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JP1111

How about this hole?

26 posts in this topic

After seeing the post about how to play the short par 4 I thought I would get peoples input on another hole. This is the 9th at my home course. It is the toughest hole on the course and probably the toughest I have played anywhere. Everyone seems to have a different philosophy so I thought I would see what you guys think. It's a par 4, just over 400 yards from the whites. It's surrounded by OB (the picture doesn't show it but there's a road if you go long off the tee). The gap between the two OB lines as you tee off is about 40 yards, with the fairway being about 25 yards. This really widens past the corner. The fairway bunkers aren't too punishing but if you hit one you are having to play from the bunker over water, so you better not chunk it. To take on the corner you have to carry it at least 260 to keep it right of the water. The green also slopes away and is well protected by two fairly deep bunkers in front. If you go too long (anything more than 5 yards) you end up with a chip from a down hill lie from the rough. I will also point out its a links course so the wind is usually blowing and the rough is punishing.
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That does seem like a pretty tough hole. I'm going 3W off the tee to the corner, trying to incorporate a slight fade that cuts around the bunkers, though straight wouldn't be bad. Then I'm looking at probably a 6 iron into the green, or 5 iron if my tee shot is down the left side.

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That does seem like a pretty tough hole. I'm going 3W off the tee to the corner, trying to incorporate a slight fade that cuts around the bunkers, though straight wouldn't be bad. Then I'm looking at probably a 6 iron into the green, or 5 iron if my tee shot is down the left side.

yup - i can't carry 260.  So there isn't really a risk/reward tradeoff for me to consider.

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Since I can't really tell how far to carry the entire lake into the wide part of the fairway, and I don't know the conditions of the grass to the right (where the arrow is pointing) or if the trees are a problem, I suppose I would hit a 5 wood into the fairway left of the fairway bunkers.

If it's possible to carry the lake that looks like a no brainer and is what I would do. If the grass is relatively playable to the right of the lake, and the trees aren't too tall I might play it right down the red arrow line with a 3 wood.

I don't mind gambles to avoid 200 yard second shots into par 4s unless it's so low percentage that it's crazy.

I know a hole about like that and have always laid up short of the lake. I always intend to try to carry it but I'm not sure if I can or not. Haven't played it in quite a while but maybe next time I'll find out. I'm a little more consistent than I was the last time I played there. Laying up makes the chance of a birdie pretty small.

(But trying to carry something I can't carry is stupid...So....?)

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Depends on how penal the left side rough is. In CO I can carry the bunkers with a 4w and my stock shot shape is right to left but it probably takes me through the fairway. If the rough is deep it would be 4i and probably a 5i but honestly with tougher par 4's I tend to get conservative and play for bogey. I can afford a few accounted for bogeys along with those I don't expect and still score in what is an acceptable range for me. Nothing about that hole says go for it to me, the water would be the key.

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Is that 409 as the crow flies?  Or is the graphic just not to scale?  It appears that if you follow the fairway to the 236 mark, you have at least another 236 to go.

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Carrying the lake is a monster hit. Like I said in the first post you would have to play to the right of it. The trees in the picture are young trees, only a few feet tall, but the rough is pretty thick in the OB area so if you can't carry it 260 it depends on the golfing gods whether you get a good bounce and get it past the stakes or not. I only try it very occasionally and have only made it twice (both with a strong back wind). The guy who said it depends how penal the left rough is. It's not real deep but it's pretty coarse so you need a bit of luck but you can get good lies. However the green slopes front to back so you won't hold the green from there (that marker in the fairway would be about 170 to the green). When I play it. If it's calm or a back wind I tend to take a 3W over the left bunker and that leaves about 150 in and you can go at the green. If the wind is in to you I would favour a mid iron in front of the bunkers and then a hybrid or 5 wood to the left of the green where it's quite flat and try to get up and down. The hardest thing really is the fact it looks so intimidating on the tee. It's ok if you are playing well but if you have made some bad swings or have some demons from previous rounds the fairway looks tiny.
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Is that 409 as the crow flies?  Or is the graphic just not to scale?  It appears that if you follow the fairway to the 236 mark, you have at least another 236 to go.

The graphic isn't great. The tee is further back than that in reality. I think the yardage is worked out from tee to that marker, then to the green. It's about 170 from the marker.

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3 hybrid off the tee straight down the middle, taking everything (except for maybe the far bunker on the right; that would have to be a pretty bad push) out of play, then I'll have about a 7 or hard 8 into the green. I don't see any value in trying to cut the corner here, as so many things can go wrong.
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My natural ball flight with a driver is a little cut, and I'm not all that long, so it sets up ok for me.  I'm going to hit driver down the left side and let it naturally work it's way back.  Should have a mid-iron in from there.

