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How Would You Play It (16 at Saddleback Golf Course in Firestone)

post #1 of 122
Thread Starter 

This hole is the perfect example, at least to me, of a good risk/reward hole. It gives you the option of hitting over the lake and onto the green directly (or into the surrounding bunkers), or you can shoot for the closer, but narrower, fairway. The green is very reachable for many people on a given day (this is at 5,000 ft elevation), and also quite wide and receptive. However, should you miss the green and bunkers, there is a steep slope all around the green that will feed balls into the water surrounding it.

 

 

A few important notes:

- This is a par 4

- That shaded area on the right is a red staked hazard, designed to force people who don't feel they are very accurate into a longer layup tee shot in order to avoid the tightest part of the fairway with hazards left and right.

- Both the green and the bunker in the front are approximately the same width. Anything that hits the edge above the bunker usually does have enough momentum to get up and over onto the green in good shape

- The green has a slight slope from back to front, but not enough to stop a low-flying tee shot. With a tailwind it becomes near impossible to land and stop the ball on the green since they are often quite firm.

- There is a slope to the left of the fairway that feeds balls into the lake if they are more than a yard to the left of the fairway.

- The rough at this course is practically nonexistant. It's too sparse to greatly affect spin and distance on most shots.

 

 

I'll share the two most successful strategies (from what I've observed) after I hear from a few different people on how they'd play this hole, because I'm interested in seeing what people think. If you want to look it up on Google Earth and take more measurements yourself, it's hole number 16 at Saddleback Golf Course in Firestone (I rotated it 90*, on Google Earth it has the green on the right and tees on the left by default).

post #2 of 122

Hmm, interesting hole. 

 

For me there are a couple of choices. 

 

First, 210 to 250 yards down the fairway takes away the hazard on the right and opens up the hole. 

 

Second, to challenge the green I would take something that goes about 235 yards. Probably my hybrid, it goes higher and lands softer. I would try for the back of the green to those three back bunkers. This way I take short out.

 

Still the risk on that is too high. I would take hybrid down the right side of the hazard on the right and draw it in to the fairway. If I leave it out right a bit I would clear the hazard by a good 20 yards. 

post #3 of 122
I'm hitting a 5 wood on the green. If I miss...Oh well, won't be the first time.
post #4 of 122

At 5K elevation? I'd assume that would add about 5-10 yards?

 

Unless I was horrendous with my long irons, I'd hit a high 3 or 4 iron and try to get somewhere around the green. Up and down for birdie, or a possible longish eagle putt, and if I get wet I might be able to manage a drop that could get me a par.

 

I would consider hitting to the patch of rough at the end of the fairway, or maybe laying up to the spot you measured the fairway width; I don't see how being farther up than that would help much. From the back tees this would be a pretty demanding hole.

 

Or, put on a dress and hit wedge from the ladies' tee.

post #5 of 122

Ha, now this hole looks awesome.  I'm not sure what I would do actually, probably hit a 5 wood and hope it clears the bunker and somehow stays on the green.

post #6 of 122
At 5000 feet I could probably reach that green with a 5, maybe even a 6 iron. But I am nowhere near good enough to pull off a shot like that with no bailout option, so way more often than not I'm gonna be in the lake. I'll take a 5 iron up the right side of the fairway and have a nice angle in from the side of the green for my second.
post #7 of 122
Unless it's dead into a big wind, I'm playing at the green. I'm not all that long, but at that elevation, it's just a hybrid.
post #8 of 122

17* hybrid should do it with no wind, the reward of hitting the green is a great chance at eagle, and if you do hit hazard you still can walk away with par or more likely bogey, player "B" is at least 3 strokes better and he will hit the green a lot more often.

post #9 of 122
I'm not sure what 5k ft of elevation does for distance, so I'll just guess it'd be one club less than normal for me (I'm in Indiana). So, it'd be a well struck 5 wd to carry the 220 yds needed. That's too risky for me if I care what my score is (I no longer carry a 5 wd either).

