I felt like I was on the set of a Hallmark Movie. Evergreen and Angel are two prominent names that are featured in many Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. Yes, I have to admit I am a fan of those sappy, you-know-what’s-coming movies. If we overlay the Hallmark script on this course, the first few holes will go well; then there will be some adversity in the middle of the round; and finally a strong finish. Let’s see how close we follow the script today at Evergreen Golf Course.
The first hole is a par 4 with a slight bend to the left. We are starting off on a good note as Gordie noted, “it’s lush, green and looks very nice”. Large, mature trees dot the fairway, but they are spread out enough to be able to play through them if your initial drive is wayward. Hole #2 is the number one handicap and it played to its ranking. Those same large, mature trees that I said were easy to play through, stymied my third shot to the green.
Hole #3 is the first par 5 and the fairway has a big turn to the left. Before you automatically pull the driver, take into consideration these two points. If you usually hit a big fade (Gordie), you are working away from the green and being confronted with trouble. If you smack it long, there is a good chance you’ll encounter the end of the short grass. Better to be short than long at the par 3 fourth hole. Once again you are confronted with a “turtleback” green that will deflect any wayward shot off the putting surface.
Your round is going well. The sun is shining; the grass is lush and green; the birdie/par putts are sinking; and you have successfully mastered the “crowned” greens. BOOM!! The adversity strikes midway through the round – I found water! About halfway down the fairway at Hole #5 there is a small, hidden from view, body of water. Play it safe with an iron, or try to blast over the water? A good risk/reward hole.
BOOM-2!!! The hazards are now playing games with my head as I stand on the tee box at Hole #6. There is more water in front of the tee box, so I better not top my drive. There is a road down the left, please hit it straight. So what happens? We probably top it into the water, or hit a passing car to the left. The power of negative thinking! We are still on script, but now it is time to work toward that happy ending.
After the completion of hole #6, you drive through the parking lot to a very cool Hole #7. An uphill par 3 of 130 yards with two large trees bracketing the approach to the green, and a bunker waiting to capture any short shot. No problem for me today as my ball stopped 18 inches from the cup.
Even though Hole #8 is a straight hole, there are a number of peaks and valleys along the way to the green that sits up on a hill. Speaking of the green, it slopes perilously from back to front. If you land beyond the pin, good luck staying on the green with your putt. At Hole #9 it is much preferred to be down the right side of this fairway. I had some tree trouble down the left, but somehow I miraculously clipped my wedge like Phil and landed again to about 20 inches. I’d say a birdie, birdie, birdie finish is a perfect Hallmark ending.
Ranking – Ace (51 out of 60): This review is based on a true story. I love the condition of the course; the variety of hole configurations; the well-placed hazards; the risk/reward holes; and even though many of the holes were straight, the contoured greens added to the potential misfortune around the course. In short – I really enjoyed it!
The Cast of Characters…
Scott – plays himself
Gordie – plays himself
Karen (not Mrs. Always Time for 9) – plays herself
11694 W. Church Rd. NE, Mount Angel, OR 97362; 503-845-9911; www.evergreenoregon.com