Clear planning is suggested on the par 5 first hole guarded by water the entire left side from tee to green. The word “mulligan” or a similar term could have could have originated on this tee if it hadn’t already been coined. After the short par four second with water on the right and a menacing short iron approach, the course continues to challenge through the first five holes followed by a ten hole stretch from hole 6 through 15 that offers scoring opportunities with the exception of hole 10 where the water from tee to green on the left side of this par four makes for another “grip tightener” to begin the back nine. In this middle stretch, hole 7 is a postcard par 3 with arguably the most complicated green on the course. In 2002 the par three 7th was the scene of an ace by member James A. Baker III, the former Secretary of State, and witnessed by playing partner and fellow member former President George H.W. Bush, the first hole-in-one by Mr. Baker and the first one witnessed by Mr. Bush. Shadow Hawk’s course design offers a very interesting three-hole finish that ends with a risk-reward par five where anything can happen and often does. Tom Kite successfully navigated the eighteenth with a par in June of 2004 to secure a sectional qualifying position on the way to his 30th consecutive United States Open Championship.
In total this Rees Jones layout holds to the themes of a number of highly regarded old style courses: clarity of target, subtle challenges, artistic bunkering, variety in shape and length of holes, ample fairways with smallish greens, in a very natural setting. Because of Mr. Jones work, Shadow Hawk was recognized in 2000, its first full year of operation, by Golf Digest Magazine as one of the top ten best new private courses in America.