Forest City, Iowa
This short par five is reachable in two for many players - that is, if you can avoid the river that runs the length of the hole on the left side. There is also a pond to the right that must be avoided off the tee. A green-side bunker will catch balls that are short and left; however, the green is flat and if you can hit the green in regulation you are left with a birdie opportunity.
Member Tip: Play to your strengths on this hole. Many players lay up to their best distance in order to have a short wedge into the green for their third shot, while others go for this green in two.
The 19th Hole
After your round of golf, stop into the clubhouse to join us for some great food and drinks.
Member Tip: Even for members who have played the course hundreds of times, Bear Creek Golf Course is always a fun, unique adventure that is enjoyable for players of all ability levels. We hope you'll join us soon and test your game against Bear Creek!
Hole #5 is the tightest hole on the front nine with the fairway only being about 15 yards wide at the crest of the hill near the 150-yard marker. A road to the left side of the hole serves as out-of-bounds - a pulled tee shot to the left is a costly mistake on this hole. A safe tee shot in the fairway provides an open shot to the narrow, but lengthy green.
Member Tip: Longer hitters will be able to avoid the narrow bottleneck at the 150-yard marker and blast their drive closer to the 100-yard marker where the fairway opens up substantially.
Hole #10 at Bear Creek immediately presents the stark contrast between the front nine and the back nine. From the black and white tees, players must carry a large pond off of the tee and avoid straying to the left as yet another pond lies ahead. At about 90 yards from the green, the Winnebago River intersects the hole requiring yet another carry over water.
Member Tip: Off the tee it's best to play more club and leave yourself with a second shot of 150 yards or less. The green falls off steeply in front so it is also important to take plenty of club on the approach shot and get the ball to the hole.
Holes #6 and #7 are back-to-back par three's with #6 being the more difficult of the two. This downhill par three is protected on three sides. To the left, out-of-bounds. Over the green, more out-of-bounds. And to the right, large shrubs that often swallow up golf balls. The best play here is to keep your ball below the hole leaving an uphill putt or chip to a green that rises from front to back.
Member Tip: Take one less club here due to the downhill slope and the fact that short is better than long.
The final hole of the front nine at Bear Creek is yet another good birdie opportunity. Number nine doglegs slightly to the left with large trees residing in the left rough. A slope rises toward the flat green, which is protected to the right by a long bunker that runs the length of the green.
Member Tip: A right-to-left draw is the best shot off of the tee and many members choose to hit an iron, hybrid or 3-wood off the tee in order to keep the ball in the fairway. Most players will be left with a shot of 150 yards or less making #9 another great birdie opportunity.
The 11th hole at Bear Creek is a long par five and is your first encounter with the actual Bear Creek, which streams its way across the hole at the 110 yard marker. The black and white tees require a short carry over the Winnebago River. Most players will be required to play a lay-up shot for their second shot. A good distance to leave for your third shot is about 140 yards. The green is shallow but rises from front to back and from left to right. Avoid the steep bunker to the front/right of the green.
Member Tip: This is a great hole to walk away from with a par. Playing down the right side of the fairway, safely laying up on your second shot, hitting the green with your third and two putting is a great way to make par and move on to the next hole.
The par-four second hole at Bear Creek is a dogleg right. A tee shot to the left side of the fairway provides the best angle but it also lengthens the hole. You can attempt to cut the corner to the right but large trees in the right-hand rough make this a difficult shot. At about 150 yards a hill begins to slope toward the green leaving most with a downhill stance for their approach shot. The narrow green slopes from back to front.
Member Tip: Make sure you avoid going long as O.B. looms only yards past the back edge of the green.
Stakes & Plates (Yards from green)
Red - 100 yards
White - 150 yards
Blue - 200 yards
Yellow - 250 yards
Red flag - front
White flag - middle
Blue flag - back
The opening hole at Bear Creek is a reflection of what lies ahead on the front nine. The fairway is open and the hole is straight forward. However, accuracy is important on Hole #1 due to the small, undulating green.
Member Tip: Play down the left side of the fairway to leave the best angle to the small green which slopes from back to front. If the pin is in the front section of the two-tiered green, make sure you are below the hole!
The final par three at Bear Creek is a challenging little hole. The wide green valleys in the center with slopes rising to the left and right side of the green. Thick woods line the right side of the hole and out-of-bounds stakes line the left side. Long is bad on this hole as long grass is located only paces off the back edge of the green. Next to the tee box is a restroom and soda machine.
