A mounded muni: Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course in Sacramento
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Architect Perry Dye -- Pete's son -- perfected the art of fitting an interesting course into a tight space in the 1990s. He used similar tricks designing Bartley W. Cavanaugh Golf Course, a Sacramento municipal course that opened in 1995, and Desert Pines Golf Club, which debuted in Las Vegas in 1997. Dye used mounding and landscaped trees to separate narrow fairways. Strategically placed ponds allowed him to build multiple green sites in close proximity without creating a shooting gallery.
The ninth and 18th holes at both courses are virtually identical with a pond sandwiched between strong par 4s finishing each nine. With so little land, golfers can end up in adjacent fairways at either course with one bad swing, but overall, they're fun to play.
Dye had just 98 acres between the Sacramento River and I-5 available for Bartley Cavanaugh, a 6,158-yard track named after a popular city manager. Its most interesting holes are its shortest ones. Ponds pinch fairways of the 330-yard sixth hole and 289-yard 13th holes, so it's wise to leave driver in the bag. Hitting the island green on the 107-yard 17th hole with a wedge should be easy, although it never feels that way. The layout's lush conditions might be the best among the city courses run by Morton Golf.
Although the course averages four stars on Golf Advisor, user Martin9353660 gave Bartley Cavanaugh five stars, indicating it "Never fails to make me smile."
He wrote: "There are some genuinely tactical holes that require thought and not just brute strength. All in all, I like this course very much."
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