PAR 4 | HANDICAP 17
Excellent hole to start your round at Grand Bear. This shortish par-4 is marked the easiest hole on the front nine. The fairway opens up considerably with a drive carrying the fairway bunker left. Up and down from the greenside bunker right can be tricky. Start the day off with a birdie!
PAR 5 | HANDICAP 9
Two options off the tee on this par-5: skirt the hazard right and cutoff some this gentle dogleg, or play to the left side of the fairway for safety. The green is reachable in two, but the prudent play is to layup, leaving a short approach to an uphill green sloping gently right to left. Errant shots right of the green can lead to big numbers.
PAR 3 | HANDICAP 7
Long par three. Take plenty of club and err to the left, as anything short and right brings into play the bunkers and the Little Biloxi River. Left side of the green slopes down to the right so for right side pin locations, aim for the left center and watch the ball feed down towards the hole.
PAR 4 | HANDICAP 15
Short par-4 that calls for less than driver off the tee. The ideal tee ball finds the left side of this generous fairway, avoiding the fairway bunker right. Approach to the green plays longer than it feels, and don’t be tempted by the sucker pin buried far right. Pick up a birdie here.
PAR 5 | HANDICAP 1
Welcome to the longest and most difficult hole at Grand Bear. Pay attention to the distances to the front edge and carries over the hazard which bisects the fairway. Give recovery shots and even layups your full attention when navigating around the hazard. Layups to the right side of the second fairway will leave the flattest lies, but those staying left will have the best angle in. Which do you prefer? Misses long and left of the green make for tough up and downs.
PAR 4 | HANDICAP 5
This long par four has a wider landing area than you might pick up standing on the tee, so swing away! Grand Bear regulars know the approach on the sixth is one of the course’s most demanding: absolute precision is required in both distance and direction, as a miss short and left will leave you an awkward angle up from the bottom of a steep hill, and anything right leaves a delicate up and down. Green is very subtle so grind over the greens read, and trust it. Escape with par here and move on!
PAR 3 | HANDICAP 13
Don’t let the yardage fool you – the shortish par-3 seventh features a small and heavily guarded green, devilish pin positions tempt the ambitious birdie seekers, and four menacing bunkers lurk, just waiting to collect the errant approaches. Three distinct areas divide the green and only well-placed shots will leave realistic birdie putts. Birdies are here if you can execute!
PAR 4 | HANDICAP 3
Visually intimidating off the tee, the eighth fairway opens up wider than it appears. But pick your line wisely as the longer the tee shot, the narrower the landing area becomes. Approach into the green is easier than it looks too, thanks to Jack’s positioning of the bunkers which are well short of the target area and largely out of play. A largely flat green yields very make-able putts, but you’ll want to avoid short siding yourself right.
PAR 4 | HANDICAP 11
Short but tricky: accuracy is the call here as you want to stay left and avoid hitting it through the fairway straight and right. A good line off the tee is to take dead aim at the 150 pole! An uphill approach to a wide but shallow green awaits, and avoid the deep greenside bunker left. Three distinct tiers make for large bending putts from anywhere but the correct level. Finish the front with birdie before stopping into the Grill for a dog and a beverage.
PAR 4 | HANDICAP 12
Shortish par-4 that doglegs rather sharply right. The ideal play is aiming at the 150 pole with a left to right shot peeling off it. The fairway tilts left to right, feeding into a hazard the entire length of the hole. The tilt is good for keeping in the fairway those drives aimed a little too left, but also makes for challenging approaches. Be certain to compensate for the ball being below your feet and avoid going right into the greenside bunker, or even worse into the hazard beyond. Green feeds everything left to right, so if you dare aim right of each pin and leave yourself an uphill putt.
PAR 5 | HANDICAP 14
Think of nothing but birdies standing on this tee. This par five plays shorter than the yardage and can be easily reached with two solid strikes. The aggressive play is to aim over the left edge of the fairway bunker right and take off some of the gentle dogleg, or you can stay left for safety. A small green with a narrow run up requires an accurate approach. Being in the greenside bunkers left or right aren’t the worst places to be. Again, three distinct zones on the green will either reward you with a makeable putt if you’ve been accurate, or a big sweeping putt if you failed to execute.
PAR 4 | HANDICAP 4
The 12th can be visually intimidating standing on the tee with trees tight left and woods deep right. A good line is last pine tree standing tall beyond the 150 yard pole, but commit to your swing as you’ll want a shorter approach coming in. A narrow green sloping left to right awaits, and missing right is better than left as getting above this green left makes for a challenging up and down. Be proud of a par on this tough par-4!
PAR 4 | HANDICAP 16
Can you shape your tee shot right to left, and with some distance? Then this drivable par-4 can be yours. Everyone else would be smart to pull less than driver, avoiding the fairway bunker left, leaving a short approach to a small triangular green. A hazard runs the entire length of the hole left so error right all the way, and don’t be tempted by the back-left pin, as the nearby hazard waits to punish wayward approaches. Multi-tiered green with the most slope of any on the course. Again, being accurate is very important. Amazing risk-reward hole.
PAR 3 | HANDICAP 8
What a view! This longish par-3 plays slightly downhill, but plenty of trouble lurks short and left. If you don’t want to mess with the pond left, there is plenty of room to bail out right. Avoid a big number here, make the safe play erring long and right, and get up and down for par if need be. Makeable putts abound on this green that slopes gently from front to back.
PAR 5 | HANDICAP 10
The Big Biloxi River makes its appearance on the 15th at Grand Bear, running the entire left side of the hole. A long drive turning over right to left is ideal, but not required on this short-ish par-5. On second shots, most players can give it a go, but even layups are made easy with a generous landing area. This scoring hole shows its teeth on and around the narrow green being guarded by four bunkers. Putting isn’t tricky on this mostly flat green so roll it in, walking away with a birdie!
PAR 3 | HANDICAP 18
This short par-3 16th offers an excellent scoring chance. Bring it in from right to left, using the natural shape of the hole, and there’s ample room for error on three sides making for mostly routine up and downs. Large ridge in the middle of the green can cause some tricky putts so pay attention to the pin position, and hit to the correct area. Grab a birdie now and hold on for the two finishing holes!
PAR 4 | HANDICAP 6
Another great view at Grand Bear! Take your pictures and then get back to business because one of Grand Bear’s most scenic tees is also one of its most demanding. Picking your line and committing to it is the key to this drive. Take the Biloxi River out of play by aiming at the 150 pole. The fairway is wider than you might feel it is, so trust it! Once in the fairway, a large green with an open front will accept approaches from the ground or through the air. Short and right is better than left and long here. Leave yourself below the hole on this back to front sloping green and steal a par.
PAR 4 | HANDICAP 2
You’re almost home with the clubhouse at the top of the hill, and only the back nine’s toughest test stands between you and a cold beverage in the Grill. A long and straight tee ball is the call, avoiding at all costs the fairway bunker right. The uphill approach plays longer than you think, so take one, even two more clubs than usual. A large two-tiered green offers plenty of putting surface, and large bail out areas left and long make for easy up and downs. Approaches not hit to the correct tier are rewarded with a very challenging two putt. Get your par and run to the Grill for a celebratory drink!