The par-4 9th hole at Keney Park Golf Club, a Hartford, Conn. muni within a historic city park, is a great example of how differently a hole can play as hole locations change. One pin in particular brought tremendous joy last Wednesday during a gorgeous pre-Thanksgiving lagniappe round.
Keney's 9th is a Road Hole (think 17 at The Old Course) adaptation, but with its green complex reversed, running from front-left to back-right. Another key difference: instead of a road lurking off the long side of the green, a wall of Keney Park's brick Tudor clubhouse sits directly off its skinny back edge.
By directly, I mean there are bricks two feet from the green, with just a thin strip of rough at their base.
My father found himself about 135 yards out from the green in the right rough. His 6-iron came out a bit hot, but dead on line. It bounded up the tight fairway ramp to the right of the intimidating pot bunker guarding the front of the green. It skirted just right of the flag, bounced off the clubhouse and settled in the fringe about 15 feet from the cup. All three of us in the group cackled at the carom, successfully executed. That my father just missed the birdie putt and settled for par hardly mattered. We'd gotten our money's worth of golf weirdness for the day.
Truly memorable golf shots don't require an ocean, mountains or desert scenery. Sometimes all you need is a brick wall.