Golf Course Overview: Old Kinderhook
Insights From An Insider With Jason Woods, Head Golf Professional
By Brian Weis
Local and traveling golfers love to research courses before playing them, whether it is to gain some local knowledge or to set an expectation before their upcoming round. Below is an interview with Jason Woods who shares some valuable insight about the property, its most talked about holes and the signature dish/drink to consume at the 19th hole.
Provide a brief description of the golf course/property, the terrain and best times of the year to play.
Any time of the year is a great time to play Old Kinderhook. The golf course features very generous fairways and fairly large greens. Although there are a few dramatic elevation changes for the most part the course is relatively flat. Favorite times of the year are late April and early May when the zoysia grass starts greening up and trees and flowers are blooming. October is also a great time to play with the leaves changing, cooler weather and great course conditions. One of my personal favorite times of the year to play is November. The course usually plays firm and fast with the zoysia going dormant and with that the ball tends to roll out a bit more making the course play shorter than the yardage. The golf course is maintained year round and if you are able to pick and choose your days in the winter you can certainly play year round.
Share with golfers, your most recent awards and golf course improvements.
Old Kinderhook is always in the Golf Digest top 10 golf courses you can play in the State of Missouri. We were voted 2017 Best of the Lake in the Golf Course category. We won best golf course in Rural Mo. Last year we started renovation bunkers. This is a slow time consuming process but last winter we did about a dozen and we plan on continuing those projects this year.
Any tips on playing and reading the greens?
A great tip, not just for this course, is to always try to keep the ball below the hole. We have a few greens here at Old Kinderhook where keeping the ball below the hole is imperative. On holes 7 and 11 both are par 3's keeping the ball below the hole is an absolute requirement for the average golfer to 2 putt. Those two greens are severely sloped from back to front which makes anything past the hole an incredibly fast putt and almost a guaranteed 3 putt for most average golfers. For Old Kinderhook specifically there are many small subtle breaks. I believe that most putts break a little less here than what they appear, not all putts but the majority.
Starting on hole #1, are there any tips to get your round off on the right foot?
Playing Old Kinderhook to is always a challenge. The course plays different during different seasons and even day to day. From the back tees (silver) the first hole plays 430 yards. I've had anywhere between 3 wood and 60 degree wedge and everything in between for the second shot depending on course conditions, wind and temperature. The best play although risky, with out of bounds looming right of the cart path, is to aim for the far right side of the fairway and hit the ball as high as you can. If you can get the ball over the small ridge which runs across the fairway the ball will bound forward and roll a bit and feed toward the middle of the fairway. If you don't get over the small ridge plan on having a much longer shot into the green because the ridge will stop the ball. If this happens just be aware the with your second shot you don't actually have to carry the ball all the way onto the green. There is a cross bunker about 100 yards or less from the green. During dry conditions you can land the ball over the bunker and short of the green and most likely the ball will roll up onto the green. However you play the hole and no matter what score you take just remember you have 17 holes left!
What is your favorite par 5, and how would you recommend playing it?
Hole #18 is my favorite par 5 and my favorite hole here at Old Kinderhook. It is a classic risk reward par 5. From the back tees i recommend playing just left of the fairway bunker with your tee shot. Unless you are a big ball hitter most golfers can't carry the bunker on the corner of this slight dogleg right. The next shot if you have confidence in your fairway wood, hybrid or long iron go for the green. There is water short left, a creek in front of the green and a pond right of the green. There is never any shame in laying up though and plenty of pars and birdies can be made that way.
What is your favorite par 3, and how would you recommend playing it?
I really like hole #7. It's the shortest of the par 3's here but can be brutally difficult at times. The wind seems to swirl on that hole so it's difficult to club yourself correctly. The best advice I have for that hole is just aim for the middle of the green. The green slopes severely from back to front so anything above the hole is really hard to 2 putt. Short right of the green there is a huge bunker which you want to avoid at all costs. Also anything short of the green is an extremely difficult up and down.
In your opinion, what is the hardest hole and do you have any tips on playing it?
In my opinion the par 4 5th hole is the most difficult at Old Kinderhook for the average golfer. It is long and if you don't hit it far enough toreach the down slope in the fairway you can be left with a very long second shot to an elevated green which has a false front.
As a golfer plays the final three holes, is there a chance for salvation? (any tips on closing out the round?)
Depending on where the hole is on the par 3 16th it can be a birdie hole, especially if the pin is in the front. For any other pin locations it is definitely a hole i'm playing to make par. Hole 17 is a fairly short par 4 with an elevated green. For most people this is a fairly easy hole and birdies are made quite often here. This hole is very intimidating due to the dramatic bunkering on both sides of the fairway and in front of the green. The par 5 18th is a classic risk reward par 5. This hole can make or break a good round, plenty of birdies or better to be made but lose focus and 6's and 7's are easily made here also.
20 Eagle Ridge Rd.
Camdenton , Missouri, 65020
Revised: 03/05/2019 - Article Viewed 17,831 Times
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About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.
All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.
On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler