New Englanders love their stone walls. They tie us to the history of the land. They remind us of the age of glaciers when ice buried the landscape, and the march of time that ground down mountains and scattered endless rocks and boulders. Mostly the stone walls remind us of an agrarian era not so many years ago, and how hard our ancestors worked to carve out a living on this marginal land.
Each stone in the wall was a little more land cleared for the plow, at least until the next spring when the freeze and thaw cycle uncovered more rocks to add to the wall.
For hole five, our job is to just throw over the wall, once and only once. Hole five is a classic NEDGC par four. A strong and accurate drive must stay out of the woods that line the fairway, and avoid the huge pine and oak that define the lines to the landing area. You can go between or around those two trees, but it’s better to pick a line and have the skill to hit it than hope for some tree love. Once past those two trees you’ll have a fairly generous landing area, then the fairway crosses the stone wall, narrows and turns left to a basket guarded by some tall slender pines.
An excellent drive will get you past the stone wall leaving a short approach and likely birdie, but get greedy and you could find your disk kicked into some deep woods.
Once past the landing area, the stone wall then defines the left edge of the fairway up to the green. In the current configuration there is no “out of bounds” using the wall, but if you get off to the left of it past the landing area you will be dealing with thick vegetation to avoid. I can easily image some future tournament director will define to the left of the wall to be out of bounds.
This hole plays 501 feet slightly downhill from the white tee. A great drive will leave a pretty easy birdie run, but a bad kick of a tree will leave you scrambling to save par.
From the red tee you’ll only have to negotiate 433 feet to the basket, and you get a little bit of better angle on avoiding the pine and oak that guard the landing area.
This hole is a great example where skill and strategy intersect, and a two shot swing in a tight match is very possible.