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After seeing the post about how to play the short par 4 I thought I would get peoples input on another hole.

This is the 9th at my home course. It is the toughest hole on the course and probably the toughest I have played anywhere. Everyone seems to have a different philosophy so I thought I would see what you guys think.

It's a par 4, just over 400 yards from the whites. It's surrounded by OB (the picture doesn't show it but there's a road if you go long off the tee). The gap between the two OB lines as you tee off is about 40 yards, with the fairway being about 25 yards. This really widens past the corner. The fairway bunkers aren't too punishing but if you hit one you are having to play from the bunker over water, so you better not chunk it. To take on the corner you have to carry it at least 260 to keep it right of the water. The green also slopes away and is well protected by two fairly deep bunkers in front. If you go too long (anything more than 5 yards) you end up with a chip from a down hill lie from the rough.

I will also point out its a links course so the wind is usually blowing and the rough is punishing.

JP, can I get some more info on this one?  What are those white arcs?  I'm trying to guess here that based on the math (409-236=173) and the spacing that perhaps they are 200, 150, 125, 100, and 50 yards out from the green?  Also, the wind ... is there a specific direction that it is usually blowing, or is it totally random?

For now, I'm just going to pretend like there is no wind.  First off, I see no reason to be so bold as to try and chew off such a chunk of the dogleg, and also no reason to risk OB beyond the fairway, so driver is out.  And I still have a bit of a two-way miss with my 3-wood as well, and since there is OB on both sides, I'll likely leave that in the bag as well.  Of course, being that it's the 9th hole, I'll know my confidence level of the day, so if I'm hitting it well, I think the right play is a 3-wood over the left side of the right bunker.  A solid shot will put me near that second white line, presumably 150 or 160 out.  If I'm less confident with my woods that day, then I'll just take a hybrid or 4-iron right at the aiming stick, and be left with 180-200 in.  That takes birdie virtually out of the equation, but it also takes 6 or 7 out of the equation as well.

For me, a bogey on a hole with OB on all sides AND a water hazard is not a bad result by any means. :)

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I thought those were trees on the right at first... If that's just tall grass then I tee the driver up high and on the right side of the tee box, aim a high cut over the water, and smash the hell out of it. I know I can carry 260 with no trouble unless there's a big wind. This would leave me with a 70 yard wedge which I'd aim way to the right and hit near the run up area, hopefully ending up 15-20 feet away for birdie.

If the wind wasn't helpful and I needed to go a safer way, I could hit a 3 iron or 2h draw over or fade around those bunkers, then hit a high mid iron into the green, preferring to stay on the front side or even in the rough. I think I'd be in a poor spot on the green from this approach so I'd prefer driver at this point.

The thing with this hole is, unless I was nursing a lead or something in a tourney, I'd never consider laying up or anything. The trouble is so bad everywhere, but if I can hit a solid drive, the only hazard is some rough that I can hit a lob wedge out of anyway. I'd try to carry it 280+ yards, something I can do on a good drive, while having some room for slight error. I could hit through the fairway into the left rough if I went over the water, and still be perfectly fine too. If I hit into the water, I don't consider my drop to be too bad. In fact that drop would be better than the safe tee shot, though it requires a penalty. The OB is something I can't really do anything about; it's a birdie hole if I can make the drive, and a really hard hole whether I miss or lay up. I'd have to think I'd be able to get the tee shot safe about 60% of the time if I'm playing well and probably still muck it up on the green.

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I am taking aim at the 150 with a nice easy driver swing.  No problem getting 245-250 out there.  Now, with the remaining 160 yds to the green.. that's a different question.  the 6/7i could be a nice high draw that starts on the safe side and rolls into the green.  Or it could be a fat shank that sets me up for an easy PW into the green.  I'd give myself about a 30% chance of parring it.

On another note I would give @Slice of Life a 100% chance of fading over the water and having a SW into the green.

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I would be interested to see how the pros would play this hole. Most could probably hit a fade with their driver and clear the pond, I would imagine.
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This is a pretty easy decision for me, depending on the wind, I hit the driveway or the 4W out to the elbow.

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We played a pro am this year with a local pro called Mike Helyard. He's only 20 and only got his euro pro tour card last year, but he was a crazy long hitter. I think he said his swing speed was 125 and he only knew of a handful of pros that were quicker, and watching him swing I can fully believe it. Anyway he took aim at the green with a slight helping wind. Hit the right green side bunker and got up and down for 3. Different game.
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If the wind isn't into me I shoot it right over the trees with my natural draw but 260 would be  tough carry with any wind hurting. If the wind isn't helping I am hitting a 230 club just left of the bunkers.

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