6th Hole - Cobblestone Park, Hole 5
by Tom Graber, PGA
The par-5 fifth hole on the Garnet course here at Cobblestone Park is what I wish all golf holes could be. It invites aggressive play but penalizes the poor shots. It offers a great setting, a beautiful view with pampas grass and water that frames the hole just perfectly, but can serve as diabolical hazards when you don't execute properly. I've seen eagles and snowmen here - often on the same day, same group even. And after you play here, regardless of your score, you want to play this hole again. Doesn't that make it an ideal "Hidden Gem?"
When you stand on this elevated tee, you realize that your drive needs more than distance, it's going to have to be fairly straight. There's a lateral hazard on both the left and right, and though the landing area is pretty generous, just knowing the wayward shot will be punished plants that seed of doubt. But if you can manage a good tee shot, the fun really begins.
The best tee shot finds the left side of the fairway, there's a slope that will kick your ball back towards the middle and forward as well. A good drive means you have to make a decision. Do you go for the green in two, reachable for many but the green is elevated - with a forced carry over water, or do you lay up and take your chances with a short iron or wedge. Also note, the front part of the green has a good slope to it, back towards the water. I've seen plenty of people celebrate making the carry - temporarily.
But if you do go for it, and make that carry, the rewards are ample. The green has three main tiers and all can be score friendly. This very well may be the most popular golf hole in Columbia, it's that enjoyable.
But the measure of a golf hole isn't just the score it allows a player to attain. It's the fact that it encourages a player to execute a shot (or two or three), to make a decision, the opportunity to accomplish something new and to enjoy the view while doing all of the above. I think our hole No. 5 does that ideally.
We're excited to be included in this year's "Hidden Gems of South Carolina." We'd be even more excited if you'd come by and attest that our fifth hole belongs on the list.
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