Hole by Hole Description

Golf course architect Desmond Muirhead describes each of Stone Harbor's unique golf holes, the designs for each were based upon ancient Greek mythology:

  • 1st Hole - "Jupiter"
    • This introduction to the course is named for the King of Gods in ancient mythology, who was appropriately both merciful and the protector of the weak. With this in mind, I have made Number One a straightforward warm-up hole with few traps and only small character rolls in the green. The first hole is not a pushover, although two straight shots with the right clubs should give every golfer a birdie opportunity now and then.

  • 2nd Hole - "Ulysses"
    • This hole is named for the hero of Homer's Odyssey, Ulysses, who was renowned for his courage and his cunning. The lake, which represents Neptune, the God of the Sea and Ships, is Ulysses' principal enemy. The two traps at the 250 yard mark recall the Sirens, the birdlike creatures with women's heads, who drew sailors to their deaths by their tragic deaths by their magic music. On this hole they are forcing the tee shot toward the water. The green is symbolic of Neptune's head complete with traps in the form of locks, a beard and trident. Most of the green offers a fair receptacle for a good second shot; the projecting right-hand side, however, becomes a peninsula surrounded by water; and when the pin is placed there, the protective ramparts are gone. Psychologically, a very exacting second shot is then required.

  • 3rd Hole - "Sleeping Shepherd"
    • Endymion, the Shepherd, was lulled into a sleep filled with wonderful dreams by Diana, the Moon Goddess. When he awoke, he made a request that he could slumber through eternity so he would never be without the memory of her embrace. This hole is a "sleeper" with a landing area defined by an S-curve in the shape of a shepherd's crook. This sinuous mound has three pairs of traps set into it and if the crosswind is misjudged or the drive is misplaced, the shot to the green is semi-blind. The second shot on this par five is controlled by a long floral trap symbolic of the meadows where Endymion lie sleeping. This trap is a linear foil to the green which is placid and symmetrical in the image of Diana. The green slopes down in opposite directions from the center. So, if the pin is one side you must place your second shot to that side, or your third shot will be a pitch to a surface sloping away from you, and the green will not accept this shot easily. Thus, a birdie will be almost impossible if the second shot is sprayed, which is the essence of a good par five.

  • 4th Hole - "Pegasus"
    • Bellerophon, one of the heroes of the Iliad, was sent to attack the Chimaera, a vicious beast with the head of a lion and tail of a dragon. The Chimaera was unassailable from the ground and could only be attacked from the air. Given a golden harness by the Goddess Minerva, Bellerophon tamed the Winged Horse Pegasus, took to the sky, and shot many arrows into the monster Chimaera, eventually killing it with his spear. On the links, Chimaera is represented by the long curved cliff which has a lion's head at one end and a dragon's tail at the other. The cliff also holds the tee and the green. Pegasus is depicted by a frontal trap like a horse's head and one at the right side like a wing. The bravest man will shoot his arrows for the longest carry. Those who overstep their ability will fall into the large trap. A winder, lower and easier shot to the left side of the green awaits the less daring player, but if the pin is to the right, he has a lone putt up a steep ledge. A smaller trap, the monster's mouth, halfway up the cliff, will remind him that the Chimaera and his potentially poisonous breath is never far away.

  • 5th Hole - "Prometheus"
    • Promethus, a son of a Titan, was asked by Jupiter to create a new race of mortals with earthly materials. Promethus created a strong race of mortals but they were cold. They lacked heat to cook food and forge weapons causing Promethus to steal flames from the hearth fire of the gods, infuriating Jupiter. As punishment, Promethus was chained to an icy mountaintop where an eagle came daily to feed on his liver, which repaired itself again before morning. He endured indescribable suffering in silence and without regret, thus becoming a symbol against tyranny. He was finally freed by Hercules, who shot the eagle with an arrow. This Promethean par 5 symbolizes his achievement and his agony. The bunkers at the landing area are flame-like, the mound which contains them is a Titan. There are hazardous, curved mounds culminating in a sharp bend before you reach the green. The green itself is a resume of the legend, with craters, more flame-like traps and an eagle embossed in white sand in the center of the green "mountains" behind. The drive must be placed close to the flames so that a view of the green is possible on the second shot, or you will have to hit over the trees to reach it. The green has three different pin locations, each separated by rolls or ridges and each related to traps or craters. The golfer will need Promethean courage and compassion to score well on this hole.

  • 6th Hole - "Beowulf"
    • Beowulf was the young hero who engaged the hideous monster Grendel in mortal combat. Beowulf had heard that Grendel was resilient against all weapons and he astonished Grendel by casting aside his sword and shield, preparing to fight him hand to hand. After a marathon struggle, he tore the monster's arm from its socket, forcing it to return home to die. Beowulf returned a hero and hung the arm from his wall as a trophy. At midnight, Grendel's mother came back to take her son's arm and the two struggled violently with Beowulf decapitating her, thus ending the reign of terror. On this hole, a heroic carry is needed to play the island which lessons the distance to the green by as much as 50 yards. The island route also misses the giant mound of tangled grass and ferocious traps representing the monster Grendel. The second shot is to a green which juts out into the water. If you go for the drier, fatter area of the green when the pin is positioned on the peninsula below, you must negotiate a severe ledge with a downhill putt. Those avoiding the island must come to terms with not only Grendel but Grendel's arm, the long bunker which guards the approach to the green. Grendel's mother is not forgotten. The eye behind the green recalls her fight with Beowulf and bears her name for posterity.

