Purgatory, the Gateway to Heaven
Contrary to popular belief, Purgatory is not hell. It is the gateway to heaven. Only saints go directly to heaven. The rest of us mortals joyfully pay for our earthly sins in Purgatory. Everyone in Purgatory is happy because if you’re in Purgatory you’re going to heaven.
In medieval poetry, Purgatory was referred to as “sweet misery.” Golfing often feels like that; acts of great difficulty while working towards something more blissful.
Purgatory is the perfect opportunity for golfers to test their limits. According to religious mythology, Purgatory is the place where souls pay for their earthly mistakes so they can gain entry to heaven. The name conjures images of struggling against great obstacles to achieve eternal happiness. Once you play golf at Purgatory, you will understand what obstacles you must overcome!
Individual Hole Names
Naming the holes on a golf course is an old world tradition. Many of the holes at Purgatory are named after people and places in Purgatory. Over time it’s likely that the names will change to reflect the history and events that occur at the club. For now, the names reflect the holes as they are in their original state.
The first hole is named Pride, after the first deadly sin. In medieval times, Pride was believed to be the basis of all other sins. The first hole is also the easiest hole on the course, so it can instill a false sense of pride.
The second hole is named Stains of the Inferno. In Dante’s literary classic, Cato, guardian of the realm of Purgatory, instructs Virgil to have Dante wash the stains of the inferno from his face before he enters purgatory. The bunkers along the side of the second hole bring to mind smudges of dirt on the face of the hole.
The third hole is named Impenetrable Fortress after the architecture of the green. The green is in the redan style, which is the military strategy of being above your enemy, and shooting down on them. This makes for an impenetrable fortress.
The fourth hole is named The Siren because while it is pretty, it is deceptively difficult.
The fifth hole is named The Centaur, after the mythical being that was half man, half horse. The hole has two very different feels from the tee, and when you get close to the green.
The sixth hole is named Eunoe, after the river in Purgatory that causes a soul to remember their good deeds.
The seventh hole is named River of Flames after the river of flames on the seventh terrace of Purgatory.
Hole number eight is named The Serpent, after it’s narrow and snake like approach to the green.
Hole nine is named St. Patrick after the Irish saint that drove the snakes from the land.
The tenth hole is named Paradise. It’s a lovely hole, with very few bunkers, and lined by trees on one side.
The eleventh hole is named Eden. It has one of our favorite trees, and a lovely rock wall that’s shaped a bit like a snake.
The twelfth hole is named the Valley of the Kings. It’s a par three over a valley that has silted in, and is now filled with water. It’s named after the valley of the kings in Purgatory, where rulers who neglected their religious duties atone for their sins.
The thirteenth hole is named Everlasting Torment since it is the longest hole on the course at over 700 yards from the back tees.
The fourteenth hole is named Sweet Misery. Sweet misery is a description used in medieval poetry to describe time spent in Purgatory. It is a long, difficult, but enjoyable hole.
The fifteen hole is named St. Michael the Archangel, after the warrior angel.
The sixteenth hole is named Blinding Cloud of Smoke. The hole is completely lined with bunkers. When you get to the green and look back towards the tees, the bunkers disappear, just like smoke.
The seventeenth hole is named Hell’s Half Acre. This is a par three that is completely surrounded by two acres of bunkers.
The eighteenth hole is named the Gryphon, after the mythical creature that is half lion and half eagle. This hole has a double fairway. The safer route can be reached pretty easily by the less skilled golfer. The more advanced golfer can take the additional risk and shoot for the more distant fairway.