Photo courtesy of Eagle Crest General Manager Mark Hayden
If you’ve played Eagle Crest Golf Club in Escondido in the past but haven’t been in a while, you’ll notice some changes when you return.
Since coming under new management late last year, Eagle Crest has embarked on some course-improvement projects, mostly involving reworking tee boxes and bunkers.
To date, the most significant change you’ll notice is around the green on the par-5 12th. What used to be a sizable and steep sand trap on the left has been converted into a water hazard, returning the hole to its original design.
From a playing perspective, it raises the risk when thinking about going for this green in two on a hole that plays to 529 yards from the blues and 514 from the whites.
Granted to do that, you’ll have to get off the tee box in decent shape first, which is a stumbling block for many.
Tee shot on 12
From the blues, the tee shot looks narrower than it actually is. That said, your best bet is to favor the left side as the right side of this fairway is tree-lined and mounded. You’ll either likely have an uneven lie or be hitting a knockdown if you end up there.
The second advantage of the left side is that it’s bowled a bit to keep errant tee shots in. I used that to my advantage on Sunday and was sitting about 260 out. That’s not ideal “go” range here especially when hazards lurk left (water) and right (traps) and there’s plenty of room to lay up short to a green with a very narrow opening.
The look on your second – notice you can’t see the water on the left yet
I hit a rescue to within about 90 yards and then had no trouble hitting wedge to the back of the green and making par.
This hole comes in the middle of a very score-able stretch of the golf course, being preceded by a short elevated par-3 and being followed by a short par-4.
When deciding how much you want to push it on No. 12, you’ve got something new to consider that’s more penal than before.
I’m guessing the course’s flock of wood ducks will like the hole’s new design more than you will if you miss left.