The course at the Cape Girardeau Country Club provides golfers of all skill levels an enjoyable, yet challenging test. While the course may not be “long” by today’s standards – playing 6,453 yards (Par 70) – it routinely presents a wealth of challenges. Players must contend with the use of the natural terrain, creeks, and hills while taking into account prevailing breezes, tiered greens, bunkering and strategically designed landing areas.
Club and its members have taken great care in preserving the original design of the first nine holes, which were created in 1921. Neither the front or back nine feature two consecutive holes of the same par – requiring players to hit a wide variety of tee shots. The views of the river and surrounding woodlands make playing this gem a memorable experience. With four sets of tees it is enjoyable and challenging for players of all abilities.
The opening hole plays 395 yards from the tournament tee box. On this par four players must play their tee shot downhill, keeping their tee shots in the fairway to avoid tree troubles.
The par three second hole requires players to hit what is likely a long iron shot into a large, sloped green. Playing at 185 yards from the tournament tees, the hole is routinely lengthened due to prevailing winds.
The par four third demands that players keep their tee ball from traveling to the right – as the area to the right of the cart path is out of bounds. This hole’s approach shot requires players to control their distance, sending the approach long puts players in trouble.
The course’s first par five plays 490 yards from the tournament tees. A grouping of bunkers must be avoided when teeing off. The final approach to the green, towards the clubhouse, features a dramatic increase in elevation. Players should aim to keep their ball below the hole on the green.
At 385 yards from the tournament tees the fifth hole is the course’s shortest par four. Approach shots to the green should avoid missing right, as a recovery requires players to hit a high, lofted shot into a shallow green.
Players should not be intimidated by the presence of the pond on this 155 yard par three – a well struck shot will easily carry the water and find a large, sloped green. A back pin placement may be tucked behind a bunker, requiring players to make a decision to play it safe or go for glory.
The longest par four on the first nine holes asks players to pick a side of the fairway – a large tree blocks approach shots that don’t. This hole features an extremely narrow green. Par is an excellent score on this demanding hole.
The 145 yard par three routinely offers excitement for players. Over the years this hole has seen its fair share of hole-in-ones. This uphill par three requires players to keep their tee shots below the hole for a decent chance at birdie.
Heading back into the clubhouse, the long par five ninth hole requires three well struck shots to reach the green in regulation. Playing 570 from the tournament tees and featuring a tiered green, this hole is a test for the most skilled golfers.
The final nine begins with a downhill, dogleg right par four. Longer players may be able to reduce the length of an approach shot by aiming over the trees to the right of the fairway.
This 155 yard par three is protected by bunkering – the safe play is to the left or right of the bunker, depending on the pin position.
Some members regard the par four twelfth hole as the most difficult on the course. The dogleg left hole often requires players to hit an approach shot 190+ yards. Par is an excellent score.
This par three 145 yard hole offers players of all caliber a chance to record a low score. The green is large and gently sloped back to front.
Recent renovations to this hole have elevated the tee box, offering players a greater opportunity to carry drives further down the fairway. Approach shots to the green require precision – as shots long, left or right offer trouble.
The par five fifteenth hole tempts players to carry a row of trees to have an approach shot of less than 200 yards. Rarely do players who choose this option succeed. The safest route to par is to play a 200-230 yard shot to the fairway, playing the final 300 yards in four shots for par.
The 208 yard par three is often lengthened by wind blowing in the player’s face or from right to left. Players will gladly exhale if their tee shots do not travel left, out of bounds.
The second to last hole is an excellent driving hole. At 465 yards, this par four allows players to grip it and rip it to reduce the length of approach shots to this severely tiered green.
The final hole, a 560 yard par five, at the Cape Girardeau Country Club is a memorable one. It features a creek that winds through the entire length of the hole. It must be avoided 2-3 times depending on the player’s strategy.