  • 7th Hole - "Clashing Rocks"
    • This hole commemorates Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece. Jason's half-brother Peleas, who had usurped his throne, had sent him on this journey knowing the fleece was guarded by a fierce dragon. The Clashing Rocks were two huge cliff-like rocks guarding the entrance to a narrow sea through which Jason must pass. Several who had gone before him were killed as the rocks would clash and grind, part and clash again, seeking to crush all who tried to pass. Jason released a dove to attract the cliffs and the rocks came clashing together. As they opened, Jason powered his vessel through and after many adventures, secured the Golden Fleece. To parallel the many trials of the Argonauts, the green is boat shaped with a maximum width of 60 feet and length of 125 feet. There are two large water-born traps on either side framed in pincher-like teeth to emulate the crushing clashing rocks. When the summer wind is blowing in your face the 140 yard carry from the back of the tee may seem like the Argonauts journey, fraught with terrors of the dark unknown and the perils of this vast sheet of water.

  • 8th Hole - "Pomona"
    • Pomona, the goddess or orchards and gardens was disinterested in men. She loved only flowers, trees, and ripening fruit. Handsome Prince Vertumnus who had tried to woo Pomona many times under various guises, finally approached her in the form of an old peasant woman. Having garnered her attention Vertumnus told Pomona she should not be alone. He pointed out that a vine needed something to cling to so it found an elm tree, which was strong and could support it. Vine and tree needed each other, he said, and threw off his disguise. Confronted by the handsome prince before her, Pomona was soon persuaded. So in tribute to Pomona and Vertumnus, this hole is heavily invested in trees, but there is no fairway trap. The platform landing area must be carefully negotiated to get a good view of the green on the second shot. The green slops from right to left with a large deep trap on the right side. If you get in it, you have a difficult explosion shot to a green which slopes away from you.

  • 9th Hole - "I'll Take Manhattan"
    • Maybe Judith Kranz doesn't quite fit in with Ulysses and Prometheus, but you've got to admit she came up with a great name. This hole is in recognition of the land and sea coast of this small corner of the northeastern United States. The Atlantic is represented by a continuous lake culminating in a green shaped like the State of New Jersey subtending an island trap shaped like Manhattan complete with stone skyscrapers. On there other side of the green there is a trap in the form of Pennsylvania. The large fairway trap is shaped like New York state and there's even a set of mountain-like mounds called the Poconos. This is a long hole which requires two precise shots to make birdie or even par.

  • 10th Hole - "The Ring"
    • This hole is based on Wagner's version of the Nordic legend called the Ring of Niebelungen. In the tale, Sigfried, a man who knew no fear, was dispatched to recover the treasure of Rhinegold which contained the Viking helmet Tarnhelm and a Ring, which made its owner all powerful. The treasure was guarded by a giant dragon which Sigfrield slew with his trusty sword which he named Needful. This hole is short, only about 350 yards, and the landing area is shaped like a ring, with water edging on both sides and trees where there is no water. If you hit the ring, you are all powerful and the second shot is an easy pitch to the green. If you miss it, you're in the drink, or a wide range of trouble. The green is shaped like the Tarnhelm with Needful, the magic sword, etched in sand in front. The dragon is shown in the form of a mound crossing the sword coming out of a cave-like bunker. In spite of its length, a par will be a very good score, a birdie exceptional.

  • 11th Hole - "The Valkyrie"
    • After Sigfried killed the dragon a friendly bird emerged to guide him to a mountaintop to rescue a beautiful goddess, Brunhilde. She was cursed to sleep until a hero "who knew no fear" would one day awaken her. After a long journey of battles, they met Wotan the Wanderer who some said was actually Odin, the Nordic god of gods. The beautiful maiden was actually Wotan's daughter, protected by a ring of fire. As Wotan held up his spear threateningly, Siegfried calmly shattered it with one blow from Needful, his magic sword. Easily surmounting the boulders, he crashed through the fire and awakened Brunhilde. This par 5 echoes their story. The raised landing is barren and echoes Sigfried's loneliness. The second shot must negotiate huge boulders represented by large mounds, the last of which has a bunker like Wotan's helmet embedded within. The third shot has to endure through a circle of flame-like traps. The green is backed by the highest mound on the hole, Brunhilde's mountain, which is in turn dwarfed by the 12th tee behind it. Wotan's spear is the flagpole.

