History reigns supreme at the Belleview Biltmore in Bellair. Designed by the legendary Donald Ross, who also designed Oakland Hills (see U.S. Open), it balances beauty and simplicity.
Belleview Biltmore No. 2 – Par 4, 408 yards
The tee shot is key on this medium-length par-4. There is water right, and if you take driver, it's certainly in play. The smart golfer will stay left and short of it, leaving a medium-to-long iron into the green.
The aggressive player will pay big dividends for a long but accurate drive, but miss right and you're looking at a high score.
Belleview Biltmore No. 6 – Par 4, 338 yards
In theory, this is an easy tee shot. Just a simple long iron and from any of the tees you'll be in position for a nice approach.
But this is where the Biltmore's visual intimidation comes into play. You must hit over a lake, and there is a trio of fairway bunkers up the right.
Just think happy thoughts off the tee. Happy thoughts.
Belleview Biltmore No. 8 – Par 3, 180
Probably the most beautiful of all the holes at the Biltmore, and another intimidating first shot. It's not terribly long, but the water and shrubs in front – plus a few bunkers around the green – make it look like a beast.
Take enough club to carry the bunkers, and you should be fine.
Belleview Biltmore No. 17 – Par 4, 380
The finishing stretch is a real challenge, starting with this par-4. It reminds you a bit of the 10th at TPC Sawgrass, home to the PLAYERS Championship.
Dogleg left, water left, and a tee shot that demands precision. A fairway wood off the tee is the smart play here, and even if you find the fairway bunker on the right, you'll be glad you're dry.
The green is also guarded closely by three bunkers.
For the amateur, bogey is a good score here.
Belleview Biltmore No. 18 – Par 4, 438
Though No. 18 at the Biltmore ranks as the hardest hole on the course, the tee shot is manageable.
It's wide open, but you must put one in the fairway.
Because the approach is beautiful – but brutal. The green is fairly large, but there are two bunkers left and water right.
Tip: Lace a drive down the middle, then grab a mid-iron and hope for the best.
This is a continuing series of golf courses around the Bay area. Stay tuned for more tours.