SANDY HOLLOW GOLF COURSE
What can we say about Sandy Hollow? Popular. Challenging. Beautiful. A forest of a golf course in the heart of the Forest City. Sandy Hollow is Real, Original American municipal golf. It doesn’t have bent grass; it’s grass is blue. But it’s got blue chip routing. No two holes are the same and many of them are memorable. Sandy Hollow is one of only 19 Audobon Certified courses in Illinois, so there are birds all around - even when the golfers aren’t making them. Golf Digest magazine rated Sandy Hollow a 3 1/2 star course - and when you see the green fees (lower than a Tiger Woods stinger), you’ll know you’re getting your money’s worth. Par 71, 6,228 yards from the tips, rating: 69.3, slope: 115. Call 815-987-8836
2670 Sandy Hollow Road, Rockford, IL 61109 - Directions
Website: Sandy Hollow Golf Course
Visit Beef-A-Roo - 3401 S Alpine Rd - a rock-n-roll themed restaurant for fast dining.
#4. At Sandy Hollow, no two holes are alike - and plenty of the shorter holes actually offer surprising challenges. At a diminutive 329 yards from the back, this memorable dogleg right par 4 packs plenty of bite for those who take it for granted from the tee. Needless to say, a well-placed tee shot (particularly a nice fade down the left center) leaves a juicy approach and a great chance for birdie. Slice the ball into the trees on the right, though, or pull it into the trees on the left, or hit it into the fairway bunker (329 yards from the back tee) and you could be looking at a tough scramble for par - or worse. Picking your target carefully off the tee is the secret to a good score on #4.
#10. This is another shot par 4 that ought to be easy, but often ends up frustrating golfers who take it 283 yard “length” for granted. If you’ve hit you driver accurately on the front nine, by all means, go for the green in one. If that club has not been your best friend, though, leave it in the bag and hit a club that will leave you a comfortable approach distance. The green is small, but it’s not exactly a postage stamp. OB lurks behind the green. In fact, that gentleman sitting on his balcony behind the green probably has a pretty good golf ball collection, not to mention the phone number of the local glass company. A deep bunker guards the left front, and there’s more OB off to the right. Take your birdie or par and move on!
#15. This par 5 is fun, fun, fun - unless you’re hooking the ball, because OB looms to your left from tee to green. Hit it hard from the tee and take care to avoid the fairway bunker in the left center of the fairway, 489 yards from the back tee. A perfect aiming point is the right side of that bunker, actually - assuming you have the distance to carry it. There’s plenty of landing area out there to the right, although badly sliced balls can find large, troublesome trees. REALLY badly sliced balls can find #16’s fairway bunker. There really are only two other bits of useful advice on this fun par 5 . . . Take care to choose the right club for your approach shot because the green is dramatically elevated - and crowned. And, if you have an uphill putt, strike your putts firmly.
#17. If you like long par 3s, you’ll love this test hole. All 191 yards are uphill - and often against a prevailing wind. If you tend to under-club, it’s not a bad idea to take two more clubs than you think you’ll need to reach the center of the green. To add to your potential troubles, the smallish green is surrounded by sand and encroaching woods. So, don’t go pin hunting. Aim for the center of the green and hope for a beneficial bounce. Par is an excellent score on this very tough par 3.