  • 12th Hole - "Pandora's Box"
    • Pandora, created by Jupiter, wed Epimaethus, brother of Promethus. As a dowry, she was given a beautiful magic box as a gift of the gods. Epimaethus had reason to distrust the gods because of their treatment of his brother and warned Pandora, "Keep the box, but do not open it." One day curiosity prevailed and Pandora carefully lifted the lid of the box. Suddenly, to her horror, a swarm of dreadful things flew out of the box: war, famine, crime, disease, spit, envy, malice and cruelty. They proceeded to attack her and Epimaethus and Pandora was devastated. Suddenly a whimper came from the box and Pandora lifted the lid to reaveal a small, frail-winged puny thing which lay grieving at the bottom of the box. "It is hope," said Pandora. "Hope will outlive all the other evils." And so hope was set forth and given to the world. The tee on this hole features its own Pandora's box, a long trap designed to mesmerize the golfer. Even though much of it is out play, it cannot be ignored. The golfer is unable to look at anything else, until his eye is inexorably led to the green and the round pond, which represents all the evils that escaped from the box.

  • 13th Hole - "Back to the Future"
    • The previous twelve holes have been pretty heavy with ritual and symbol and the golfer is by now intellectually stimulated. In Number 13, I have designed a hole which will tax strength more than mind. Te tee is high. There is a good sized trap at the landing area, which comes into play significantly as the right-hand, far side of the green is semi-blind, a peek-a-boo. The green is subdivided by rolls. The rear pin position will require a controlled fade, but the closer the drive is to the fairway trap, the easier this shot becomes. This hole is meant to be a breather after three very demanding and exacting holes.

  • 14th Hole - "Cadmus"
    • Cadmus was the Founder of Thebes, one of the greatest cities of Ancient Greece. An oracle told him to follow a call and wherever the cow lies, he should build the city. At the site Cadmus was confronted by a fierce dragon who made short work of Cadmus' companions. Cadmus slayed the dragon and was instructed by the Goddess Minerva to sow the dragon's teeth. He did so and a crop of fully armed men sprang up fighting furiously among themselves until only five were left standing. The goddess spoke again, "You five are the champions, those selected from many. Now go and build your city." That's how Thebes was built. There are numerous allegorical connections to this par 4 hole. The dragon's teeth are shown as traps in two curves of the dragon's body at the landing area. There are two sets of five mounds further on to represent the five remaining soldiers.

  • 15th Hole - "Tantalus"
    • Tantalus murdered his son and was accused of revealing the secrets of the gods to men. He was punished by being made to stand forever in a pool of water, which receded whenever he bent down to drink. The word tantalize is derived from his sorry plight. The high landing of this hole is bordered by tall trees which have been carefully incorporated into the design. A well placed drive to this plateau ensures a good view of the green on this short hole. The first half of the green is embedded in the broad shoulders of the fairway, but the second half is up to its neck in water. The pin placement, which will tempt the golfer most, is on this small peninsula, which is two felt below the much larger mainland part of the green above. Most people will be playing a 9 iron for this shot. A bulkheaded trap at the far end of the green signifies Tantalus' beard and is the last resort for the overconfident.

  • 16th Hole - "Orpheus"
    • Orpheus, a famed musician, married Eurydice, a wood nymph. One day Eurydice was bitten by a snake and died. Orpheus was devastated and went to the underworld to find her. At the gate he was confronted by the three-headed watchdog Ceberus and by the vicious Furies. His music calmed them and he moved on. Pluto, King of the Underworld was so touched by his bravery that he told Orpheus, "I will allow you to take Eurydice back to the land of the mortals but you must not look back until you reach the upper world or you will lose her forever." Orpheus, his gaze fixed firmly in front of him, gratefully led Eurydice out of the Underworld. Finally as he reached the gate, he impatiently turned around to make sure she was still behind him. She was but soon gave a pathetic sigh and vanished. Filled with depair, Orpheus dragged himself back to earth with only his music to comfort him. Upon Orpheus' death, he and Eurydice were permanently reunited in the Underworld.

  • 17th Hole - "Medusa"
    • Medusa had once been a great beauty but was so vain and conceited that the goddess Minerva changed her into a monster. Her beautiful golden hair was replaced with a nest of snakes. She became so ugly that whoever looked at her was turned to stone. In our version, the mass of snakes in Medusa's hair surround the top of the plateaued green, and they are a lot tougher than your average trap. The baleful eyes are portrayed by the two flanking traps halfway up the green. When the south wind is blowing, this hole can be as tricky as #12 at Augusta.

  • 18th Hole - "Aeneas"
    • Aenas was a Trojan prince who escaped to the sea after the Greeks ravaged the city of Troy. After seeing much cruelty, sadness and misery he was eventually led to the city of Elysium, home of the Blessed. I always feel that the 18th hole should be the epitomization of the previous 17. Perhaps the Aenid is a very suitable metaphorical epic for this whole golf course. Framed by water left and right and the clubhouse in the background the 409 yard par 4, 18th at Stone Harbor has been described as one the best finishing holes on the east coast. Requiring accuracy off the tee with water left and right it tests the nerves of players especially in close competition. The second shot should be played with at least one extra club due to the carry over water and the safe play is long. Many friendly matches, the Eastern Club Professional Championship in 2001 and various club championships have been decided on this dramatic hole.

  • STONE HARBOR GOLF CLUB
  • 905 Route 9 North
  • Cape May Court House, NJ 08210-1627
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