The course is renowned for the difficulty of its three finishing holes, but when we consulted with head pro Ethan Leyshon for his favorites, he offered a strong endorsement of the opening nine.
Here is a look at three of Eagle Nest’s best and most enjoyable challenges from Leyshon’s perspective.
— The pro’s favorite par 3 is the 186-yard fourth hole (150 from the white tees), which plays to an elevated green that is guarded on the right by a pond.
The green slopes to the right towards the pond so play your ball left and the let the contour of the land help you to the hole. If your ball starts right, the possibility of a big number becomes much more real.
— The ninth hole is a short par 4 – 364 yards from the tips, 343 from the whites – that is a slight dogleg left. The approach shot is blind playing uphill into the green.
“I think the key is to hit it in the fairway – play a cut up the left hand side because it really opens up the green,” Leyshon said. “That will leave you with 120-125 yards. You have to aim for the middle of the green; everything releases back.”
— One of the last three holes has to be included on any list of Eagle Nest’s best, and Leyshon likes No. 16, the course’s longest and toughest par 4. Playing 449 yards from the tips (416 from the whites), a good drive is a necessity.
“Hopefully you aren’t into the wind that day – it’s either with you or against you,” Leyshon said. “If you hit a good drive, you have around 180 in but don’t hook it because you are in the water.”
The 16th hole kicks off the demanding closing stretch with a stern but fair challenge.
If you’ve played Eagle Nest, what are your favorite holes?