The Bull at Boone’s Trace (Richmond, KY on 05/25/13)

Behind Old Silo, The Bull at Boone’s Trace was the course that I wanted to play the most on the trip. I fell in love with the course from the website and booked a 9am time. I ended up paying $49 on a Saturday (the rack rate) as I was not able to find any discounts during the time that I wanted to play. If I could have found a way to play it in the afternoon I saw times for ~$30 which would have been a very good price. I got there early to hit a few balls and putt so I was a touch deflated to see that three holes wrap around the range. These holes looked pretty boring because of the open land around them and had homes on the other side. Many times the anticipation of something is better than the reality and that is what happened to my opinion of the course as I went along. I had this pegged as a premier course while it is actually a good value course so as my round progressed I had to adjust my expectations.

The course is characterized by two different nines with the back being the stronger nine in my opinion. The front is open, flatter, and has more homes surrounding it than the back. The front nine was not boring per se, just that the homes took away from the design a bit. The first hole is a par 5 that plays up a gentle hill and the 2nd required a tee shot to the left side of the fairway to account for the slope. The 3rd is a par 4 that climbs a hill with a blind 2nd shot and the 5th has tricky tee shot over a corner of the rough to a blind landing area. The 6th and 7th each needed a decision off the tee depending on how aggressive someone wanted to play. The 6th is a reachable par 5 but the tee shot needed to be right of a big tree in the fairway to get the 2nd shot near the green while the 7th is a short par where a layup will end up with a blind shot to a downhill green. An aggressive tee shot on each hole could turn into a fairly simple birdie opportunity. The design on the front was solid but the homes and the holes around the range (#3, #4, & #9) were not my favorite. The back still had some homes, but they were hidden better from the course. The back had one great hole after another and none disappointed. The 10th is a par 5 with a fairway that slopes severely from right to left and the 11th is a short downhill par 4 with a tough tee shot for a first timer at the course. The 13th is a reachable par 5 with a tight 2nd or 3rd shot through some trees to the green and the 14th is a short downhill par 3 that was fun to play. The finishing holes are solid too and I love that while someone isn’t going to lose too many golf balls here, the course requires accurate shots to put together a good score. The course rewards good shots but allows for recovery from the bad ones which is something I enjoy.

The course was in good shape with thick, challenging rough to hit from and nicely maintained fairways and tee boxes. The greens were slower than what I was expecting, but still rolled well. The main challenge from the course came from the small greens and a couple awkward landing areas on tee shots. There were many things that I enjoyed about the course including some elevation change, a short par 3, and no overwhelming length to the course. I played the tips and the course only played 6659 yards as a par 72 (71.6/136). Many newer courses have tees that play 7000 to 7500 yards which always tempts me to tackle more than I can handle. All in all I enjoyed the course and actually shot my lowest score in 5 years. The community is not memorable, but if someone could overlook that I think the conditioning and the course design are worth a play if in the area.

#1:

1-1

#1 looking back:

1-2

#2:

2-1

#3:

3-1

#4:

4-1

#5:

5-1

#5 approach:

5-2

#6 approach:

6-2

#7:

7-1

#9:

9-1

#10:

10-1

#11:

11-1

#13 approach:

13-2

#14:

14-1

#16:

16-1

#17:

17-1

#18 looking back:

18-3

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