Los Lagos Golf Club

December 29, 2007 4:20:01 PM PST
Don't be fooled by the yardage or the par 68. Los Lagos is close to a full-size course. It has an odd configuration, with nine par 3's, but only two of them are short enough for wedges. You'll hit a driver off all four par 4's. And on the five the par 5's, you'll hit third shots into every green.

From its opening day on April 1, 2002, we've found good, if not wonderful conditioning, here. Keep telling yourself, "This is a muni. This is a muni." San Jose went way over budget on the course. Non-golfing taxpayers may grumble, but not me.

Los Lagos' greens have wild undulations. Putt creatively, but true. The fairways are pure. Although with time, let's hope management cuts them a little lower. I like fast fairways, and this is a good place for them.

Los Lagos has many memorable holes, but here are my favorites:

The 4th can be a do or die. From the back tees, it gives you an option to carry your drive 230 yards over water and straight to the green. Hit it well enough, you'll be putting for eagle. The design offers a safe route to the left, but when did playing safe enter into the golf vocabulary?

Most players aren't likely to the par five 6th or 9th in two shots. Beware water fronting each green. We like risk/reward.

The 12th and 16th": Each of these is a classic par three across water. Find the sweet spot, or play your second with an aqualung.

The 18th: Yow. Envision a long double dogleg par 5, stretching to nearly 600 yards from the back tees. Players who reach this in two must submit to mandatory drug tests.

Now?does Los Lagos still sound like an executive course? `

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