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The South Course at Whitmoor has many of the same features as the North, but with added length. From the Black or the Blue tees, the South is one of the toughest tests in the St. Louis Area. It also sweeps across the rolling terrain with a more open feeling and gives players a true taste of the local countryside.
The first hole, 435-yards from the back tees and 325 from the forward, is the longest par-4 at Whitmoor and is also primarily uphill, which makes it feel even longer. There’s a wide-open landing area off the tee. “You need to know where the pin is,” said Brian Maine, Director of Golf at Whitmoor. “Finding the right tier is essential. Par is a good score here.”
Early on, you’ll face No. 4, a tricky par-4 that measures 374 yards from the back and 252 from the front. “No. 4 is definitely one of our harder holes,” said Maine. “It looks short, but every year, it has a very high stroke average. There is a lake in front of the tee boxes, running into a creek along the right-hand side. You’ll also see lots of trees on the right. Then your second shot is over a lake that lies in front of the green. Stay to the left so you can see the green.”
That green on No. 4 slopes from back to front, and Maine advises players to keep their approach shots below the hole.
Nos. 5 and 6 are among the major tests for golfers on the South Course. The fifth hole is a dogleg left par-5, measuring 575 yards from the back tees and 468 from the forward. This hole definitely requires three good shots to get to the green. Bunkers on the left, in the bend of the dogleg, make it difficult to cut the corner here. “The green has three tiers, so check the color of the pin before you hit your approach,” Maine said.
The par-4 No. 6 measures 429 yards from the back and 312 from the front and is the No. 1 handicap hole on the South. The length requires a good tee shot, as close as you can to a large pond in front of the green. If you’re short off the tee, you might have to lay up and approach the green with your third shot. “Aim for the right of the fairway, but watch out for the bunkers there,” said Maine. “You need to end up about 150 to 175 yards from the green. Then you have to take your second shot over a creek to the hole.”
Water is also an issue on No. 9, a par-4 that measures 386 yards from the back tees and 281 from the front. Use a fairway wood or three iron off the tee so that you can have an accurate tee shot to the right half of the fairway and avoid the slope on the left that will roll your ball into the rough. “You need to knock your drive down the right side and end up in front of a lake that surrounds the green on the front, back and right,” said Maine. “You have to land your approach on the green. There is no room to run your ball up on the green. The green is huge and better golfers won’t have a problem here. Everyone else, just shoot for the middle of the green.”
On the par-4 No. 10 (397 yards from the back and 255 from the front), you’ll find 75 yards of water in front of the tee boxes. “The water is not that intimidating,” said Maine. “The intimidating part of number 10 is the very long, very uphill fairway beyond the water.”
The fairway climbs upward, dips down and then makes its way back uphill. All of that upslope makes it play longer than it looks. The green has four tiers so pay attention to the pin location. “Going left of the green leaves you with an impossible up and down,” said Maine.
When No. 13 was first built, this double dogleg par-5 (571 yards from the back and 407 from the front) was called “The Sidewinder.” “For most players, this is a three-shot par-5,” said Maine.
Not only do you have to hit long on the 13th, you’ve also got to cross a pond that splits the fairway in two in the middle. Your drive plays a key role in your success here. From the tee, you need to get as close as you can to the water. “If you don’t cross the water on your second shot, you’re really behind the eight-ball,” said Maine. “Once you’re over the pond, it’s an uphill shot to reach the green.”
Finally, you think you can relax on No. 14 a short par-3 (185 yards from the back and 75 from the front), but there’s a lake to cross here off the tee. You’ll need an accurate shot here to make par. Short and you are in the water or a bunker…long and you are over the green, past the mounds and rolling down a hill.
A dogleg left par-4 (391 yards from the back and 290 from the front) on No. 18 provides a grand finale for the South Course. A long iron or fairway wood are best off the tee in order to avoid trees left and right in the landing area. Your approach shot is hit over a lake. “You have to hit across the water with everyone standing on the deck of the clubhouse watching how you play the hole,” said Maine. “It makes for a great scene during the club championship.”
Distance, rating and slope on the South Course: 6,970 yards (73.8/138); 6,522 (71.5/134); 6,033 (ladies 73.8/127 and men 69.3/129); 5,802 (ladies 72.6/126 and men 68.0/128); 5,001 (68.6/116).