Member Tip: If the pin is on the left, go for it. If the pin is in the center, go for it. If the pin is to the right, take your medicine and keep the ball to the left of the hole in order to avoid straying your tee shot into the woods.
Hole #16 is quite likely the most difficult hole on the golf course. Hazards on #16 include: a fairway bunker, out-of-bounds left, the pond that separates #16 from #15, the Winnebago River, a lateral hazard to the left of hole once you've crossed the river and a very difficult, crowned green. Your second shot will need to carry the Winnebago River but not go too far into the lateral hazard on the west side of the hole.
Member Tip: Keep your tee shot to the right even if that means hitting the ball into the rough or into #15 fairway. This will leave the best angle to carry the river on your second shot.
The final hole at Bear Creek is one of the most enjoyable holes on the golf course. It is a reachable par four with the Winnebago River to the left and a large pond to the right. Some players lay up to their favorite wedge distance while others attempt to drive the green off the tee. The green slopes from the back right to the front left and features a few small mounds that make for difficult putts to read.
Member Tip: Long hitters of the ball will likely try to drive the green and they should make sure they have plenty of club to carry the pond. Shorter hitters may lay up to the 100 yard distance in order to hit a wedge into this undulating green.
The first par three of the front nine is short but challenging. A steep hill makes the mid to short iron approach shot very difficult. Once again the green slopes from back to front, and a green-side bunker guards the left side of the hole.
Member Tip: Same advice as hole #1. Keep the ball below the hole at all costs. A putt from above the hole is treacherous and often leads to a three putt.
The par four 15th is a beautiful hole with out-of-bounds to the left, the adjoining 16th hole to the right, and a couple of ponds down the right side of the hole that definitely come into play. To lay up short of the ponds, play your tee shot to the 150 yard marker. If you want to carry the first pond, make sure you have enough distance to carry the ball past the 100 yard marker and stay slightly to the left.
Member Tip: Stay to the left when you hit your approach shot into this green as weak fades are very likely to find the pond.
The longest par four at Bear Creek is #17. The Winnebago River lines the left side of the hole and thick woods line the right side of the hole. There isn't anywhere to bail out off the tee so line it up and hit it straight! Approach shots must carry the Winnebago River and the target is a large green that is shared with hole #10 (though each section of the green is distinct).
Member Tip: A tee shot down the right side of the fairway is ideal in order to leave the best angle into the green. Make sure you have plenty of club into the green, though, as the approach shot can be deceptively lengthy.
Hole #4 at Bear Creek is one of the easier holes on the front nine. It is a straight away par four with a fairway of average width. The green slopes from the front to the back and holds approach shots very well. Many players are left with only a short iron or wedge into the green so be careful not to put too much spin on the ball!
Member Tip: If you are having trouble with your driver, this is a great hole to pull out the 3-wood in order to keep the ball in the fairway and still have a relatively short approach shot. Large trees line both sides of this hole so accuracy is paramount.
Hole #7 is a beautiful, short par three over a small pond. The crowned green is shallow but fairly wide and is protected by two bunkers over the back edge of the green. Most players will have little difficulty clearing the pond on their tee shot and #7 is the easiest par three on the front nine due to the short yardage.
Member Tip: Attack! This hole is the easiest par three at Bear Creek for most players and should provide a great birdie opportunity.
Front 9 - 34
Back 9 - 37
Total - 71
The first par three on the back nine is a beautiful hole with two large trees framing your approach shot. A bunker lies to the front/left of the green and the undulating green makes for many difficult two putts. Bear Creek intersects the hole about 20 yards short of the green so make sure you have enough club to carry the creek.
Member Tip: Keeping the ball below the hole is important on #12. The green slopes from back to front and the right side of the green features a steep mound that will funnel tee shots to the front of the green.
Hole #13 is the easiest of the three par fives on the back nine. The fairway is wide open and the two fairway bunkers rarely come into play for most golfers. A pond can be difficult to see to the left side of the hole but it begins at about the 100 yard marker and can be avoided by staying to the right. The extremely large green (nearly 40 yards in length) has many slopes and can create extremely long putts if you aren't able to hit the correct section of the green.
Member Tip: Driver off the tee is the play here and then you'll have to decide if you want to carry the pond or stay to the right side of the fairway to avoid the pond.