We heard good things about Mirror Lake Golf Club (specifically the condition of the greens, which were impressive) so I took a Friday off and we drove down to Villa Rica to play. Mirror Lake has 36 holes – the Lake course and the Mountain course. We played the Lake, but enjoyed it so much we may have to try the Mountain.
I chose the Golds, which measured 6,486 yards; a great length for me. Not too long (considering this was the first time I was playing here), but not too short to take the challenge out of it. OK, let’s go!
The opening hole is a 478 yard par 5 that doglegs to the left. If I had been better prepared, or had some local knowledge, I would’ve tried to cut the corner by going over the bunker on the left. Instead I flared a driver to the right, making the hole that much longer.
I had the opportunity of going for it in two but as you can see, the green is well guarded with bunkers. Plus, I’m breaking in a new 3-wood (Ping G-15, love it!), and don’t have the confidence in it yet, so I hit a 7-iron to 100 yards instead. If this hole is played correctly, it’s potentially a birdie hole.
The second is also a dogleg left, although this is a par 4. Again, hit your driver over the left edge of the fairway if you play a fade, or draw it around the corner if that’s your shot. You may have a downhill lie, but it should be 100-120 yards max to a receptive green, so this is another chance at birdie.
The third is the #2 handicap hole on the course. It’s a relatively straight hole, but with trees on the left and a huge bunker and OB on the right, the tee shot is critical. The approach is over a small creek, so the shorter the club for the approach the better.
The fourth measures 385 yards so it’s not the longest of par 4’s, although there are a few fairway bunkers looking to swallow tee shots so be aware of them. The real challenge is in the approach. Not only is this green surrounded by bunkers, but it is truly a two-tiered green, making club selection paramount to attaining a birdie putt or a par. Make sure you’re on the correct level; you’ll thank me later.
The fifth is a relatively short par 3 (167 from Gold tees). It’s a straight-on shot, and a little downhill. The flag was on the left side when we played, making it a club shorter than normal.
The sixth is an uphill par 4 measuring 361 yards. Off the tee, the visual trouble is the collection of bunkers on the left side of the fairway. This is a pretty wide fairway and even if you hit it too far right (like I did, into the second fairway) you still have a shot at a GIR so let it fly!
The sixth green slopes back to front, so don’t be afraid to hit it right to the pin, or you’ll be left with a pretty long putt.
The seventh is an interesting par 5. It only measures 450 from the Golds, making me think I could easily reach it. I hit an almost-perfect tee shot, and almost ran out of fairway! I wouldn’t be too concerned if I were you, but this is probably still a three shot par 5 for 80% of those that play here, so consider a 3-wood off the tee if you like. Here’s the tee shot:
The green borders the lake, making a long second shot a risk for sure. I decided to go for it, but sprayed it to the left, making for an interesting flop wedge or my third. I did hit the green and two-putted for par but if I played here again, I think I’d have layed up to a 100 yard shot, and tried to get a better shot at a birdie.
The ninth is a 361 yard par 4, with a carry over water on the tee shot. The hole then turns to the right, and the approach is to a relatively flat green. With a good tee shot this is a potential birdie hole. If you’re a regular reader, you know I love golf course bridges. This hole has a great one:
Ten is a lot tougher than I originally thought. The tee shot has water up the entire right side, then the second shot carries over the water to a green with large bunkers behind it. This was one of the toughest holes on the course for me, so give the tee shot more respect than I did. Here’s the approach; the flag is on the far left side of the green:
The eleventh is a definite birdie hole, if you plan for it. It’s a par 4 that only measures 318 yards from the Gold tees. I hit a three wood off the tee, got a great bounce, and only had 70-75 yards to the pin. The flag was on the left side, which took the bunkers out of play. I missed the birdie putt, but did give myself a great chance and you should too.
Twelve is the #1 handicap hole. It’s a 590 yard par 5, so plan on a three-shotter from the tee. Feel free to hit a driver but try to keep it to the left side of the fairway as the hole gently fades. Hit your second to a comfortable distance (100-120 yards) as there is junk between the fairway and green. Here’s my view of the third shot:
Thirteen is a rock-solid par 3, playing uphill and measuring 187 yards. I hit a 5-iron pin high, but squeezed it a bit to the right. I chipped to 6 feet and made the par putt; felt pretty good about that one!
The fourteenth lined up perfectly for me, with a bunker on the left side of the fairway and the right side open. Of course, my tee shot decided not to fade so I ended up in said bunker, but I did hit a great 8-iron to the front edge of the green. I then up and downed for a par (Yay!) Here’s the view of my approach, from the bunker:
The sixteenth is a 177 yard par 3, and when we played the flag was tucked on the right side behind the bunker. This is a downhill shot so club accordingly.
The seventeenth is a 526 yard par 5, but you have the opportunity of cutting the corner if you like. I decided to try it, and hit my tee shot directly over the trees on the left. I play a fade, hit it well, and was left with 224 to the flag. Here’s the view from the tee:
With 224 left I considered going for it, but decided not to mainly because the green borders the water (much like hole #7.) I hit an iron to 100 yards, then wedged it in. If I played it again I might consider going for it, as there is a big bunker behind the green to collect errant shots.
The finishing hole is a stunner. The smart play is left of the bunkers, which will leave you a clear view of the green. My tee shot had a little tail on it, and faded over the bunkers on the left. It stayed in play, but caused me some trouble on the approach. Here’s the tee shot:
My second shot looked like the picture below. I hit a 5-iron out of the rough, caught it pretty clean, but it ended up a little short and I put it in the water. Someday I’ll finish a round of golf strong, but not today.
We were lucky enough to play Mirror Lake with perfect weather, and the greens were in perfect condition. I finished with an 86, and considering this is the first time I’ve played here I’m pretty happy with that. If you have the opportunity, play it. I’m looking forward to trying out the Mountain 18.