OUT OF BOUNDS: Gladstone tests driving accuracy

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GLADSTONE — Just four kilometres south of Gladstone, surrounded by farmland, is a quaint nine-hole golf course that presents several unique challenges.

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This article was published 03/08/2017 (1842 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

GLADSTONE — Just four kilometres south of Gladstone, surrounded by farmland, is a quaint nine-hole golf course that presents several unique challenges.

The Gladstone Golf and Country Club, measuring 3,051 yards from the white tees and 2,725 from the red markers, is both a tricky track in terms of driving accuracy with trees surrounding one or both sides of several holes, and putting difficulties abounding on large topsy-turvy putting surfaces.

One look at the scorecard, especially the last five holes, and you might think this par-36 layout is one that can produce low scores. It can, but only if you’re driving the ball where it’s meant to go.

Nathan Liewicki/The Brandon Sun The 282-yard, dogleg left, eight hole at Gladstone Golf and Country Club slopes sharply from back to front with out of bounds only seven yards left of it.

Gladstone is first and foremost a tee-shot course where everything that follows depends on your position following your first swing on any given hole.

That becomes apparent right off the opening hole, a par 5 measuring 515 yards.

Left is a no-no as trees and an out-of-bounds-area line that side of the hole, while full-grown trees sporadically appear right of the fairway. A good drive might give golfers a shot at reaching the green in two, but regardless of where your approach shot comes in from, the green — with out of bounds over it — is large and has runs off left, right and over the back.

This is a theme on the course.

The hardest hole on the course awaits at No. 2. The 414-yard par 4 is a tough driving hole with trees pinching in on both sides of the fairway just 220 yards off the tee. If you’ve successfully found the fairway, your second shot will be played across a hazard that runs diagonally from left to right, from the 90-yard mark on the left side of the fairway to short and right of the green, which slopes from back to front.

Putting from below the hole is key at the second, as it is at the 405-yard third.

A fairly wide open driving area with only a small clump of trees right of the fairway likely to cause problems and a hazard 300 yards off the left side of the fairway, players will have to hit the proper portion of the green here.

The sucker pin is back left. Don’t fire away at it unless you’ve got a wedge in your hand.

At 330 yards, the fourth hole appears simple based on yardage alone. One look from the tee box will change your mind.

The toughest driving hole at Gladstone gives players options to play way left, right through a small gap in the fairway or over the large trees that block most views.

However you play this hole — I inadvertently hit it way left but managed to have a shot to the green from under 100 yards — it gets easier after the tee shot, especially with a short club in your hand to a large green that doesn’t have too much undulation.

No. 5, a par 5 measuring just 453 yards, requires another demanding tee shot. Hit it too far left and you’ll be in trees. Same goes for misses right on this sharp-bending dogleg right.

If you don’t have a clear view of the green or can’t hoist it up over the trees on the corner of the dogleg, lay up and attack with a wedge. However, be mindful of out of bounds just a handful of steps left of the green, which funnels balls on its right and left edges off it to leave players with uphill pitch shots.

The first par 3 awaits at the sixth. At 157 yards, the only thing to worry about here, aside from going long off the tee, is some large overhanging trees that guard the extreme right side of the green.

A slight dogleg left par 4 follows at No. 7. The hole plays just 339 yards with tee shots shaped right to left the preference to leave a short shot onto the green. Out of bounds lies along the entire left side of the hole.

The eighth hole is another fun one with its unique setup.

Albeit only 282 yards, this par 4 bends almost 90 degrees to the right with no chance to hit the green, so playing with a short iron to the fairway and leaving yourself with a full look at the green is all you can do. That said, making birdie is very possible.

Another birdie on the 156-yard ninth is also attainable, but make sure you grab an extra club to get over the green’s false front and avoid the trap just to its front-left. This putting surface is also quite large but has a steep sideboard off the back that you can spin shots off of and towards the cup.

It may be a bit out of the way from the Trans-Canada Highway, but take the 30-kilometre drive north on to Highway 34 and you’ll find Gladstone is worth the battle.