So, I think I'd take a 4 iron and aim at the cart path past the hazard. Since there's little rough, I could care less if I hit the fairway or not. That would leave me with a sw or lw into the green, which would be 35 yds deep from that angle.
post #10 of 122

looks like a lovely hole but it looks pretty hard for the high handicapper :D

 

I''m laying up with 3 wood to right corner of fairway unless my card is dead then its getting 3w/driver to green.

 

On google earth there is a island green 27 yards left of this green wonder if anyone has hooked one and landed safe on that island before, looks a long walk :D 

post #11 of 122

Toss a Pro-V1 into the lake to appease the golf gods and go for the green.

post #12 of 122

Can I post my own local course map? I'd like to hear your opinions on course strategy and clubs, because I'm high handicapper and this is my local course.

 

There's couple difficult holes here, where I sometimes go into the water hazard and triple bogey.

post #13 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by late347 View Post
 

Can I post my own local course map? I'd like to hear your opinions on course strategy and clubs, because I'm high handicapper and this is my local course.

 

There's couple difficult holes here, where I sometimes go into the water hazard and triple bogey.


You could start your own thread with your holes but it is a good question. I'm thinking maybe there needs to be a single thread for this where anybody could feel free to post a hole or a picture for comparison. (?)

 

We have a hole that's very similar to this one and would have some legitimate comparisons to look at. The only reason I didn't post a picture on this thread was that I didn't want it to seem like I was trying to hijack somebody else's thread.

post #14 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post


You could start your own thread with your holes but it is a good question. I'm thinking maybe there needs to be a single thread for this where anybody could feel free to post a hole or a picture for comparison. (?)

We have a hole that's very similar to this one and would have some legitimate comparisons to look at. The only reason I didn't post a picture on this thread was that I didn't want it to seem like I was trying to hijack somebody else's thread.
Go for it, both of you. I'd be very interested in seeing those holes, and I suppose this thread could be similar to what you described since the title is non-specific. I might be able to edit the original post to make it clear that this thread could be used that way.

As to the hole I posted, the two most successful strategies I've seen are hitting it past the hazard on the right, where the fairway widens up, or going for the green while attempting to at least hit a bunker. The back left bunker though is tougher than it looks, since a good portion of that bunker slopes towards to the green, while the green slopes from back to front. My personal strategy is to always take enough club to get to the front of the green, the go for it. If I hit it well it lands on the front and stays on the green, if I mis-hit it slightly I'm left with an easy bunker shot to a green that slopes towards me.
post #15 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

At 5000 feet I could probably reach that green with a 5, maybe even a 6 iron. But I am nowhere near good enough to pull off a shot like that with no bailout option, so way more often than not I'm gonna be in the lake. I'll take a 5 iron up the right side of the fairway and have a nice angle in from the side of the green for my second.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Unless it's dead into a big wind, I'm playing at the green. I'm not all that long, but at that elevation, it's just a hybrid.

Hey @Pretzel one big question:  Dose this hole have a drop area?  And if so, where is it?

 

If it does, and its somewhere that provides an easy wedge or pitch onto the green, then I might be inclined to change my vote and agree with the "go for it" crowd (especially on a day I'm striking it well) if a miss means I still have an opportunity at par and almost a "certain" bogey.

 

OTOH, if it's a lateral hazard with no drop area, then to all of the people that are going for it:  You are Cuh-Razeeeee!!! :beer:

 

Consider that you'd be in no better position if you missed because you'd almost certainly have to re-tee.  (I guess if you hit a big push-hook you could drop one tee box forward ;))

 

And, more importantly, and for some perspective, consider this:

 

The target is 35 yards wide, and it appears to be about 35 yards long as well (including the bunkers).  Number 17 at TPC Sawgrass has a target that is 30 yards wide by 30 yards long.  So you guys are confident that you can hit a target from 215-220 yards that is only 15 feet bigger in each direction than a target that the pros struggle with occasionally from 130 yards??

