Being from Indiana, about the best scenery excitement we get to see is either going up to the Lake Michigan Dunes or driving down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Last week was my first time on the Cape, and I was totally blown away by the views and the small oceanside towns. Driving by Eastward Ho you see the massive slopes and the ocean lurking along the outer edge of the course. What you don’t see on the drive by, is the magnificent natural contours that make this course architecture truly one of a kind.
Pulling up the drive you see the massive Cape Cod style clubhouse, and the smaller pro shop sitting alongside. It’s cool, and it’s a cool old school type feel. Stepping on the first tee you get a taste of the elevation change that you’re about to see. It’s impressive to say that least that Herbert Fowler, course architect, was able to capture the nature contour of the land in such a way from holes 1-18.
There is elevation change throughout the course, but it’s more special than that. The slopes, and how they are used to shape the holes, is something that is almost indescribable. Every hole throughout the course seemingly has a collection area for drives to filter from the slopes, which makes it very important to select the proper tees to play from. A gentleman who played with us, maybe hit a good drive about 260, and because of his distance, he was unable to reach some of the collection areas, and because of that, he had a lot of blind shots into greens. The collection areas in the fairways are so big and large that sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you get the speed slot. You could fly a drive 315 and your buddy could fly one 290, and they would end up in the same spot. It’s so important when playing Eastward Ho to properly place and pick your drives off the tee.
Eastward Ho isn’t a long course, stretching over 6400-yards, but it makes you use caution of the tee. Because of the slope, and because of the run out, you may only hit a 2 iron or 3 wood on a lot of holes. Not to mention that being right on the coast, winds can get extremely high. Only making decisions off the tee and shot selection even more important. Because of the shape, you are also hitting uphill into a lot of greens. The greens are deceptively small, so that creates a big importance on giving yourself proper distances and yardages into greens, or else you may be left with some touchy up and downs.
Looking back on my round, Eastward Ho definitely takes ranking as one of my favorite golf courses I have ever played. I was a big fan of layout, deceptively small greens, manicuring, shape, and golf holes. When I play a golf course, I try to think to myself if this would be a place that I would enjoy getting to play every day. Eastward Ho is one in which I would never say no to playing every day. Whether it be in 30 mph winds, rain, or sunshine, the course at Eastward Ho is one that I would always leave me impressed.