Hankins 18-Hole Course

Course Overview

Hankins, named for the pioneering Hankins clan who homesteaded much of the ranch, presents an opposite perspective to the natural landscape and elevations that highlight the playing experience. Hankins No. 18 is known as the “Hixson Hole,” as it presents the 12 legal advantages in golf to ensure players will “nail it” off the tee and send the ball on the longest drive of your life. And if you do, the reward awaits in Egan’s Hideout when your round is complete.

The course direction is reversed each day to create a different layout with a variety of pin placements and tee box options, creating thousands of unique rounds. While the course is free of water hazards, there are over a hundred bunkers incorporated into the course design.

Hankins 18-Hole Course at The Retreat and Links at Silvies Valley Ranch

Hankins Hole #1

Par 4 • 415 • 370 • 335

The opening hole on the Hankins welcomes you with a chance to swing away at the first shot of the round. The drive plays downhill into a huge fairway (235 yards wide at the peak). There are four bunkers to avoid and plenty of undulating ground to make a second shot anything but simple. This is one of the nine double greens at Silvies, and will be played as the 17th on the Craddock.

As you play down the fairway, look to the right to see the 18th of the Craddock and the left to see the 17th.

Hankins 18-Hole Course at The Retreat and Links at Silvies Valley Ranch
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Hankins Hole #1

Par 4 • 415 • 370 • 335

The opening hole on the Hankins welcomes you with a chance to swing away at the first shot of the round. The drive plays downhill into a huge fairway (235 yards wide at the peak). There are four bunkers to avoid and plenty of undulating ground to make a second shot anything but simple. This is one of the nine double greens at Silvies, and will be played as the 17th on the Craddock.

As you play down the fairway, look to the right to see the 18th of the Craddock and the left to see the 17th.

Hankins Hole #2

Par 3 • 150 • 150 • 105

A relatively short hole plays uphill through the sage to a large flowing green. A good target off the tee is short of the large centerline bunker. This lines you up to play straight into the narrow green that opens and widens toward the back.

Avoid long and left on your approach shot as the green falls off severely in this area.

Hankins Hole #3

Par 5 • 590 • 470 • 380

The back tees on this hole are in the fairway to the left of the 2nd green. The back tee shot requires a drive over a native stretch of grass to the fairway that enters another section of the main valley. The other tees are around the corner of the small butte, giving this hole two very different tee shots, especially visually.

The shorter left fairway bunker becomes a left greenside bunker when playing the Craddock course.

This hole is very wide in the middle and slowly narrows as you get closer to the green. The large bunkers on the right as you approach the green are best avoided.

Hankins Hole #4

Par 4 • 370 • 325 • 305

For long hitters in the right conditions, this hole could be drivable. Most, however, will have to play their second shots into a very undulating, large green complex.

When you are coming down from the tees it is a good idea to look at the reverse of this hole coming up the slope towards the tee. Actually that is good advice on nearly every hole each day. This book will hopefully make some of your decisions easier, but nothing like seeing with your own eyes what lies ahead for your next round.

Hankins Hole #5

Par 5 • 550 • 490 • 420

This is the first of the many transition holes when you play from one eco-environment to the next. This hole leaves the former grassy meadow valley of Aspens and Willows and follows the wildlife path as it enters a smaller valley just on the edge of the forest. The meandering swales cutting across the fairway right to left were unchanged as the years of spring run-off had formed the perfect drainage paths for water.

Like the 3rd hole, the 5th narrows closer to the green, with the green just past the narrow pinch point of the valley opening. It is a slightly easier shot into the green coming from the left side because the right greenside bunker is one of the deeper ones on the course and you can see the green from the higher ground.

Hankins Hole #6

Par 4 • 465 • 425 • 365

The long uphill par 4 often plays into the wind. The good news is that the next day this is a par 5 (13 Craddock) that can play shorter than the 6th even though it is nearly 100 yards longer. It’s like riding your bike uphill; eventually you get to coast back down.

Why are there trees in the fairway? It is actually the other way around. Here we moved the fairway out into the trees to allow far more creative options if you hit into them and to keep your fairways-hit-in-regulation percentage high…for those that track that type of thing.

Hankins Hole #7

Par 3 • 200 • 175 • 125

This hole was laid out mentally on Dan Hixson's first walks of the site. If you followed the progress of Silvies Valley Ranch throughout the years, pictures of this hole were always included in annual updates. The downhill slope before the green give the shotmakers lots of options to play.

This tee complex is also used for the 13th hole on the Craddock course, played down the fairway on the left. This is the highest point of the course at 4,887 above sea level.

Hankins Hole #8

Par 4 • 410 • 385 • 320

The term “Risk-Reward” gets used a lot in describing golf course architecture. The 8th hole for some truly lives up to that term. The large drop-off tee shot plays from the forest area down into another portion of the lower meadow. It gives the golfer two distinct options to play the hole.

