The South nine is truly one of the toughest nines to master in the Northwest, in spite of the fact that it is not too long. What makes the South so very tough is the challenging greens. Trying to avoid downhill putts is critical to your success on this nine. The ball will run away from you repeatedly if you find yourself above the hole. The nine starts with our toughest hole on the course. Even the best tee shot will leave a long iron to an elevated green that slopes right to left.
As was the practice of great golf course designers of generations past, Robert Muir Graves designed the greens in such a fashion that only allowed them to be attacked from certain landing zones. The dogleg right, 362 yard, par 4, 5th hole on the South nine is an excellent example of this design characteristic. To properly position yourself on this green, a player should leave his/her tee ball well short of the green to allow a spinning second shot. While a big drive here may feed your ego initially, the remaining approach shot will not have the required spin to hold on this shallow sloping green.
It is design subtleties, such as these, that truly distinguish the exceptional work of Robert Muir Graves at Avalon. The course design is fair. The player can see the challenges that lie ahead. The greens are absolutely full of character and speed. The holes are diverse and the setting is most serene.