Glendarin Hills #16 – Par 4 – 381 yards – Handicap #8
tKO Average: 6.06 (+2.06, 4th hardest for tko participants)
#16 is my nightmare. As I was cruising to my seven stroke victory last year, I knew this was my last real challenge. The big number is very much in play. Long and little right is wet. Left is in play, but can be problematic, even a safe drive 200 yards leaves you with a treacherous approach, uphill and over the water. To take advantage of this hole, you really have to thread the needle and put your drive down the left side of the fairway. This will still leave you with an uphill tee shot to a shallow green, but it’s a little more manageable.
One of my favorite tKO memories is back from X. Asian James and Ian were deadlocked in an epic battle for our flight. Throwing haymakers back and forth all day, the flight pint glass was going to come down to the last few holes. Ian steps up to the tee, and as expected, unleashed an absolute blast down the right side of the fairway. As the ball slowly re-entered Earth’s atmosphere, we realized he had brought the water into play. Asian James is audibly rooting for Ian’s drive to land in the water. “GET LEGS, GET WET” he screams, “YYYYYYYAAASSS” as it splashes into the pond. Ian is fucked. With three holes left, he had just given AJ two strokes. Now it’s Asian James’ turn to tee off. Knowing that he can’t reach the water, AJ sees no reason to play it safe, and pulls driver. And pull it he does. Snap hook into the long grass left of the fairway, not a great place to be, but certainly not dead. As we pull up to where we think AJ’s ball is, we all get out to help look…. EXCEPT IAN. He just sits in the cart, chain smoking and refusing to help search. It was just a diabolically hateful move. I loved every second of it. Asian James lost the ball and I believe the match went tied to the 18th hole, where Ian had an eagle putt to win the flight and ended up 5 putting for double or something ridiculous like that.
Glendarin Hills #17 – Par 3 – 136 yards – Handicap #18
tKO Average: 4.15 (+1.15, T-16th hardest for tko participants)
Alright, your last chance to win $70 for Closest to the Pin and I believe the hole in one prize is a free round trip ticket anywhere in the continental US. If someone makes a hole in one here and doesn’t use that ticket to fly back to Fort Wayne, then you don’t deserve that ticket anyway. Another uphill par three with a false front. Now that I think about it, the par threes at Glendarin Hills kind of suck. Would it kill you to build an island green that we had to jump our carts off a ramp to get to, Glen?
We’re really just setting the table for the 18th. Everything happens on the 18th.
Glendarin Hills #18 – Par 5 – 475 yards – Handicap #10
tKO Average: 6.21 (+1.21, T-13th hardest for tko participants)
Alright, it all comes down to this. Even though we’ve only played our championship round for two years now, it might be our most famous hole. Most recently, RWTW chipped in for eagle during last year’s scramble, eventually winning the team championship by one point. Nate rolled in a par putt to hold off a hard charging Robinson and win his third consecutive RDGC. Playing prevent defense, I made bogey to wrap up the most lopsided* Bixler race in tKO history. But despite all the accolades won on #18, some of my favorite memories aren’t from competition, unless you include the wrestling contest I challenged Ian to during which he promptly broke my back. The Kendallville Open is all about stumbling through the scramble. As the sun begins to set, 12 carts are littered around the 18th fairway. Bodies strewn about the greenside bunkers, looking like the Normandy scene from Saving Private Ryan. Champions are crowned at noon off the 18th green, but true greatness isn’t realized there until the evening.
* – Marty’s handicap for tKOVI was both absurd and completely illegitimate. .
And thus concludes our previews of every hole you’ll see at the Kendallville Open. I hope you’ve been taking notes. The last 3 months of content has been a labor of love for both Robinson and me. While we would’ve happily done these reviews for just the two of us (and we have (champion level shit, don’t worry about it)), but judging by the 6 of you who consistently commented, it was nice to see some engagement. Only business posts for the next week, when we descend upon Kendallville like locusts during the Plagues of Egypt.