Toughest shots around

Top 10 lists.

You see them everywhere. Quick, easy to grasp little snips of information. Talking points almost. TV programming has been the latest to grab hold of the "Top 10" angle. Watch the Golf Channel? If so, you’re familiar with their seemingly nightly "Top 10" shows.

Top 10 biggest meltdowns. Top 10 Johnny Miller comments. Top 10 Tiger shots. Top 10 clutch putts.

Guess I’m not one to fight the current trend, so thought it might be kind of fun to produce our own Top 10 golf list for Rochester. So, Top 10 what? How about "Toughest Shots in Rochester"?

Sounds like fun. But let’s tweak things just a bit. Counting Somerby, we’ve got nine, 18-hole courses in or on the edge of Rochester. Let’s take two examples from each of the nine courses and make our list the "18 Toughest Shots" in Rochester.



Let’s start at the end, with the toughest shot. That would be the second shot on the par four, 454-yard 16th hole at Somerby. The tee shot here is certainly no picnic. Marsh hard on the left, out of bounds off to the right. It’s critically important for golfers to catch a nice, long straight drive on the hole, setting up the hardest shot on all the local links.

Armed with fairway wood, hybrid, or at best a long iron, golfers must consider the pin position on the 16th green before firing away. Pin up on the top right part of the green? Good luck. Over a deep bunker with hardly any green to work with, the smart play is for the middle of the green.

Just be careful of the hard sloping ridge that bisects the putting surface. Um, and that deep bunker left of the green. And the marsh just a few feet left of the bunker. Plus don’t forget to factor in that 25 mph southerly summer wind right smack in your face on this shot.


The next pair of toughest shots are both tee shots on par three holes, the 17th at Eastwood and the ninth at Oak Summit. At Eastwood, it’s a 200-plus yard launch straight up a steep hill. Make that a mountain. At Oak Summit, you might need a bazooka to carry 222 yards from the back tee over the valley to the elevated shallow green.

Next are a pair of treacherous downhill putts, the seventh at Rochester Golf and Country Club and the ninth at Northern Hills.

You know the feeling. Yea, my approach shot is only five-feet from the hole. Oh no, I’m putting S-T-R-A-I-G-H-T downhill. Can you say "three-putt"? No? OK, how about four-putt?


Skim through the rest of the list. Think hard enough and I’ll bet you’ll remember more than a few good rounds spoiled by run-ins with these toughest of all local golf shots.

The list of "Toughest Shots" is based on 20 years of experience playing golf in Rochester. Agree with the list? Think I’m way off base? Jump on to and leave your comment, let everyone know what shot you’d add to the list.

Freelance writer Greg Peterson is a five-time Rochester All-City golf champion. He can be reached at

Rochester’s 18 toughest shots

(Ranked in ascending order, 18 is the toughest shot)

1. Tee shot No. 17: Meadow Lakes (Par 3, 202 yards)

2. Approach shot No. 3: Oak Summit (Par 4, 311 yards)

3. Approach shot No. 14: Maple Valley (Par 5, 498 yards)


4. Tee shot No. 7: Soliders Field (Par 4, 371 yards)

5. Tee shot No. 15: Northern Hills (Par 4, 333 yards)

6. Tee shot No. 12: Willow Creek (Par 4, 364 yards)

7. Approach shot No. 8: Eastwood (Par 4, 426 yards)

8. Tee shot No. 15: Somerby (Par 4, 317 yards)

9. Tee shot No. 9: Willow Creek (Par 3, 171 yards)

10. Approach shot No. 15: RGCC (Par 4, 418 yards)

11. Long approach shot No. 15: Maple Valley (Par 5, 481 yards)

12. Tee shot No. 8: Soldiers Field (Par 3, 220 yards)

13. Tee shot No. 6: Meadow Lakes (Par 4, 405 yards)

14. Downhill putt No. 9: Northern Hills (Par 4, 386 yard)

15. Downhill putt No. 7: RGCC (Par 4, 353 yards)

16. Tee shot No. 9: Oak Summit (Par 3, 222 yards)

17. Tee shot No. 17: Eastwood (Par 3, 203 yards)

18. Approach shot No. 16: Somerby (Par 4, 454 yards)

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