DIVOTS: Monday is the registration deadline for the 79th annual Ladies Western Open, which will take place on Aug. 14 at the Wheat City Golf Course. The cost is $80 with a cart or $66 without one. The fee for juniors is $45. Contract Brenda at 204-721-1488 or Heather at 204-573-8241 … Boissevain’s 50-plus Ladies Tournament was rained out on Wednesday and has been rescheduled for Aug. 16 with a 10 a.m. shotgun start. To register for the two-person scramble event, call the clubhouse at 204-534-2365 …Gilbert Plains Country Club is hosting its Senior Men’s and Ladies Open on Tuesday. The cost is $55 per player with a shotgun start of 10 a.m. For more details, contact the clubhouse at 204-548-3030 … The Senior Ladies Tournament at Glenboro Golf and Country is slated for Aug. 9. The cost is $40 per player and for more information contact the clubhouse at 204-827-2856 … Melita’s Best-ball Tournament is happening on Aug. 11, and to register contact the clubhouse at 204-522-3820 … The Two-man Best-ball President’s Tournament at Cartwright Town and Country Golf Club is set for Aug. 12. For details, call the clubhouse at 204-529-2260 … Hamiota Golf Club’s Men’s Match Play Tournament is happening Aug. 11 and 12. The cost is $85 per player and consists of four nine-hole rounds, Give the clubhouse a ring at 204-764-2341 or call Dave Rawlings at 204-764-0351 if you’re looking for more information.

Nathan Liewicki is the Brandon Sun’s golf reporter.

» nliewicki@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @liewicks

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

August 5

Carberry: Dessert Classic (with Neepawa)

August 6

Cartwright: Ponderosa Days Night Golf Tournament

Carberry: Dessert Classic (with Neepawa)

August 7

Boissevain: Senior Men’s North-South Tournament

August 8

Neepawa: Westman Junior Tour

Gilbert Plains: Senior Men’s and Ladies Open

August 9

Glenboro: Senior Ladies Tournament

August 11

Melita: Banana Days Best-ball Tournament

Cartwright: Two-man Best-ball President’s Tournament

August 12

Killarney: Par-3 Tournament

Souris and Glenwood: Cancer Care Fundraiser Tournament

Miniota: Men’s 27-hole Tournament

Glen Lea: Randy Earl School Reunion Tournament

Dauphin: WRTC Men’s Tournament

Gilbert Plains: Four-person Legion Scramble Tournament

Birtle: Ladies Tournament

Deloraine: Par-3 Scramble Tournament

August 13

Cartwright: Mixed Two-person Best-ball Tournament

Dauphin: Kiniw Ault/Junior Tournament

August 14

Glenboro: Senior Men’s Tournament

Killarney: Senior Men’s Open

Wheat City: 79th annual Ladies Western Open

Cartwright: Senior Ladies Nine-hole Tournament

August 15

Oak Island: Westman Junior Tour

August 16

Melita: Seniors Mixed Tournament

Carberry: Senior Ladies Open

Boissevain: 50-plus Ladies Tournament

August 17

Killarney: Ladies Open

Dauphin: Senior (55-plus) Men’s/Women’s Tournaments

Pleasant Valley: Senior Men’s Open

August 18

Poplar Ridge: Ladies Open

Dauphin: EFFN Treaty Days Men’s Tournament

August 19

Glen Lea: Brandon AAA Midget Wheat Kings Tournament

Dauphin: RV Park Mixed Challenge

August 23

Poplar Ridge: Tamarack Cubs Tournament

August 24

Treherne: Senior Men’s Tournament

August 26

Deloraine: Little Rock Classic

August 27

Carberry: Two-person Scramble Tournament

Glen Lea: Manitoba Hydro Tournament

August 28

Glenboro: Mixed 50-plus Tournament

Clear Lake: Ladies Classic

August 29

Boissevain: 50-plus Tournament

September 3

Souris and Glenwood: Labour Day Classic Open

September 4

Souris and Glenwood: Labour Day Classic Open

September 5

Birtle: Senior’s 5-plus Tournament

September 7

Deloraine: Senior Men’s Open

September 8

Minnedosa: Two-man Senior Men’s Fall Classic

Glen Lea: IWAMW Tournament

September 9

Melita: Ladies Tournament

Pleasant Valley: Pick Your Day Tournament

Glen Lea: Pfizer Canada Tournament

Deloraine: Mixed 666 Tournament

September 10

Souris and Glenwood: Junior/Adult Two-person Scramble

Pleasant Valley: Pick Your Day Tournament

September 14

Pilot Mound: Senior Men’s Tournament

Miniota: Seniors 55-plus Tournament

September 15

Glen Lea: Len Isleifson PC Party Tournament

September 16

Boissevain: Novelty Tournament

Cartwright: Three-man Scramble Tournament

Deloraine: Mixed 999 Tournament

September 17

Carberry: Four-person Scramble Tournament

Dauphin: Golden Leaf Ladies Tournament

September 23

Glen Lea: Chase Auto Body Supplies Tournament

September 30

Killarney: Superintendent’s Revenge Tournament

Gilbert Plains: Four-person Ironman Scramble Tournament

Glen Lea: Fall Scramble Tournament

Dauphin: Greenskeeper Revenge Tournament

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