Very simply put, Old Silo was the reason for my golf trip to Kentucky. The course is currently ranked as the top public course in Kentucky by multiple sources and everything I read regarding the course was positive. I decided to play here on my way out of town because it is about a half hour east of Lexington on I-64. By playing it on my way home I did not have to drive out to the course and back while staying in Lexington and it would break up the drive a bit. I called and got a 9am tee time for $52 which was the normal holiday price. I tried to find a time on Golfnow, but all the times I could find there were for later in the day. The course looked to be in an open rural area from the pictures so I was surprised when it turned out to be just off the interstate, set back behind some homes, and in a heavily wooded area. Thankfully, as the round went along the homes were never any trouble and only noticeable on a few holes.
I decided to play the Black Tees at 74.6/139/7011 which is a little higher rating and slope than I like, but the Blue Tees were 6500 yards and shorter than I wanted to play. I think a combo set of tees would work perfectly here. The weather was beautiful when I went off and it was almost as if rays of sun were falling from the clouds. As I mentioned, I was expecting an open links style layout for some reason so it took me a few holes to adjust to the tree lined holes and many trouble spots. In addition, I wasn’t expecting as much elevation change throughout the course. The 1st hole is a dogleg right par 5 that would need a line over the fairway bunkers with a driver off the tee and the 2nd hole is a short, tight par 4 with a fairway that slopes from left to right. The sloping fairways bothered me as the round went along and I noticed a pattern with some holes in this regards. What I found is that many holes had fairway bunkers on the high side of the fairway. This meant trying to place a tee shot near the bunker and let it kick down to the fat of the fairway. The problem is that the trouble is on the low side of the fairway. I think the course would be much fairer if the the bunkers were on the low side of the fairway to catch a shot before it got into trouble and open up a miss on the high side kicking back into a decent lie. The 6th hole is one of the signature holes and plays from an elevated tee down into a little valley with a few other holes while the 2nd shot is back uphill over a creek to the green. The 8th hole, a 442 yard par 4, is the toughest hole on the course with another sloping fairway and trouble on each side. I think the back opens up a bit compared to the front and was more enjoyable for me to play. The 10th is open and plays downhill while the 11th has a blind 2nd shot if out of position off the tee. The 13th, a reachable 474 yard par 5, plays downhill and has a split fairway off the tee. The 15th is a goofy hole as the fairway runs out and drops out of sight. I blasted a driver down the middle and had a severe downhill from the rough where it looks like fairway should be from the tee. The 16th hole has the “old silo” in play and is in the same valley as the 6th.
Some positives are that the conditioning was great except for a couple ground under repair sections and I flew around the course in about 3 hours on Memorial Day. There is no doubt that Old Silo is a classy course and an excellent value, but I was a little frustrated playing it for the first time as it was pretty involved. Some courses are such a nightmare to play the first time that I don’t want to go back, but this is one that I would like another attempt to master.
#15 looking back at where the fairway stops:
#16 looking back: