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Sawmill Golf Club

A Little Sawgrass in Stillwater

Shots With Steve

By Steve Pease

There are a few similarities between TPC at Sawgrass and Sawmill Golf Club in Stillwater.

Both have short water holes you don't want to come up short on. Both feature multi-tiered greens with tough pin placements. And both have the word "saw" in them.

While it doesn't have the danger of Sawgrass, Sawmill is still a thinking-man's golf course.

At par-70 and 5,499 from the white tees, the course plays short and fast (as in we finished in just over four hours). But don't forget to take an extra club on approach shots. From the 1st tee to the exquisite 18th, the course seems to play uphill. With one exception. The sneaky but scenic 5th hole is a par-3 with a view. It can play 202 from the tips, or 164 from the whites. Club selection is essential considering the 75-foot drop in elevation from tee to water-fronted green.

Like Sawgrass, Sawmill swells on the weekends with masses of personable, golf-loving tournament-goers (we ran into a cigar-puffing five-some on three carts who graciously asked us to play through). The courses towering pines, winding creeks and rustic charm provide a counterbalance to an aging golf-cart population, rocky (and precarious) cart paths, and dead spots on the back of the 10th green.

If you can drive the ball, the golf course becomes ripe. When combined, Sawmill's 10 par-4s barely average more in distance than an average Bubba Watson drive. However, abundant bunkers surround greens closer than Kim Kardashian's bodyguards.

If you're not a regular, perhaps a visit to Sawmill might best be reserved for fall, when the woodland course reportedly shows its true colors.

Revised: 01/11/2013 - Article Viewed 32,434 Times - View Course Profile

About: Steve Pease

Steve Pease Steve Pease, resides in Wisconsin and carries the burden of a 13 handicap. He enjoys microbrews, the Pack and Twitter. Often at the same time. He plays TaylorMade R9 irons, an old-school R7 driver and whatever putter is "working."

He has worked for four golf courses in his life (pro shop attendant, then later, the more prestigious title of course ranger. Ha!) In 2008, he took a part-time job at Golfsmith, custom-fitting clubs when he wasn't running his own freelance writing business. He also experimented with a golf blog.

His favorite interview was ex-USGA executive director David Fay.

Golf writers he reads: John Feinstein, Herbert Warren Wind, Nicklaus (the guy is a little too "feel-oriented" to really provide tangible advice), Jason Sobel and Alan Shipnuck (latter two on Twitter). Although, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat writer Gary D'Amato is his "favorite."

Interested in: golf travel writing; course reviews; freelance golf writing; club reviews; Wisconsin golf culture reports; the art of golf gambling; the rules of playing music at low volumes while on the course (read: no Rodney Dangerfield impersonations); learning how pros never, ever accidentally knock the ball off the tee at address, and other stuff.

Greatest moment on a golf course: Uhhhh ... yeah.

Most embarrassing moment on a golf course: Trying to high five Steve Stricker only to have him give me the "knuckle-knock," only it was too late. It ended in more of a "knuckle-hug" and my "best friend" doubling over in laughter.

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