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Tennessee Golf Quarterly Winter 2017 : Page 53

GREAT GOLF HOLES OF TENNESSEE Hole #14, Par 4 FOXLAND HARBOR GALLATIN, TN As golf course architect Bill Bergin scanned a topography map of the property he would eventual turn into Foxland Harbor Golf and Country Club, his eyes locked onto a natural feature that excited him. This was definitely a eureka moment. “I wouldn’t call it a creek,” Bergin said. “But it was a drainage swale that crossed the fairway. So we augmented it and turned it into a creek. That’s the main feature of [No. 14]. That started everything.” Bergin is known as a reverent restorer of courses originally designed by such classic era architects as Donald Ross, Seth Raynor and A.W. Tillinghast, but he also has 11 original designs to his credit, and Foxland Harbor is one of his favorites. It’s also a favorite of the Tennessee Golf Association, which in the course’s first eight years played two of its most significant events, the Tennessee Men’s and Women’s Amateurs, there, along with the Girl’s Junior Amateur. The Tennessee PGA has conducted its Player’s Championship at Foxland Harbor, which has proven to be a challenging tournament venue. No. 14 helps make it so. Off the tee, a longer hitter playing from the 451-yard black, or championship tees has a decision to make about whether to hit a driver or 3-wood. The goal is to stay short of the creek. A fairway bunker on the right side of the landing area guides the way, but should be avoided as well. Once safely in the fairway, the second shot is to an elevated green that measures 7,010 square feet and is 40 yards deep. A bunker protects the left side of the green, and although its contours aren’t severe, lengthy putts can be a concern. “It’s a very challenging hole,” Bergin said, “one of those holes where you walk off with a par and feel you’ve accomplished something. I want one of those on every nine. “Some of the best holes in America force you to work the ball one way off the tee and the opposite way to the green. No. 14 is right to left off the tee and left to right to the green. It’s really a pivotal hole in the round, even though it comes in the middle of the back nine. Foxland Harbor epitomizes my philosophy of ebbing and flowing between challenges and opportunities. Fourteen is the challenge on the back side.” In each issue of Tennessee Golf Quarterly, Chris Dortch provides an in-depth look at one of Tennessee’s best holes. PHOTO COURTESY BEGIN GOLF DESIGNS

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