Friday, August 29, 2008

A Tale of Two Courses

I have been playing a lot of golf lately, mostly for my own enjoyment, but some to find a place around Omaha that I can bring my Father In Law to should he want to play when he comes next year.

I played several courses, and it has come down to two: Tiberon and Indian Creek.

Course Layout
Both courses have a 27 hole lay out, broken out in to three 9 hole courses. This allows them to take up to 180 golfers at a time all playing at a relatively good pace. If one course is too full they can switch players over to another more empty course. It is really nice, too because if you never know what rotation they will choose for you. You may start off on one course one day and another the next. You very rarely play the same game twice.
No advantage here.

Tiberon is built with houses around the holes, but the houses are set far enough back from the rough so that you are very rarely in danger of hitting a house.
Indian Creek has most of their holes being on the golf course proper, and houses bordering the course. You rarely see a house, and when you do they are in little danger of being hit... It did not stop me from drilling one though...
Advantage: Indian Creek

Course Maintenance
This is a nit picky thing... Maintenance is awesome on both courses. The grass is perfectly kept. HOWEVER:
Tiberon has lots of geese. They crap EVERYWHERE. That sucks. Tiberon also likes to keep their rough grass long, more like a PGA course. This kind of sucks because you can hit a great shot just off of the fairway and loose your ball. The long grass just looks spectacular, though.
Indian Creek's rough is kept just slightly longer than the fairway. It is actually quite easy to find your ball nearly where ever it goes, unless you put it in to the water.
Advantage: Indian Creek

Trees are the soul of a golf course in my opinion. They add challenge and character to the golf course. The issue with many "new" Omaha golf courses is that they were built in what used to be corn fields. Trees in corn fields are understandably sparse, so all trees on the golf course need to be planted. Trees take a long time to grow so, many newer Omaha courses are rather treeless.
Indian Creek has this problem. It has a lot of trees, but very few of them are mature. The course comes off as kind of bald, and like it was just plopped down in the middle of nowhere.
Tiberon has many mature trees, especially around its parameter. They gives shade and makes you hit straighter.
Advantage: Tiberon

The greens at Tiberon look like they take a roller to them every night. When I played, it looked like the members and the players there took excellent care to repair ball marks and make the course the best it can be.
The greens at Indian Creek looked pretty beat up. Several of the par 3 greens looked like the surface of the moon. Don't get me wrong they were better than any city golf course I have played, but they just looked like they could have used some work.
Advantage: Tiberon

The carts and hole signs before the holes at Indian Creek are really nice. The signs are all wood, and have the yardages carved in to them. It looks really sharp. Indian Creek also uses a GPS system in their carts so that you always know exact yardage to the hole and pin placement. You can even order food and call for the beer cart to find you. Very cool.
Tiberon just has normal carts to play from, there is no GPS system or any of that. Their hole signs are cardboard inside a fiberglass sign. They look really crappy, and really look bad on a humid day, or right after it has rained.
Advantage: Indian Creek

Now to the most influential things.

Course Play
This is a very tough call, because I had a great time on both courses.
Indian Creek had some very nice long holes to play. Their par threes incorporated water and were quite challenging. The sixth hole on the grey course was especially fun. It was a 500 yard straight hole. If you it a good drive, I did, you can get 200, to 250 yards out of it. Your second shot however is the tough one. There is a "river" that cuts about 50 yards in front of the hole, and empties in to a little pond just to the left of the green. Two large trees guard the entrance to the green, just on the other side of the "river."

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So right now you have about 190 yards to the "river" 240 to the hole. What do you do? You know you will have to make a chip shot, so where do you want to hit from? Take out a your trusty Adams Golf 4 iron hybrid and hit 190 and make the lay up shot, or take out your temperamental Adams Golf 3 iron hybrid and try to make it from the other side of the river? Very fun. I tried to hit the lay up shot with my 4 iron, but managed to make perfect contact with the ball and hit it 210 yards in to the river...
Tiberon has two holes that I think I could play every time and not get tired of them. The number two and the number 9 holes on the Mako course. Number two is a par 4 with a dog leg right around a pond.

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With a good tee shot, I hit a great one, you end up in the water, I did, if you take a little bit off of it you hit a great lay up for an interesting approach shot over the water on to the green. Lots of fun. The problem with this hole is that the geese have done their business all over the green.
Number 9 is a HUGE 500 yard par 5. This one dog legs left, but it is so long that it is more of a large arc than a dog leg. You start off on top of a hill, so even my medocer tee shots look like monster drives. The course designer did not want to make it easy on any one, so he build little hills on the right and planted trees to the left. Just for fun he put his pond right next to the start of this hole so that it would make you nervous about a short shot.

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Lots and lots of fun.
Advantage: Tiberon
The problem here is that you never know what courses you will be playing, you might not get to play these holes as they may want you to play the other two courses.

Let's face it. I am trying to impress somebody here. That includes where we eat lunch or get a drink afterward. Both places have nice exteriors, but...
Indian Creek is more of a standard meeting hall type appearance, with the snack shop being kind of plain.
Tiberon has a full sports bar with granite counters, flat screen TVs everywhere, and very nice faculties.
Advantage: Tiberon wins this one very easily.

Here it comes... What is the damage. All costs will be for 18 holes. Nine is for sissies. I will compare weekend costs as that is when we are likely to play. I will also compare cart costs as we are likely to play with a cart. Personally, I hate the cart. I always walk.
Tiberon has a very strange multi tiered green fee system, it gets cheaper as the day wears on. I don't quite know what they are trying to accomplish... Encourage afternoon golf to drive business to their restaurant, or soak the players when they are most likely to be starting their games. Anyway it is $47 per player before 11am, $29 after 11am, and $21.50 after 3pm.
Indian Creek has one flat rate for golf, $56 for 18 on the weekend.
Advantage: Tiberon

So that tears it. If we have some time to play, I think I will try to get a tee time at Tiberon. It is a fun course, it looks great and it won't break the bank when I pay for the foursome.

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