Archive for Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Burning Tree, a golfer’s delight

August 22, 2001

Local golfers can expect an afternoon of green fairways, firm greens and challenging shots at the recently completed Burning Tree Golf Club.

Burning Tree Golf Club is a nine-hole, par 35 golf course next to the Kansas River in the Leavenworth County portion of De Soto.

Although golf carts are available, golfers who enjoy walking should have no problem managing the mostly flat course.

The first hole is a straight 268-yard par four. Although the hole should be an easy one for straight hitters, trouble awaits the player who goes left, where the Kansas River sits approximately 20 yards off the fairway

A par is an easy score on this hole, but uneven rough on the right can cause trouble with an errant tee shot. If the ball strays too far left, not only does a penalty stroke await, but also a possible double bogey.

Number two is a 95-yard par three. While appearing easy, the difficulty of this hole is club selection and not taking a full swing. The best shot goes to the golfer who uses a choked-down sand or pitching wedge, and leaves the ball on an uphill angle to the hole that sits on a sloping green.

The third hole, a 496-yard par five, is the only hole with significant length on the course. Again, straight shots down the fairway and into the green, and par should be easily attainable. There are no hazards left or right of the fairway, although a safe straight shot is always the best option.

This hole is also one of the more unique holes in the area. The driveway to the clubhouse crosses the fairway more than 310 yards from the tee box. When hitting a second shot, it is best to look for oncoming traffic. Although the fourth hole is only the number five handicap on the course, negotiating the 276-yard par four may be tough. When playing the hole, there are two options for golfers off the tee: cut the trees on the left or poke an iron shot into the fairway. However, both options have drawbacks. Cutting the trees will leave a difficult shot into the green where a tree overhangs the target. An iron shot into the fairway could leave a golfer in trouble with an enormous bunker that runs the length of the fairway. The golfer who leaves the ball short of the bunker and in the fairway has an easy par ahead.

Number five is a straight 140-yard par three. Using an eight or nine iron should leave the golfer with the good swing on the green and putting for birdie. Beware of trees to the left and a ditch on the right.

The sixth hole, a 361-yard par four, has difficulties with a pond in front of the tee box and bushes straight away on the right side of the fairway. A shot down the fairway leaves a mid-iron into the wide green.

The eighth hole presents the toughest hole on the course, both on the scorecard and in shot mentality. A dead-ahead 410-yard par four with trees on both sides of a 20-yard wide fairway is the toughest shot of the day. To par number eight, both the tee shot and the approach have to be straight, otherwise a score of five or higher is an easy bet.

Number nine could bring a mixture of problems mentioned on holes one and four. Go left, and a golfer needs scuba gear to retrieve their ball back from the river; go too far right, and a golfer will be trying to figure out how to make the green from a fairway bunker or trees. Again, the best shot is to poke an iron out into the fairway. From there, reaching the green in two is not difficult.

Prices for the nine-hole course vary, although weekday and weekend prices are the same. Walking nine holes cost $11 and 18 cost $17. Cart prices are $6 per person per nine holes. For more information about Burning Tree, contact the clubhouse at (913) 481-6376 or (913) 301-9631.

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