It'll take your breath away. You'll walk up to whichever color tee box you typically use, and look out and your jaw will hit the ground. What you'll see you just won't believe. And you'll say to yourself, "Is this Florida? Am I not in Hernando County?" Don't worry, you're not alone. The No. 12 hole at the Brooksville Country Club at Majestic Oaks is one of the beautiful quarry holes that was added in late 2005. It takes you aback when you first see it because, well, it is awe-inspiring. It's not everyday there's a near-canyon on a Florida golf course. Though seeing No. 12 — even with its ironic 12 handicap — may be intimidating, and to top it all off, there are two distinct ways to get to the green, both with their pros and cons. However, it'll be up to you to — (play intense background music) — choose your path. Here's the scouting report:
THE HIGH ROAD
Your first option is taking what is called the Upper Fairway. It's one of two fairways the hole has, this one being to the left of the tee boxes. It's wide open out there; however, it is slightly higher than when you tee off, meaning you really have to get a hold of your drive to get over there. "Guys with low handicaps should go with the upper fairway," director of golf Vince Buelk said. "With a little wind in their back, they will have no problem nearly driving or even hitting the green in one shot." The Upper Fairway is for the more skilled golfers, but it's not totally out of the question. Just don't be bold thinking you can easily drive the green because there is a sand trap just in front of the green that right-handed golfers easily hit into with their natural draw.
THE LOW ROAD
The Lower Fairway just bottoms out as though you are looking into some green-colored ravine. Buelk says golfers with higher handicaps will go this route, feeling it's the easier path, but that's not entirely accurate. While the Lower Fairway is just as open as the Upper, it leaves you having to hit up a 50-foot elevation on the second shot, and from there, it's very difficult to judge how hard to hit the ball or to club up or not. "It is more intimidating," Buelk said. "You can't even see where you're going, so that's basically a blind shot there." Brooksville Country Club has helped out a tad by putting a 12-foot pole at the pin; that way golfers can see the flag from down there. Just don't be fooled. It's so easy to sail past the green while overcompensating for the steep incline.
KING OF THE HILL
No worrying about trees on this hole, but there is the vegetation between the two fairways. All that is on a hill going down from left to right. If you come up short and find your way into the long grass, good luck hiking up or down the hill and then making a shot while trying to catch your breath. The best advice: drop out if you're on the hill.
IT IS EASY TO BE ON THIS GREEN
This green has a great slope — only slightly from back to front — and depending on pin placement, you should have a very easy time putting. However, coming from the Lower Fairway, you might overshoot the hole and have a long putt, or, from the Upper Fairway, you might roll off the green. Be careful of that especially, because the right-front side of the green drops back off. Get down there and you're going to have a heck of a time not only getting back up, but avoiding that snowman on your scorecard.
Community Sports Editor Mike Camunas can be reached at (352) 544-1771 or firstname.lastname@example.org.