Hole No. 12 at Mountain View Golf Course - Most Interesting Holes Series

Second in our OGA series about the Most Interesting Holes is the Par 3 at Mountain View Golf Course in Boring, Ore.

If you look at the scorecard, 184 (Blue), 178 (White), and 118 (Red) seem to be decent lengths for a par 3. Not too long… not too short… and then you get to the tee.

If you’re one who suffers from vertigo or has a fear of heights, I sure hope someone warned you before stepping up to the edge. The tee boxes are carved out of the side of a steep canyon. The green is below you about 180 feet from the upper tees and has a menacing right to left tilt. And if that is not enough, it is also protected by 2 bunkers, a water hazard behind, trees to the right and that very steep hillside with tall grass that tends to hide golf balls. Basically, you don’t want to be short, long, left or right of the fairly small, highly contoured green.

Each of the courses on the Most Interesting list had to include a description with the nomination to be included in the voting round. George Walker, OGA Member at Gresham Golf Course, gave the following description, that is both truthful and a bit humorous, of #12:

"8000’ vertical drop to a green that slopes at 45 degrees. Water, hill, sand, memorial garden, and more all with a beautiful view. All this hole lacks are pars and birdies."

From a Course Rating standpoint, this hole is very interesting. We have to account for the extreme downhill shot, since it makes the shot to the green play shorter. For the 184 yard shot, most would hit the club that plays about 145 to avoid sailing the green. The elevation of landing zone for an approach shot, or in this case the tee shot on a par 3, is adjusted in increments of 10 feet. This hole was well off the regular charts. While the Course Rating System formulas shorten the effective playing length of the hole due to the loss of elevation, the rest of the difficulty more than makes up the difference.

The water hazard behind the green is quite close. The closer the obstacle (ex: water hazard, trees, OB, extreme rough), is to the target, the higher our numbers run. Since the water hazard also surrounds the green for more than ¼ of the diameter, it qualifies for a “surround” adjustment. This causes the water number to rise for all but the more expert golfers.

With all of the larger factors, the hole automatically calculates a Psychological rating. This factor counts much more for the higher handicapped golfer. All of the Obstacle factors are rated on a scale of 0 (does not exist) – 10 (extreme difficulty). When there are three or more factors of 5 or above, the Psychological rating kicks in. It is automatically calculated by the program. The Scratch golfer receives a minor adjustment for Psych, while the Bogey golfer gets more of a bump.

Almost anyone who has played this course has a story about #12. That includes me. I was a contestant in the 2002 OGA Net Championship at Mt. View. With the multiple switchbacks necessary for the cart path to get down to the green below, the group ahead would mark their balls and allow the next group to hit down before putting out. I still remember being incredibly nervous on the tee. I hit a good shot that landed at the bottom of the hill and kept rolling onto the green. It looked like the was going right at the hole and I watched as the group on the green below coaxed the ball to drop, just before it kept rolling right over the edge of the hole and over the green into a patch of rough which thankfully stopped the ball from the hazard. Long story short… I ended up carding a 5 that day.

The 12th hole also is also quite beautiful. The Ed Tribby Memorial Falls pays homage to past members with shrubs planted in their honor. For more on Mountain View Golf Course, please click here.

*The 12th hole at Mountain View earned 282 fan votes to earn second place in the OGA 2017 Edition of the "18 Most Interesting Holes" contest. Throughout the year Gretchen Yoder, OGA Manger of Course Rating & Handicapping, will explain what makes each hole unique and describe the ideas behind rating these gems. 

Next Up: Hole No. 16 Willamette Valley Country Club - Canby, Ore.

 

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