2013-06-27 / Sports

4th Hole at Centennial’s Meadows Nine: ‘Fair, but Challenging’

RICH THOMASELLI

Editor’s Note: Today begins a weekly summer series highlighting the favorite holes of Putnam County golf pros at their respective courses. These might not necessarily be the toughest holes on the course, but they’re a favorite for a reason. If you are interested in contributing to, or being featured in, the series, contact Sports Coordinator Rich Thomaselli at 845-834-2298 or rptsports@aol.com

CARMEL – It’s not the toughest hole among the 27 that dot the gorgeous landscape of the Centennial Golf Club in Carmel, but the fourth hole on the Meadows Nine is nonetheless the favorite of 14-year club pro Scott Klemme.

Why? Because it’s what every golf hole should be.

“Fair,” Klemme said, “but challenging.”

Centennial Golf Club is generally regarded as one of the top public golf courses in the tri-state area. It features three nine-hole courses – the Lakes course, Fairways, and Meadows, all of which are par-36.

Designed by U.S. Open winner and two-time PGA Championship winner Larry Nelson, Centennial plays to about 6,000 yards from the white tees, 6,600 from the blues and 7,100 from the championship tees.

If anything, the course demands two things. Players need relative precision off the tee; the fairways aren’t considered ridiculously tight, but there are places to get in trouble. More importantly, that tee shot needs to be dead-on because the undulating, tiered greens place a premium on the short game.

Meadows No. 4 is a microcosm of Centennial.

Most players use ‘the rock,’ literally a large rock near the start of the tree line on the course, as their focal point off the tee.

“It’s probably 290, maybe 300 yards off the black tee,” Klemme said. “It’s a very good aiming point. You can’t see much of the fairway so you’re going to want to shoot for the rock. Ideally, you would hit a bit of a draw off the tee,” aiming for the rock and the tree line on the right and have the ball draw, or curl, left into the middle of the fairway.

That leaves about 160 yards to the green, and that’s the tricky part.

Klemme and his staff have three pin placements for No. 4 Meadows. Front right is the most accessible. Back center is ideal, but if you come up short with your iron on the second shot it’s a difficult putt to the top tier of the green. And to the left is appealing, but if you miss it the bunker and the water also on the left come into play.

“There’s not a lot of bailout area,” Klemme says.

All the more reason to love it, right?

“You know, it’s not THE toughest. IT’s in the top four or five most difficult holes here, but it’s not the toughest,” Klemme said. “It’s just a great golf hole with great views from the top of the tee.”

Klemme said the three toughest holes at Centennial are No. 6 Meadows, No. 2 Lakes, and No. 3 Fairway.

“Six is a nice tee shot off an elevated tee, and a long iron uphill to a three-tiered green,” Klemme said. “Two Lakes is the second hole for most people playing the course. It’s a good tee shot and it’s still another 180 yards after that onto another elevated green. And Three Fairways is a long par-4 uphill where the fairway slopes to the right leading to another three-tiered green.”

Klemme is originally from Colorado, born and raised, by way of college in New Mexico, who came to New York when the Centennial job came open in 1999, with the thought of staying a couple of years and moving on. Fourteen years later, married with three children, Klemme has made Carmel – and Centennial – home.

“I think the thing that I’m most proud of is the service,” he said. “The service people get when they arrive is at the level or even exceeding some of the private clubs that are around here. I’ve had the same staff or the majority of it since I’ve been here. People recognize them. We know everybody here by name. It’s that kind of an atmosphere. The staff is very pleasant and very friendly. That was one of the things I wanted to instill.”

My Favorite Hole

COURSE

Centennial Golf Club, Carmel

CLUB PRO

Scott Klemme

PRO’S FAVORITE HOLE

No. 4, Meadows Nine

Some 456 yards from championship tee to green, Klemme describes the hole as ‘fair, but challenging.’

A long tree-line on the right side of the fairway starts at about 140 yards from the green and flares away from the hole, but the left side offers no respite – water and a bunker guard a tripled-tiered green.

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