Golf: The signature holes of Centre County
August is National Golf Month. With that in mind, we thought it would be interesting to pick out some of Centre County's signature holes.
The “signature hole” at a golf course is the one hole that the course has decided is the most aesthetically pleasing and most photogenic.
A signature hole may or may not be representative of the golf course but because of its beauty or dramatic design it is the hole featured when talked about around the club and the general playing public.
Listed is what the PGA Golf Professionals at the seven Centre County area golf facilities feel are their clubs signature holes:
Centre Hills Country Club, State College – Hole No. 7, 182 yards, par 3.
“I would say No. 7 is the signature hole at Centre Hills,” stated head golf professional Jeb Boyle, who is in his 30th season at the helm of golf at the State College facility. “The hole is a par 3 with five bunkers on the hole that plays to 182 yards from the blue tees. It has a very small green with a fence that is out of bounds on the left side running very close to the green.”
Mountain View Country Club, Boalsburg – Hole No. 7, 431 yards, par 4.
Even though PGA professional Jack Brennan is in his fourth season at the Boalsburg course, he’s certainly familiar with the layout of the course since recent changes were made to the course. Prior to major renovations the past two years at the course, hole No. 7, 431 yards, par 4 was the signature hole.
Following the changes to the course, Brennan has selected No. 12, at 392-yards from the blue tees and 383 yards from the white tees as the signature hole. “The hole has a 183-yard narrow landing area with two ponds protecting the left side of the fairway and a sand trap guarding the right side of the green,” stated Brennan. “Those two factors make No. 12 a very tough hole to navigate and requires all of the golfer’s skills to make par on this hole.”
Nittany Country Club, Mingoville – Hole No. 4, 221 yards, par 3.
The picturesque Hole No. 4, a par 3, 221 yards downhill off an elevated tee sitting high atop the hill overlooking the golf course.
“One needs a 3-to-5 fairway wood or a long iron by a real-good player to have a chance at making par on this hole,” quipped PGA professional Scott Frey. “No. 4 is an altogether difficult hole when the wind is blowing. It has the longest green on the course but still plays the toughest on the course. On top of that you have an exciting view from top to bottom looking toward the clubhouse.”
Penn State Golf Courses, University Park, Blue and White Courses
Blue Course, Hole No. 14, 190 yards, par 3.
“This par 3 is all carry,” stated PGA Pro Joe Hughes. “A pond fronting the green must be carried from the tee. Two well-placed bunkers behind the green will collect any long shots, leaving the golfer with a sand shot at a green sloping toward the water hazard. The green slopes severely from back to front, so it will hold a tee shot, however, unless you are below the hole, chances are the putt will have a severe break.
White Course, Hole No. 14, 210 yards, par 3.
“This par 3 is one of the original designed holes by golf course architect and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Class of 2013, Will Parker Jr.,” stated Hughes. “There are well positioned bunkers to the left of the green and a steep slope for any errant shot to the right of the green, makes this a postage size landing area. This difficult, downhill golf shot will test any skill golfer.”
Philipsburg Elks Country Club, Philipsburg, – Hole No. 3, 356 yards, par 4.
PGA professional Paul Fischer stated that hole No. 3 is a real challenge due to an elevated green and therefore the “signature hole” at the Elks C. C. in Philipsburg.
“The tee shot should be played about 200 to 225 yards keeping it short of the hazard that runs across the hole”, explained Fischer. “The fairway is lined with many trees making it important to find the fairway. The approach shot is straight up the hill to a small green, which is surrounded by several mounds, two bunkers and a large tree. After reaching the green the fun is just beginning as the green has a slope from back to front so being below the hole is a must.”
Skytop Mountain Golf Club, Port Matilda – Hole No. 16, 190 yards, par 3.
According to PGA professional Jeremy Crawford, No. 16 is one of the most picturesque golf holes in Centre County.
“Skytop’s No. 16 is breathtaking,” stated Crawford. “The picturesque hole is a par 3, measuring 190 yards from the back tee, drops more than 160 feet to the green, which is surrounded by mature oak, maple and evergreens. Standing on the tee boxes, one can view three mountain ranges in the distance beyond the green.”
Toftrees Golf Resort, State College – Hole No. 9, 392 yards, par 4.
“The hole is accented with fountains, that makes this water hazard to force the golfer to carry nearly 240 yards of watery grave from the longest set of tees,” stated PGA professional Cody Ceccato. “Once over the water, the hole can be a birdie for many players, yet the anxiety it creates on the tee shot results in dozens of lost balls every day. This lake not only serves as a giant ball wash, but is home to an array of wildlife and has become a favorite for the State College Bird Club.”