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19th:  As Mr. Ross said during a memorable Seinfeld episode, “Cherish the cabin.”  Throw some antlers mounted on plaques onto the retro-pine paneling inside the Cedar Knob watering hole and it doubles as a hunting lodge.  Outstanding. 

In Summary:  Although, we were only able to sample half of the course on this trip, it’s difficult not to give Cedar Knob a fairly stout...

...out of 4 GT logo rating.  Its Track Features don’t smack you upside the head with a seven iron, yet there is an underlying quality that most seasoned Goat Trackers will appreciate; the same qualities that may just put it in contention to host the GT Minor Event known as The GT British Experience.

As much as  we try not to be swayed by the BCC factor, “Britney” definitely added to the enjoyment of our round and as clueless as she may have been as a BCC, the randomness of her talents somehow added value to the whole Cedar Knob tracking experience.  We look forward to playing the back 9 at Cedar Knob soon.

Cedar Knob GC (Somers), front 9 reviewed August, 2011.

Finally, Golfer Number Two took the short, scenic drive into the country to play
Cedar Knob.  There were two main reasons for playing/reviewing Cedar Knob.  Over the past few years, we’ve heard a golfer or two whom we were paired with say, “You have a Goat Track site?  You have to play Cedar Knob!”  Fair enough.  Also, Cedar Knob was on the outskirts of the UCONN golf rotation that Ornery Bob, Golfer Number Two, et. al. used to play in college.  Time to revisit it.

Cedar Knob sets up in a subtle way, as in no roadside signage.  You may catch a glimpse of the course on Billings Rd. before approaching the parking lot, but that’s about as much help as you’re going to get locating it.  Splendid.  Once you pull in to the lot, which is clearly marked with in/out arrows to direct one-way traffic, you may ask yourself whether the same auto body shop technicians working on commission that striped the paved portion of the Hawk’s Landing parking lot worked their magic at Cedar Knob as well.  In a world full of mini Coopers and Prius-es, or Pri-i, it would probably work out well, but not so much in the land where unloading clubs from pick-up trucks, SUV’s, and anything bigger than a bread box is the norm.

No one likes pre-tee tension, but if you can get out of your vehicle without dinging the one next to it, you are likely ready for all that Cedar Knob has to offer.

Layout
Ka-boom:  As much as we enjoyed playing the front 9 at Cedar Knob, we don’t recommend it for any brave soldier recently returning home from an active tour of duty in Kandahar or a similar military assignment until fully decompressed.  For those familiar with Tower Ridge and/or Keney, not such a big deal, the sound of gunfire on the golf course is nearly second nature, but in the serene Somers countryside, the sound of frequent mortar blasts managed to catch even the most seasoned of Goat Trackers by surprise.  We thought there may have been a Spackler-esque (varmint removal) component to it, but when we asked the woodchuck roaming in front of the 7th tee, he seemed pretty much nonplussed by the whole thing and didn’t offer much useful information.

Bunkers:  We love the fairway traps at Cedar Knob; flat and unobtrusive (good mini-gravel quality, for those who take note of such things).  They seem to say, “Hey, numbnuts, the fairways are plenty wide, don’t be afraid to hit from them once in a while.”  

There was one greenside bunker on the 4th with a major, high-arching lip facing the green, but other than that, they’re pretty much the equivalent of bumpers for kiddie bowling, which is just fine; we like a layout that doesn’t rely on bunkers for validation (e.g. Blue Fox Run, Red and White 9’s in their most recent incarnation).

Greens:  Nothing spectacular here, either good or bad, aside from what’s possibly the narrowest green we’ve ever seen/attempted to hit in regulation (#5?) and some other spacious and odd shapes along the way.  Overall, they rolled okay, were in decent condition, yada, yada.  A joy to putt.  Possibly more of a joy if one dropped in on occasion, but as far as we can tell, that’s entirely our fault.

The signature hole on the front 9, as far as we were concerned, was the dogleg par-5 7th; navigable tree lines, change in elevation, opportunities for Track Acumen, just a pleasure to play.  Even if you end up lining up a 20-footer to put a snowman on your card for this hole, you’ll most likely admit that if you didn’t enjoy playing it that time around, you definitely want another crack at it.

In general, although we couldn’t quite put a finger on it, the front 9 at Cedar Knob seemed to be laid out in a "less than haphazard manner" and was enjoyable to play.  In our opinion, Cedar Knob doesn’t seem to get nearly the credit it deserves.