Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Golfing at Bing Maloney

For sixty years area golfers, especially the beginner and the duffer, have enjoyed the forgiveness found at Bing Maloney Golf Complex. With wide fairways on just about every hole, a golfer can be right or left off the tee and still have a very playable approach on the next shot.

Plus Bing Maloney’s terrain is pretty flat so just about every shot will come off a level lie.
Traps line the right side of the fairway on #10, a severe
dogleg left hole at Bing Maloney

The greens are typically large with just a few exceptions and with not too many undulations, that allow for pretty straight rolls. Bunkers do front most greens at Bing Maloney so approach shots need to be long to avoid the sand.

And like its City of Sacramento sister courses, Bartley-Cavanaugh and Haggin Oaks, Bing Maloney is now maintained by Morton Golf and that company’s attention to detail is starting to show. Not only are the putting surfaces smooth, the fairways are kept short and the rough is about an inch-and-a half high.

Tee boxes and sand traps are also well-groomed, especially for a municipal course like Bing Maloney that gets fairly heavy use daily.

These positives have made the course, located on the south end of Sacramento Executive Airport on Freeport Blvd., very popular for tournaments and group activities, according to Adam Martin, Bing Maloney’s tournament director.

“We do tournaments for groups from eight people up to 144 people,” Martin said. “We do catering, we do shotgun tournaments, we provide anything the tournament wants, basically.”

Martin says in recent years, Bing Maloney has hosted an average of 250 tournaments a year.

“Our prices are very competitive and our course conditions are very good for a municipal golf course,” he added.

Also popular is the nine-hole executive course on the north side of the Bing Maloney layout. It’s a par-29 short course that’s just 1,357 yards with two holes under 100 yards in length. The two par-four’s are 268 and 255 yards long.

“Lots of businesses like to come out together after work and get in an hour-and-a half of golf,” Martin said.
The approach shot to #4

Bing Maloney also offers a very large driving range, chipping area and practice putting green. Local pros also give individual and group lessons.

If there is a challenge to negotiating Bing Maloney’s 18-hole layout, it’s the fact that all holes are lined with very large trees.  Big hooks or slices will result in hitting from under or behind those large pines and cottonwoods. Thus, a degree of accuracy, as in all golf courses, will result in good scores.

Here are highlights of the 6,297 yards (from the white tees), par-72 course:

#1, 380 yards, par 4 – Nice opening hole that is slightly downhill, dogleg left. There’s plenty of room for error on this hole.

#2 384 yards, par 4 – A large beefwood pine tree blocks the left side of the fairway. Drive to the right side and there will be a nice shot to a flat green.

#3 120 yards, par 3 – Nicknamed by course employees, “El Gato” because there’s a huge frog that lives in the water hazard that fronts the green on this hole. The putting surface slopes from the back to the front with a big swale in the middle. The average golfer should earn par here. 

#4 354 yards, par 4 – One of two holes that run alongside Freeport Blvd. This one is downhill, and like most holes, a wide fairway in which to drive. It’s a picturesque second shot into a green set back in a grove of trees.

#6 505 yards, par 5 – Interesting dogleg right because there are a series of landing beacons for the north/south runway of Executive Airport in the fairway and along the right side of the hole. You’ll use one of those beacons to aim at for the tee shot on this hole and likely use the beacon behind that one as your next landmark at which to shoot for the next shot. This hole has a huge bunker in front of a very small green.

#8 364 yards, par 4 – This is a slight dogleg right, but because of trees that hang over the fairway on both sides, accuracy off the tee is important here. Too far right and you won’t have a clear shot to the green because of big trees on the right side.
Approach shot to #11

#10 377 yards, par 4 – This is one of two very difficult holes on the back side of the Bing Maloney course, especially if you cannot fade a ball off the tee. This hole takes an abrupt 90-degree left turn only 175 yards off the tee. And, if you can fade your tee shot, care must be taken because large trees line the left side and there’s sand along the right side of the dogleg. A big bunker fronts a narrow kidney-shape green that slopes from back to front.

The large cottonwood tree that intimidates
golfers teeing off on #12
#12 418 yards, par 4 – The other difficult hole on the second nine. That’s because about 100 yards in front of the tee box is a very tall cottonwood tree. Like #10, this hole also doglegs left, but it is out-of bounds all along the left side. Ideally, you’d aim just over the left side of the cottonwood and fade the ball. Many golfers end up struggling to get around the tree and then have a 200-220 yard approach shot on this par 4 hole. Par is a very good score. 

#16 152 yards, par 3 – A pretty little hole with a tee box that is well shaded to a raised green.

#17 352 yards, par 4 – Trees down the left side of this dogleg discourage anyone from trying to cut the corner.

#18 359 yards, par 4 – A nice finishing hole that is uphill all the way, and because of prevailing winds, will most of the time play longer. It’s a narrow green with bunkers left and right.

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