Hitting a long tee shot over the forest on the right can make it to the green for an eagle try. But if you don’t make it, good luck. Playing safe down the main fairway gives a straight second shot to the green with a bit of an obstructed view.

The large horseshoe bunker left of the green here catches anything pulled or hooked. This bunker will have a considerably different effect playing the 9th of the Craddock course, in either case; it is best to be avoided.

Hankins Hole #9

Par 4 • 500 • 405 • 360

The 9th hole plays straight down the meadow valley with the green sitting near a constructed wetland in the area that used to be the McVeigh Homestead. The original barn can be seen across the wetlands from this green.

The wetlands were created by using the old McVeigh wells, which were hand dug (think lowering a bucket down with a rope) nearly a century ago. This is the longest par 4 at Silvies from the back tees at 500 yards. Although it is hard to tell, this hole drops nearly 40 feet in elevation from the back to the green.

Hankins Hole #10

Par 4 • 445 • 385 • 330

This hole was nicknamed ‘Half Pipe’ during construction due to the obvious shape of the driving zone. The valley shaped fairway helps correct those errant tee shots. This hole plays uphill even after you crest the hill in the landing area. Therefore, approach shots are longer than they appear.

Hankins Hole #11

Par 4 • 305 • 285 • 270

The blind drivable par 4 11th hole is a transition from the north half of the course to the south. The tee shot is wide but the blind nature can lead to tentative swings. A tee shot of 200 yards from the back or 150 yards from the front will give you a nice view of the skyline green. If your approach is right of the green you will find yourself 20- or 30-feet below the green. Go left and you can catch a bunker or the desert sage that creeps closer to play as you get nearer the green.

The green itself is very deceiving as it sits on a high spot. But, that also makes it one of the best views to see some of the upcoming holes. Tip: don’t go long. Also, check this green out for the next day’s routing.

Hankins Hole #12

Par 4 • 445 • 405 • 325

The fairway is 180 yards wide at its peak. Swing away but watch out for the sentinel Ponderosa pines and the fairway bunker left, should your tee shot wander off the centerline.

The approach shot plays longer than it looks into this relatively flat green, but like many holes, stay below the pin on your approach.

Hankins Hole #13

Par 3 • 140 • 115 • 105

This short par 3 is the most highly guarded green on either course. The front right bunker is the type that makes some players hate golf course architects, but it’s only 115 yards from the middle. Distance control is far more important than the direction on 13.

Hankins Hole #14

Par 5 • 505 • 490 • 385

The back tee is the highest point of the southern portion of the course. Needless to say, the view is awesome. You can see over the course to the butte near the first hole and across the bigger Silvies Valley.

The fairway is 75 feet below and very wide, but on a breezy day, it can be agonizing waiting for a curving ball to land. It is best to drive close to the left fairway bunker in order to have a view of the green on the second shot. The fairway runs left to right on the tee shot and most balls will end up right to a blind second shot.

This is the shortest par 5 on the course but the combination of slope, visuals, bunkers and a very strategic green makes players think.

Hankins Hole #15

Par 3 • 175 • 145 • 90

The 15th is a par 3 that plays over a dry desert valley to a green that is surrounded by sage brush and bunkers. The main yardages vary from 175 to 145 to 90 yards, but the angles make each tee box progressively easier.

Hankins Hole #16

Par 4 • 490 • 450 • 405

This hole can be a bear into an afternoon wind. Like several other holes, the views you will see from the tee and from the fairway are considerably different due to the downhill drive and the uphill second shot.

The wide-open approach to the green and favorable side slopes can give the thinking golfer different ways to reach the cup. This green has a massive slope when played in this direction that can be used as a backboard for front pins, or to test your touch when the hole location is on the upper tier.

Hankins Hole #17

Par 4 • 330 • 305 • 270

If you have followed the progress of Silvies Valley Ranch through the development period, you have seen photos of this hole. Being out in the open sage, you can see for miles.

It is a bit of a relief hole after the tough 16th, if played wisely. The tee shot is one of the narrower ones, especially for long hitters trying to drive the green. Playing it safe by leaving a relatively short shot will win the hole.

Hankins Hole #18

Par 5 • 590 • 505 • 440

The Hixson Hole. Here is your chance to show off your driving length. This downhill, downwind par 5 allows everyone to “nail” their drive and win a drink for the group.

The valley affect keeps most balls in play. Generally, the longer hitters want to favor the left half of the fairway and, if your length is correct, you can use the speed bump to gain even more distance. Your view of the second half of the hole becomes hidden the farther right you are off the tee.

It is always safe to play second and third shots to the left to avoid the fore-bunker about 70 yards from the front of the green. Play over or around the right side of it to use the long feeder slope to the green.

This hole drops nearly 100 feet, and it is best to bounce most shots into this green as it runs away with the bigger slope.