How to Play Your Best at Eagle Ridges Signature Holes

How to Play Your Best at Eagle Ridges Signature Holes

Conquering the Intimidating Leviathan

I’m a little embarrassed to admit I peaked on the first hole of the day. Sunday, my growing band of merry-men completed the second leg of our season-long Kentucky’s Best golf tour, this time crossing Eagle Ridge Golf Course at Yatesville Lake State Park off the list. On behalf of all that have played Eagle Ridge, I’d like to swift-kick architects Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest right in the shins. [1]

The course is, by far, the most visually and mentally intimidating golf course I have played in Kentucky. Yes, strictly speaking, in terms of length, slope, and course rating, there are more difficult courses in Kentucky. I’m confident that Valhalla, Triple Crown, and Persimmon Ridge, among many others, rate and play as more difficult tests of golf. [1] However, not since playing Oxmoor Valley and Silver Lakes on the Alabama RTJ Trail have I had a golf course assault my senses and my confidence in the way that Eagle Ridge tore me up this weekend. [1]

Set high upon the mountaintops abutting Yatesville Lake State Park in Louisa, Kentucky, the golf course lies in complete isolation from the rest of the world. [1] Designed by the aforementioned Hills & Forrest, Eagle Ridge G.C. opened for play in 2005. [1] The combination of vast elevation changes, narrow targets, sharp, unforgiving fairway angles, and severe penalties for failure to execute truly make Eagle Ridge one of a kind. Trying to guess exactly how much less club one should choose due to the elevation changes quickly became laughable during our round. [1]

The Thrill and Agony of Eagle Ridge’s Signature Holes

The insanely long, triple fairway downhill par 5 4th hole simply ate our breakfast, lunch, and dinner, leaving the group’s collective confidence in shambles, my swing mechanics a mess, and our spirits humbled. [1] The deceptively long 6th was where I completed my personal meltdown. I don’t remember how many tee shots I took before I finally landed a drive in the fairway. [1]

The unquestioned signature hole and highlight of the course is the “short” par 4 13th hole. The 13th hole is unlike anything else I’ve experienced in golf, with the green at the end of a split fairway more than 200 feet below the tee box. [1] To give you an idea of what elevation change like that does for your golf game, Mark was on the green located 240 yards away, around an elevated, heavily treed corner, in 1…with a soft 5 iron. [1]

This view of the 11th fairway depicts one of Eagle Ridge’s more “gently rolling” fairway slopes. [1] The land Eagle Ridge is built upon is simply stunning. The course is cut from the high-country forests of the Appalachian Mountains, with only enough land cleared to (barely) support the golf course. Despite the high elevation, there weren’t really any stunning vistas to speak of, other than the views of the golf course created by the incredibly elevated tee boxes. [1]

Mastering the Unique Challenges of Eagle Ridge

The fairways were in good condition overall, though several were aided in appearance from a recently applied chemical bath, with the lovely green dye seen on most golf courses in late spring. [1] Surprisingly, the fairways were generally pretty close to flat, though the areas immediately adjacent to them were decidedly not. [1] Unfortunately, scenes like this were the overriding theme of our collective golf round. There simply was no “good miss” on Eagle Ridge. There isn’t much rough to mow on most holes, as the fairways simply give way to one ravine or holl’er after another. [1]

We assumed that the course uses an insane amount of water (from Yatesville Lake, no doubt) to keep the course green. [1] If there ever were a drought, or a problem with the course’s water supply or delivery, the course would literally be unplayable within a matter of days. There is simply no place for a shot to run out and remain in play. Even the most skilled Scottish links golfer would scarcely stand a chance if Eagle Ridge were allowed to dry out. [1]

My take away is that Eagle Ridge can be a tremendous golf course. After playing it a few times, with an accumulation of local course knowledge, I would bet that it’s a lot of fun to play, and I look forward to getting back there in a couple of years to see if I can fare any better. [1] The course is undoubtedly in a beautiful setting. For me, it was worth the almost two-hour drive into the mountains just to add the Eagle Ridge experience to my collection. [1]

[1] Knowledge from

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