Course Review – Andersons Creek Golf – An Underrated Beauty in Stanley Bridge.
This Graham Cooke design opened in 2003 and is located in Stanley Bridge which is great when you’re on a 10 round, 6-day golf trip and your vacation home is literally two minutes from the course.
The most prominent feature of Andersons Creek is — not so surprisingly — the creek. Several holes meander around or cut across the waterway. The layout is rather friendly and in some places very generous. As with some of the other courses in the area, Andersons Creek enjoys some unique elevation changes adding challenge, beauty and shot-making requirements to each hole.
The par-3’s here utilize elevation changes extremely well. The first one comes at the 4th and is my favourite of all the par 3’s. It’s an exceptionally framed golf hole with trouble long. Other par-3’s draw on common design themes with long, narrow greens in many places. At the 10th, golfers need to carry over water to a large green with a spine. A pulled tee shot left me one of the longest and most difficult putts I had experienced on the entire trip!
Off the tee landing areas are generous. The slopes and areas surrounding the greens make Anderson’s Creek more of a second shot golf course. Bunkering isn’t overly penal but more strategic in nature. While open in many spots, there are pockets of forest and trees which frame holes exceptionally well (such as number 4 and 14). My favourite hole on the course was the par-4 15th with its elevated tee looking over the creek to a large fairway — take note the climb to the green is a steep one.
Through researching the course I learned that there are so many people who absolutely love this course and I can appreciate that. It is scenic and has a unique and enjoyable layout. It offers a solid challenge yet provides great playability depending on your tee selection. It was nice to see so many people who are passionate and enjoy the course. For me, I think I’ll need to give it another play; in all its splendour. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Andersons Creek very much. I recall one review where the writer mentioned that playing Andersons Creek near sunset was his favourite golfing experience ever — I may have to try that. A lowering sun over those beautiful closing holes would be something to see.
Andersons Creek definitely complements other courses on the Island providing yet more diversity to the quality of golf on PEI.
Aura – 7 out of 10 – Graham Cooke may not be Stanley Thompson, but he brings a level of quality to his work that demands attention. Andersons Creek is one of two Cooke-designs on the Island (Eagles Glenn the other) and it is ideally located in a popular region of PEI.
Value – 7 out of 10 – This is a mixed mark for me. The rate for a single round in the height of the season does not provide the value opportunity versus other offerings across the province. Our group bundled greens fees using the PEI Green Card which made it much more worth it. Raising the value, and I love this, Andersons Creek and Green Gables offer weekly memberships. Vacationers who are avid golfers can enjoy one week access to the course for $300. Play enough golf and there’s your value!
Course Condition (fairways/greens, layout) – 7 out of 10 – This deserves an asterisk. Areas on and around the greens in 2015 witnessed some damage from the long and challenging winter of 2014/15. The fairways were very good and I enjoyed the layout and the way in which the creek is such a prominent feature. I am confident this would increase significantly with improved condition brought on from a less harsh winter.
Overall Experience (how did the round make me feel; would I return) – 7 out of 10 – The people were outstanding, polite and helpful. The course enjoys strong design features and a solid layout. I owe this course another play and look forward to it.
Recommendation (magic wand…what would I change) – I am not a course designer but found Cooke’s use of long and narrow greens on the back nine a little repetitive. Also, I would have liked notification on the website about when the complimentary post-round mussels were not available at a certain point in the season. But with our rental home literally two minutes away we were able to prepare our own.