Heritage Eagle Bend

Heritage Eagle Bend GC, Aurora. Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest, 2000.

Several courses were built out here at the edges of the southeast suburbs around the late 90s; this was my least favorite of the lot even before all the homes that now line the course had been built.

Most Art Hills courses have at least one really awkward hole that’s a total mess. This course doesn’t, so it has that going for it. But the trade off is that too few of the holes really have a tremendous amount of interest of any kind.

I liked the ninth, a 385-yard uphill par 4 with a fairway split by a large angled bunker that asks you to choose how much risk you want to take on with your tee shot. The green is guarded by a pair of deep bunkers at the front left—the more carry you take on with your tee shot, the more you can avoid them with your approach. Safer tee shots to the left leave longer approaches that have to more directly contend with those front bunkers. Simple design, but the fairway bunker design here is well executed.

I’m a bit conflicted about the 16th. This is another uphill par 4, this one 392 with a drive over a creek that then runs along the right side of the fairway. Two round bunkers in the fairway dominate the visual off the tee. The first is about 255 from the back tee, the second about 275. Where these bunkers sit the fairway narrows to about 15 yards between them and the creek. It’s easy enough to simply play the hole by laying back short of either of the bunkers and having a little over 150 yards in, but I hate that forced layup hole on so many other Art Hills courses. I give this hole a pass because the option to take a risk does exist, even if it is foolhardy, but I’m not convinced it’s a good hole.

The 17th is a strong par 4 that looks long on the card (450) but plays much shorter downhill. Everything runs away to the right, and the green runs away too with a creek off to the right side so controlling your ball is key here.

But I didn’t much care for the finisher, a 400-yard par 4 that plays much longer directly uphill and straight back toward the gaudy clubhouse.

Colorado 5th Decile [2000]

Credit: Bruce Norman