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TPC Deere Run; the 10th hole at TPC Deere Run

TPC Deere Run – GolfPass Grass Guru

John Deere Classic • Hole 10 • Par 5 • 537 yds

Another week, another dual tourney across the respective tours. In America we’re at the “crown jewel” of the midwest, TPC Deere Run. Clearly, they haven’t seen any Crown Jewels before on the Illinois/ Iowa border.

TPC Deere Run is the quintessential Midwest course, in that it’s a complete flyover. Basically, it’s a TPC course designed to host a PGA event and allow the players to shoot extremely low scores. To call this course difficult to a PGA tour pro would be like calling a 50 piece jigsaw puzzle difficult. Well, maybe if you’re blindfolded. The bunkers at TPC Deere Run are about as bland as their desserts, but they do have green grass. There are bunkers here that I won’t remember come The Open next week, and I’m certain no one else will.

The green side bunkers on hole 10, are all I got.

They can come into play when avoiding the water to the right, and they look pretty decent. White sand, green grass, golf. The only thing the John Deere Classic has going for it is those shiny new mowers whipping around the course. There’s nothing prettier than a row of 6 fairway mowers moving down the fairway. Unfortunately, we won’t see that on TV.

I think the John Deere Classic, would be more successful if they had an agronomist skills competition. All-Star Weekend just happened and we witnessed a great Home Run Derby. Imagine that with a grass skills competition. Imagine – Mowing the straightest line, quickest cup cut, smoothest mower turn. It’ll be like the lumberjack games on ESPN. That will put people in the seats. I know the midwest goes crazy for this event. Unfortunately, the John Deere Classic appears more a case of hyping up something to feel better about ones insecurities.

I know TPC Deere Run gets rated all the time on Best Course lists but it has to be to fill some quota of local courses. Sure, for me and every other golfer out there it would be a fun course. We can shoot low scores and have a good time. I’m not enthused to tune in when a blase course get chewed up on Tour. Unless it’s a unique, fun course. In my opinion, TPC Deere Run is not. Them’s just the breaks.

The Renaissance Club

Aberdeen Standard Investment Scottish Open • Hole 15 • Par 3 • 147 yds

TPC Deere Run; 15th Hole at The Renaissance Club
Photo: The Renaissance Club / trcaa.com

In my opinion, The Scottish Open is the best pre event tournament running, the perfect appetizer to next weeks British Open. This year we see a whole new course and from what I’ve seen, it’s an instant classic links course. It’s situated into the perfect environment. I mean, they literally traded some land with a little course called Muirfield, which sits right next door.

Now obviously, pot bunkers are tied to links golf more so than any other architectural feature. The 15th at the Renaissance Club, has a number of those little monsters surrounding the green. 5 or so pot bunkers of various depths add tremendous drama to a sloping curtain around the green.  They are not the deepest, not the most intimidating, but they fit just right. Every bunker doesn’t need stairs and limiting your ability to swing to get me. Rather, a perfectly vertical face is enough to bring a flutter to my heart.

A relatively new course, the Renaissance Club’s architecture makes it feel like a club that has been around for years. The sparse trees, meandering crumbling stone walls, and careful routing are in stark contrast to how the land looked prior. Yet, it looks even more natural today, the mark of superior design. It’s a whole lot easier to let the course feel itself out and route the greens to their home. Grab some haggis and settle in for a great preamble to the British Open.

TPC Colorado

The Colorado Championship • Hole 13 • Par 5 • 773 yds

TPC Deere Run; 13th Hole at TPC Colorado
Photo: Zephyr Melton / pgatour.com

We have an extra bonus bunker this week! The Korn Ferry Tour is hosting the Colorado Championship at one of the coolest looking courses recently built – TPC Colorado. You’ll inevitably hear about the 773 yard par 5 thirteenth, but yardage isn’t the reason I chose this Bonus BOTW. It’s the giant, and appropriately named, “Hell Bunker”. This behemoth bunker was not built as a clever waste area and it isn’t used to eliminate overhead. It actually is very much so in the golfers face and, likely, their thoughts. It is my duty to report about bunkers named “Hell’s Half Acre” or “Hell Bunker”. It’s what I do.

Alluded to earlier, the hole’s main attraction is its length. And it is a serious eye-catcher. Almost 800 yards of par 5 golf. However, let’s salute the bunker that makes it a satisfying hole to appreciate in the first place. A 773 yard runway of a hole would be pointless if it looked like a football field.

TPC Colorado has a several other very cool looking holes. I recommend that you grab a peak of that course. It absolutely blows the socks off TPC Deere Run. I for one never look forward to 250+ par 3’s and they have several. Watch out.

Cover Photo: Darren Carroll / Getty Images

Eric MacPherson knows a lot about golf, but even more about grass (hello Huggy Bear). Having worked in golf for what seems like forever, and going on to graduate school in turfgrass, he’s able to walk mow a green, and change the shaft in your favorite driver. He’s worked on some of the east coast’s primer golf clubs doing everything from washing carts to building brand new putting greens. He’s also volunteered at several high profile Tour events including a major and the President’s Cup. The only thing he likes more than pushing a walk mower on a crisp morning, would be teeing it off. Shoot Eric a message at eric@golfpass.co or check out his other blogs here.

Eric MacPherson
eric@golfpass.co