Michael Rey, PGA Head Golf Professional Jones Masterpiece
I have always enjoyed the game of golf. Golf is so unique because it has so many different settings. No two holes are alike. No two lies are alike. No two shots are alike. It is a game that can be shared between generations. But when you put it in a setting such as Treetops, it makes it that much more special. There are two things that I enjoy about the game itself; being outdoors in amongst the trees and wilderness and being offered a "challenge" to use some short game creativity with the wedges and the putter. It is because of these things that my favorite golf course in the Treetops collection is the Rick Smith Signature.
After you pull away from the elevated #1 tee box, you are setting off for a voyage between the trees where often times you feel like you're all by yourself. The layout is set where fairways are tree-lined and the only thing you see often times is your own group; peaceful. The views are spectacular! Take a moment to look at the surrounding from the black tees from hole #3; simply breathtaking! And those views continue all the way through this Rick Smith original 18 hole layout. The inspiration of this design actually came from a visit that Rick Smith had in England when he visited 25 courses He visited the likes of The Old Course, Turnberry, and Carnoustie to name a few. In designing this course, Rick moved very little land to shape the course. It is a natural wonderland.
The challenge in this Signature design comes from deep green side bunkers and greens that have a "smidge" of undulation. One needs to be creative using both the bump and run and flop shop techniques around the greens to be successful and have a chance to score low. The contours of the green make choosing the technique important. Those same contours make it important to be on the right side of the ridge for putting. This "game inside a game" as I see it makes golf the most enjoyable. I simply love the challenge.
My favorite hole on the course is the par 3 11th. This 175 yard par 3 (back tees) is cut into a grove of pine trees and takes me back to where I started playing golf with my dad back in Minnesota. I always feel at home and think of home playing this particular hole.
I invite you to relax and enjoy the surroundings of what I feel is the best golf course Treetops has to offer; the Rick Smith Signature!