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Pro Tips

So, be sure to keep the ego in check when teeing it up at Friendly Meadows. The premium is on accuracy off the tee, not length. After all, there are only three par 4's over 400-yards from the tips and none from the tournament tees.

But if you hit a bad tee shot with your driver on the more tempting of the par 4's rather than opting for the fairway metal or iron, you're just that much farther in the woods or deeper in the lake. There simply isn't much room for errant play and the reward seldom outweighs the risk.

If you play Friendly Meadows according to its layout, you'll truly come to respect and enjoy its demanding design. You'll be able to spend more time looking over the beauty provided by the many lakes, Clover Creek and rolling terrain rather than looking in the dense woods for your golf ball.

One of the best examples of how Friendly Meadows tests your ability to manage your ego is the signature hole, number nine. Nine is a solid, 405-yard par four with a slight dogleg left and a tantalizing, downhill tee shot.

The only problem is, nine is one of the four holes where Clover Creek rears its head and it's right in the landing area for the average driver. The long hitter may be tempted to carry the creek, but the wise play is short of the water with an iron or fairway metal, leaving an uphill approach to a small, respectably sloping green.

To add to your list of challenges, nine also boasts a pond to the right of the green which does come in to play for anyone unfortunate to over cut the ball. There's also a small bunker short and right just to keep you thinking. The best play is, as usual, the smart play-play to the wide side and leave yourself with a manageable 2-putt or up-and-down opportunity.

That's the nature of the game at Friendly Meadows. When you do get a chance to let the big dog hunt, you best make sure it's on a strong leash to keep you playing in the short grass. But, for the most part, Friendly Meadows is fantastically laid out target golf with greens that are a bona fide joy to putt.

The layout at Friendly Meadows reaches its apex in challenge and beauty in the closing stretch, 16-18. Sixteen tee is a postcard waiting to be sent. Standing on the tee, you'll look down on sparkling, three-acre lake which serves as a border from the tee, all the way down the left side of the fairway, then cuts across the fairway about 100-yards short of the green.

This is target golf at its best. Hit what it takes to reach 200 off the tee, leaving you with anywhere from an wedge to an eight-iron in to this very shallow green. To make things more interesting, there is about 20-yards of fairway on the other side of the pond creating a false front, so you've got to be sure to take enough club. But use caution because long on 16 means a downhill ride to the woods.

Seventeen provides a bit of a breather after the challenges of 16. The shortest par three on the course at 135-yards from the tournament tees and 182-yards from the tips, 17 provides its greatest challenge in club selection. It's much better to be short than long here-if you go over the green, you're, once again, rolling downhill fast and headed for a hatchet shot out of the woods. All-in-all, seventeen provides a great opportunity for birdie.

Eighteen offers another beautiful vista from the tee. With a 40-foot drop from tee to fairway and with Clover Creek running from right to left across your line of flight 18 makes for an ideal closing hole. After crossing the fairway, Clover Creek follows the fairway's left side, straight up to the green.

The fairway on 18 is extremely narrow with trees bordering the right hand side. A good tee shot will leave you with a mere wedge or 9-iron uphill to this very, very long green. The green on 18 is cut into the hillside which allows for an errant shot to the right to bounce down to the putting surface, but miss left and you'll need to pull out the flop shots you usually see on TV or by trick-shot artists. Miss far enough left, and you'll reach the creek and be digging for another ball.

But 18 provides a real chance at birdie. That's what's so great about the entire layout at Friendly Meadows-if you play it as it's laid out, you will be rewarded. Get greedy or get sloppy, and you'll be digging in the woods or in your bag for another ball which not only makes Friendly Meadows a true challenge, but a uniquely fair test of golf.

Take advantage of the best greens in the tri-state area and Zoysia fairways at Friendly Meadows Golf Course. Enjoy the peace and quiet provided by this serene layout. Get lost in this escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life while enjoying the finest conditions the area has to offer.

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Friendly Meadows Golf Course

809 State Route 125
Hamersville, OH 45130