 

Just something to think about ...

post #16 of 122
If you get around 10% for the elevation, I will hit my 20* hybrid at the green, assuming no headwind. A good solid shot will make the green; a little short will be in the bunker, and if I miss, a chance for an up and down par. If there is a headwind, I will consider a 4 wood at the green, but likely will hit a 3 or 4 hybrid up the right side.
post #17 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

 

 

Hey @Pretzel one big question:  Dose this hole have a drop area?  And if so, where is it?

 

If it does, and its somewhere that provides an easy wedge or pitch onto the green, then I might be inclined to change my vote and agree with the "go for it" crowd (especially on a day I'm striking it well) if a miss means I still have an opportunity at par and almost a "certain" bogey.

 

OTOH, if it's a lateral hazard with no drop area, then to all of the people that are going for it:  You are Cuh-Razeeeee!!! :beer:

 

Consider that you'd be in no better position if you missed because you'd almost certainly have to re-tee.  (I guess if you hit a big push-hook you could drop one tee box forward ;))

 

And, more importantly, and for some perspective, consider this:

 

The target is 35 yards wide, and it appears to be about 35 yards long as well (including the bunkers).  Number 17 at TPC Sawgrass has a target that is 30 yards wide by 30 yards long.  So you guys are confident that you can hit a target from 215-220 yards that is only 15 feet bigger in each direction than a target that the pros struggle with occasionally from 130 yards??

 

Just something to think about ...

 

I've played 17 at Sawgrass several times.   It's a HUGE target, but regardless, the overall target here is much bigger than that with the bunkers front to back.  Maybe I'd feel differently seeing it in person, but yeah, this is just a relatively long, tough par 3.  Not even horribly long at that elevation.  Dumping it in the front bunker shouldn't be too tough.  Even dunking the first shot, you'd be hard pressed to make worse than double and might still save par.

 

Match play vs stroke play might make a difference too depending on the specific circumstances.

 

 

Edited to add, that your miss is at least green high and right.  Even dunked right, assuming you at least carried over the green, your drop is on the right side in the fairway with a little pitch into the green.  Possible 4, pretty easy 5.  Risk reward......


Edited by David in FL - 5/19/14 at 11:20am
post #18 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

 

 

Hey @Pretzel one big question:  Dose this hole have a drop area?  And if so, where is it?

 

If it does, and its somewhere that provides an easy wedge or pitch onto the green, then I might be inclined to change my vote and agree with the "go for it" crowd (especially on a day I'm striking it well) if a miss means I still have an opportunity at par and almost a "certain" bogey.

 

OTOH, if it's a lateral hazard with no drop area, then to all of the people that are going for it:  You are Cuh-Razeeeee!!! :beer:

 

Consider that you'd be in no better position if you missed because you'd almost certainly have to re-tee.  (I guess if you hit a big push-hook you could drop one tee box forward ;))

 

And, more importantly, and for some perspective, consider this:

 

The target is 35 yards wide, and it appears to be about 35 yards long as well (including the bunkers).  Number 17 at TPC Sawgrass has a target that is 30 yards wide by 30 yards long.  So you guys are confident that you can hit a target from 215-220 yards that is only 15 feet bigger in each direction than a target that the pros struggle with occasionally from 130 yards??

 

Just something to think about ...


I think the wind at TPC Sawgrass has a lot to do with the misses by the pros. I think this is an interesting but basically unfair hole to those with higher handicaps. The main issue is the lack of a viable layup area. In reality it's a risk/risk hole. A 17 yard wide fairway and shaved rough that slopes to the water is tough for many. I'd probably take my 3 hybrid and go for the green but a viable alternative is a 7-iron layup and a wedge but there's still little room for error on that wedge approach.

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