(Nineteenth in a series)
LITTLE FALLS — The final leg of the Rome Sentinel Golf Tour landed in my backyard, going all the way down to Little Falls to play my home course, MV Golf and Event Center; formerly known as Mohawk Valley Country Club.
The course was sold to the ARC in April, hence the name change.
“The course opened in 1907,” MV Golf and Event Center’s PGA Professional Mark Lane said. “It’s one of the oldest golf courses in New York State.”
Par for the course is 71 and from the white tees, it’s 6,049 yards long.
“It’s not a long course,” Lane said. “Anybody can play this course, just play the tees you want to play. There’s not a lot of trouble on the course, meaning there’s not a lot of woods. You have one side or the other that you can bail out on. There’s not a lot of narrow holes that you don’t have a bailout,” Lane said.
MV opened with just nine holes and the back nine started being built in 2010.
“We opened it (the back nine) for about two months in 2013 and we opened it for another three months in 2014,” Lane said. “In 2015, is when we had it open for a full season.”
Something that makes MV Golf and Event Center a different course, or a unique course in the area is that no two holes are the same.
“Every hole has its own little character,” Lane described. “We have small greens, but the lies you can get around the greens, means you have to have a good short game for this golf course,” Lane said.
When asked about signature holes at MV Golf and Event Center, Lane said that on the front, the fourth hole would be the signature hole for that side.
“You have to hit a good tee shot,” Lane described. “You have to place it right to have a decent second shot into the green. And the green is very narrow so you definitely have to position your tee shot.”
On the backside, Lane said that hole No. 15 is the signature hole for that side of the course.
“Both of these are the signature holes due to the tee shot,” Lane said. “You have to place it right. If you don’t place it right, you’re going to make your difficulty a little higher.”
Lane said that golf at the course has increased throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s 40-50% up from past years,” Lane said. “There’s a lot of people that have come back to golf. They have told me that personally. And I know that a lot of people have taken up the game because they have the time to do it.”
Lane said that golf in general has increased, not only at MV Golf and Event Center.
Now on to the course description.
Hole one is a par 4 and it has you beginning your round on an elevated tee box, with a dogleg right to get to the green. About 150 yards out from the green is a big pine tree sitting in the middle of the fairway. One thing about this fairway is that it slopes to the right. Your second shot will have you shooting downhill to the green that has bunkers to the left and right of it. Another note about the fairway of No. 1; it runs parallel to the eighth fairway, only being separated by a row of trees.
The second hole is another par 4 and it’s a pretty straight shot off the tee. It has a slight uphill to the left to get to the fairway, but the right is open. You just have to be careful about your tee shot running down to the right too far because it’ll go into some woods.
The green has a steep bunker to the right and another bunker to the left.
Hole three is the first par 3 of the course. It’s an elevated tee box and it has you shooting over a pond to get to the green. The green is bowled so there’s a little hill sitting behind it. If you play your shot right, you might get a lucky kick off of the bowl and land on the green regardless.
Onto hole four, where you’re shooting off of another elevated tee box, down into the fairway. On this hole, I suggest hitting something other than a driver. Here’s why. This hole is not a very long hole, but there’s a big creek running before the green, which is an uphill shot to get on. This green itself is tricky because it sits on the hill. Depending on where the pin is, it’s a tough green. Personally, I think that this hole is one of the tougher ones on the course.
Hole 5 is one of my favorite holes of the course. It’s a drivable par 4, 310 yards from the white tees. I’ve driven the green on the hole. It’s a straight shot off the tee, but when you’re about 150 out there’s a little valley in the fairway. When you’re about 110 yards out, there’s a fairway bunker on the left hand side. There are also bunkers on the left side of the green and another one to the right on the backside.
Hole 6, runs parallel to hole 7 and 18, 7 is on your left, 18 is on your right. Both are separated by trees. But six is another straight shot off of the tee. At about 90 yards, the fairway runs downhill to a sloped green. There’s a bunker to the left side of this green as well.
Hole 7 is the first par 5 of the course, measuring at 497 yards. It also runs parallel to hole 8. Off the tee, you’re shooting slightly uphill and it kind of doglegs back to the right. If you slice it too far right, you’ll end up in a big cluster of trees, making for a tough second shot. This green is reachable in two shots, but you really need to smack your drive and second shot. But if you don’t, your third shot is running a little downhill to get to the green. There’s a bunker on the left side of the green and on the right.
