Grande Meadows Golf Course is a quaint little 9 hole golf course hidden away in Frenchman’s Cove on the Burin Peninsula. It’s a very challenging 5900 yard golf course which plays even longer due to the prevailing winds. The course is probably best known for its “Family” of bent grass greens which are fast and surrounded with strategically-placed sand traps and contoured mounds. You may think you have the course conquered by the time you get to the green but don’t be too confident or the greens will come out to bite ya!
The greens at Grande Meadows are so similar in design and yet so different to play that to many people they are considered a “family”. The greens are fairly large measuring 57,500 ft2 in total with many sloped from back to front. There are not a lot of undulations as seen on many golf courses but you will want to be below the hole on those greens or you may be in some trouble. The 3 largest greens measure in at 7,000 ft2 each – namely on Holes #4, 8 and 9 while Hole #5 has the smallest green measuring in at 4,550 ft2. You will be challenged to complete 9 holes without a 3 putt!
Kudos go out to General Manager Bill Lee and his groundskeepers for keeping the greens in such amazing shape especially during the really dry summer. It has taken a lot of hard work by everyone involved to make sure our greens are among the best in Newfoundland.
Hole #1 Green
This 6800 ft2 green is fairly large to get you started on the course. But each of the four different quadrants of the green plays differently with pin placements being very tricky. The toughest of all the pin placements here is probably on the front left of the green. There is a little mound that makes it a killer spot to may a putt outside of 10 feet. Also you have to be aware that this green is guarded on the right and left side by 2 large bunkers. It will take a great shot to get up and down from either of them.
Hole #2 Green
Another challenging green for sure measuring in 5,400 ft2. The best spot on this green is the back left if the pin is located here. It’s relatively straight in this part of the green but anywhere else is a challenge. If the pin is on the front right or back right it is tucked in behind a fairly large bunker which makes going for the pin a risk – reward situation. Go for the pin and miss it you will have a difficult bunker shot. Make the shot and you will have a relatively short putt for a possible birdie. The most difficult hole location here is on the front left where the pin is sometimes on a little mound. Don’t be long or to the left of this hole or you will be looking at a 3 putt for sure. If you miss left on your approach to this green you will have a fairly large bunker to deal with making the hole even more difficult.
Hole #3 Green
This green is fairly large measuring in at 6,200 ft2 and as such will have 4 different putting areas depending on the pin placement. The most difficult will be the back right area which is partially tucked in behind a large bunker making it a little harder to reach. The position of the bunker makes it a tricky up and down for some pin placements. The other areas of the green are relatively flat but you would be better off being in front of the pin rather than behind it as the green does slope slightly from back to front.
Hole# 4 Green
This 7,000 ft2 green has two different levels which makes for four difficult pin placements making it another challenge for even the best of putters. The most difficult position here would be on the right rear where the pin is in an area where there is no straight putt. Depending on where your ball lands the putt will break either right or left but again try and stay below the hole. Putting down hill on any of the greens makes it more of a challenge. The 4th green has a large bunker behind it to help stop your ball if you are long as just behind the bunker there are trees. You would be better off in the bunker than in the trees.
Hole #5 Green
Even though this is the smallest green in total area coming in at 4,550 ft2 there are a couple of challenging pin placements especially on the front right or the back left. If the pin is on the front right you will not have much green to work with on your approach shot but it’s better to be short than long otherwise you will have a downhill putt to the hole. A back left pin placement makes it a difficult hole to reach as there won’t be much green to work with on your approach shot. Land it on the green and most times it will roll to the rough. If you get it to stay on the green you will be left with a fairly straight putt. Pull your approach shot left and there is a large bunker next to the green which will make the toughest hole on the course even tougher to par.
Hole #6 Green
The 5,300 ft2 green here has a pond in front of it so be prepared for a shot over water to reach this fairly large green. For the most part it’s a fairly level green without too much break but there are a couple of tough pin placements here. If the pin is on the front left you will not have much green to work with and if you get your ball past the pin on your approach you will be left with a slightly downhill putt. As well the back right pin placement will sometimes be a bit of a challenge if the pin is placed on the side of a little mound there. Other than those two placements you should have a fairly straight putt to the hole. This hole has only a tiny bunker far to the left of the green which don’t often come into play. However, there is a pond that ends just 15 yards from the front of the green. And of course don’t be long here or you will be in a hazard.
Hole #7 Green
Hole #7 is a par 3 playing from 135 – 170 yards which is a little uphill and into the wind most days making it one of the tougher par 3’s on the island to make the green with your tee shot. Adding to the difficulty here is the fact that the green measures just 5,000 ft2 making it the second smallest on the course. All pin placements here are fairly tough as there are no big flat areas. The easiest of all putts will be in the top left of the green if you can make it to this particular quadrant but getting there is going to be challenging. If you are not below the hole on this green you will be two putting at best. One of the most difficult holes to make a putt at Grande Meadows. This tough hole will be more challenging if you make the fairly large bunker on the left side. Since the green runs down from top to bottom it will be difficult to land a bunker shot and stay on the green. Avoid if possible!
Hole #8 Green
Beside being among the largest green with 7,000 ft2 it is probably the most difficult greens at Grande Meadows. And the number one rule here is: Make sure your ball is below the hole. If you have to putt from the side of the hole anywhere here you will not make many putts. And if you are putting from above the hole just be sure to make your putt and pray the ball will stop close to the hole – nearly impossible to do. This green has no bunker guarding it but it do have a man made pond on the right side which has devoured many a ball that goes in its direction.
Hole #9 Green
This is another 7,000 ft2 green with a couple of nice flat areas to land your ball but there are also a couple of challenging hole locations here too. The most difficult is the front left location behind the bunker. If you have the intestinal fortitude to take on this hole by going over the bunker and you make your shot you will be left with a nice putt for birdie. But if you don’t stay on the green you may be looking at bogey at best. The front right location here is a bit of a challenge as you don’t have much green to work with on your approach shot so be sure to land short and let the ball run up to the hole. If the hole is in the back right it will be a challenging putt for sure. A difficult finishing hole made even more difficult by the 2 bunkers flanked on the front left and back right of the green. A great shot from either of these bunkers will be required to save a stroke here.