do get within range of the green don’t forget to factor in a couple of extra yards for the elevated green. The green is well protected by a large bunker front/left.
This is the original 8th green that was played into from the the left, so it does not hold that well.
The 17th hole is an uphill par four. The fairway tightens up a bit just beyond the 150 yard pole because of a bunker on the right side. Most tee shots will leave you with a blind shot to the green. The approach is flat and under most circumstances your shot will roll up onto the green.
The green is sloped from back to front and will usually hold well. The downhill putts can get a little speedy.
The 18th is a slight dogleg left and a great finishing hole. If you need a par to win your match or finish out a good round you will need to be in top form. Hit your tee shot as far as you can because the approach shot is to a green that is not only elevated but also has a large false front. Anything short will come right back at you. The green will break left to right and speed can get tricky