Hole 8 is another par 5, coming in at 475 yards, going back uphill this time. Again, if you slice your tee shot too far right, you’ll end up in that cluster of trees that boarders this fairway and the previous one. On your second shot, you’ll start to see the hole kind of dogleg right. You can make this green in two shots, but again you really need to smack your driver and second shot. There’s a bunker on the left side of the fairway about 100 yards out from the green, and there’s one to the right of the green and to the left.
Hole 9 is a longer par 3, 205 yards from the white tees. It’s a straight shot, but don’t go left because you might run down into the hill that’s off of the first tee box. There’s bunkers to the left and right of the green as well.
Onto the back.
Hole 10 is an uphill shot off the tee and it’s a sharp dogleg left. There’s a bunker to the right side of the fairway, but the grounds crew is working to fill that in, along with the one down by the green. On this hole, definitely use an iron off the tee. Your second shot will run down the hill to get on the green and it’s a little deceiving how quickly your ball will run.
Hole 11, the third par 3 of the course. It’s over water again, shooting off of an elevated tee. But other than shooting over the water, this hole is a pretty straight shot. If you don’t make it on the green, your second shot will run because the fairway runs downhill. But this green is also tricky, because it looks like your ball is going to sit on the green maybe about 10 feet or so from the pin, but it will actually run more to the backside of the green, leaving you with a tough par putt. I personally think that this hole is one of the harder holes of the course, even though it looks easy. Not to mention that the fairway is rather tight, having trees on both the right and left side of it.
Hole 12 is another par 4, but this one is a little intimidating maybe to some. The white and blue tees are sitting back, downhill, and you have to shoot over a ditch to get into the fairway. Hole 15’s green sits parallel to this fairway, so keep that in mind. There use to be some tall grass sitting right in front of the tee box too, but that’s all gone now. So, what I do on this hole is play it safe and hit an 5-iron to get into the fairway. Depending on how well I hit my tee shot, I’m usually only an 7 or an 8-iron away from landing on the green in two.
Hole 13, was recently a par 5, but it has been changed to be a long par 4, coming in at 415 yards from the white tees. Hole 14 runs parallel to this one too. It’s an open fairway, small trees line the rough to tell you the difference between 13 and 14 fairways. But on the left hand side, there’s a cluster of trees. Either hit it right down the middle, or to the right a little bit, or clear those trees to have your second shot land on the green. When you’re 150 yards away from the green, the fairway slopes down then comes back up and then a slight downhill again to get to the green. There’s also a bunker to the right of the green.
Hole 14, straight shot off the tee, but like 5 there’s a valley that runs right in the middle of the fairway, when you’re about 150 yards away. A fairway bunker waits for you at the top of the hill on the right hand side when you’re about 100 yards away. There’s also a green side bunker to the right and left of the green. This green is easily reachable in two shots.
Hole 15, is a tricky hole and I am convinced that no matter how good you hit a tee shot, you lose your ball. So you’re on an elevated tee, with the fairway running right downhill from the get-go. When you’re about 150 yards away from the green, there’s a marsh. Balls seem to gravitate toward it.
You can lay up off of the tee to land in front of it, or play it left, but not too far because there’s woods that run right down the left side of the fairway.
There’s three bunkers when you get to the green. One in front to the right, and one on either side of the green.
Hole 16 is the last par 3 of the course, a short one at that, coming in at 130 yards. It’s a straight shot off the tee, but bunkers surround the green.
Hole 17 and 18 run parallel to each other.
Seventeen is a 515-yard par 5, straight off the tee. If your tee shot goes right, you’ll end up in 18. If it goes left, good luck finding it. Your second shot on 17, you just need to be careful of a marsh that sits about 150 yards out from the green on the right side. if you play it left, you’ll be okay. Or you can lay up in front of the marsh or hit over it.
There’s bunkers to the left, right and behind this green that has seen the pin sit on the upper tier and lower tier.
And to finish your round at MV Golf and Event Center, is the par 4 18th. It’s a straight shot off the tee.
Remember, 6 runs on the left side and 17 on the right. There are bunkers sitting to the right and left of this green, but it’s easily reachable in two shots.
This summer has been a ton of fun to go out and play a bunch of different courses throughout the valley. What’s better than going out and playing some golf, especially with the weather we’ve had this summer.
I hope you all enjoyed reading these stories about the courses and I hope some of you take the ride to Little Falls to play MV Golf and Event Center.
Maybe we’ll see each other out on the course.