Tempted by Nipper: The 7th at Moraine

An in-depth analysis of the 7th hole at Moraine Country Club


Located in Dayton, Ohio, Moraine is a Alex “Nipper” Campbell design that was recently masterfully restored by Keith Foster. Nearly every hole at Moraine Country Club is special, but for now, let’s focus on the wild 326 yard par-4 7th.

The 7th hole’s tee shot plays off of a massive ridge. The hole plays much shorter than the listed 326 yards.

The tee shot on the 7th at Moraine Country Club

The player has the option of a low-stress layup off the tee. Playing aggressively can yield eagle putts and tap-in birdies with a good drive. It also carries the risk of finding one of the deep greenside bunkers that flank either side of the green or worse, the surrounding fescue.

The approach after a layup on the 7th at Moraine Country Club

The green is long and narrow with a great deal of back to front slope. Keeping the ball below the hole is paramount and when the wind blows it’s a tough target to find.

Looking back up the 7th hole

The psychological impact of the 7th is spectacular. It tests a player’s appetite for risk and reasoning. A layup shot with a mid to long iron will yield a wedge from the fairway with regularity. A scratch or better player will have a birdie putt 80-90% of the time if they lay up. Despite those convincing odds, the allure of the eagle putt is persuasive and can entice players to go for it. The aggressive play will yield more easy birdies but also brings disaster into play.