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How Would You Play It? (1st Hole at Capital Hills)


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It is really difficult to appreciate this hole without being there in person. The elevation changes are dramatic, the lies that you have to deal with are les than ideal...It's a pretty intimidating shot, and a lot can go wrong pretty much on any of your three shots.
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So this is about a 450 yd par 5? I guess that little circle on the south side of the cart path is my tee? I'll hit my driver off the tee and it will land just about 20 ft on the tee side of the single

For what it's worth, I've been playing around with the 3D features at http://www.provisualizer.com/index.php (a good link mentioned earlier that I'd never heard of). Here are some screen shots

Great choice of holes RFK and as I've told you before this may be my favorite course in the Capitol Area(Glens Falls CC is pretty fun as well and very hilly like Capitol Hills)! I've only playe

I don't think the player should have all that difficult of a time to decide what to do on this hole; the drive dictates the next play. Assuming you're a right-handed player (which I'm not), the ideal tee shot is a slight draw into the slope of the fairway. Hit a good drive, and you should be able to carry the cross bunkers easily with a fairway wood or hybrid, leaving a pitch up to the green. If you're in the rough, keep short of the bunkers on the second and settle for a full approach.

I would need to see and "feel" it in person to really say how I would approach this hole. I tend to agree that driver/hybrid or long iron/wedge seems appropriate, but Colin did tell us the drop was 50 feet and the picture I posted below shoes it to be pretty downhill. Hybrid/hybrid/PW might be more conservative.

It is really difficult to appreciate this hole without being there in person. The elevation changes are dramatic, the lies that you have to deal with are les than ideal...It's a pretty intimidating shot, and a lot can go wrong pretty much on any of your three shots.

Which is why I included this down fairway picture link: http://www.caphills.com/course/1st.htm

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Which is why I included this down fairway picture link: http://www.caphills.com/course/1st.htm

Agreed.

If it was a straightforward hole, I probably wouldn't have posted it but I felt it was uniquely challenging.

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Agreed. If it was a straightforward hole, I probably wouldn't have posted it but I felt it was uniquely challenging.

Yup. You go from downhill lie to uphill lie as well.

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Driver off the tee because at 225, I'm not getting to the trees.

Second shot, Option A) If I'm in the fairway and it's an ok lie, 3w. Second shot, Option B) if I'm in the rough (or a  bad lie), I'll go with a 4h or 5i for my 2nd.

3rd shot, If my 2nd shot was option A and I keep it in the middle, that should leave me with a 60-70 approach and I might try to run it into the green with a pitching wedge. If shot 2 was option B, I think I'd be about 100-110 yards out and I'd hit a standard high gap wedge towards the front of the green.

From the satellite photo, this hole looks manageable - like I'd have a chance at par. But by the way it's been described, I bogey it at best. I'm awful at hitting from uneven lies even if they're from the fairway.

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From their website, http://www.caphills.com

Looks like there isn't a flat lie to be found.

Looks like if you get your second shot past those fairways bunkers, it ought to be wide open with no trouble. At least that's the way it looks from this picture. The rough doesn't look overly penal either (it looks like the type that tees your ball up for a nice, easy fairway wood), so I'd say tee it high and let it fly on this hole, since (unless you hit your driver in excess of 315 yards) you won't reach the tightest part of the fairway with a driver where the trees look very think on either side.

With a decent tee shot, I'd say it's a good play to have a go at this one in two, especially with the bunkers (that appear to be in great condition) positioned to catch any errant attempts at reaching it in two to avoid your second shot ending up in some gnarled grass or other poor lie. Missing a little bit left would be preferable to missing right, just because the green appears to have a decent tilt from right to left and that leaves you with an easier third even if you miss the green (but really just getting it there is the main thing to think about on the second).

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For what it's worth, I've been playing around with the 3D features at http://www.provisualizer.com/index.php (a good link mentioned earlier that I'd never heard of).

Here are some screen shots from pro-visualizer of this hole.


By zooming in behind the ball in the 3D mode (you need Google Earth add-in), you can see the terrain better. The second shot is a big time sidehill lie as you said (ball under your feet). The approach (if you lay up 100yd short as I had diagrammed it) looks like a big uphill shot with the green obscured.

I know this doesn't add much to this discussion, but I thought I'd point out how easy it use the ProVisualizer site. Lots of cool features. I may follow along with some of the majors this year by looking more closely at each hole:

Just click the "Pro Calendar" link at http://www.provisualizer.com/index.php

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For what it's worth, I've been playing around with the 3D features at http://www.provisualizer.com/index.php (a good link mentioned earlier that I'd never heard of).

Here are some screen shots from pro-visualizer of this hole.

By zooming in behind the ball in the 3D mode (you need Google Earth add-in), you can see the terrain better. The second shot is a big time sidehill lie as you said (ball under your feet). The approach (if you lay up 100yd short as I had diagrammed it) looks like a big uphill shot with the green obscured.

I know this doesn't add much to this discussion, but I thought I'd point out how easy it use the ProVisualizer site. Lots of cool features. I may follow along with some of the majors this year by looking more closely at each hole:

Just click the "Pro Calendar" link at http://www.provisualizer.com/index.php

Yes, the green is obscured (depending on how far out you are, obviously).

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Yes, the green is obscured (depending on how far out you are, obviously).

Looking more closely, I'd definitely want to be past those two bunkers that are just inside the 100-yard mark. It looks like the terrain gets much flatter there. That requires, what, about 430 yards in the first two shots?  On par 5's, I can usually get 430-450yds from the tee after two shots (barring some flub/mishit/whatever).  This hole looks like a tough challenge though, not much room to miss left/right on the tee, plus a second shot with an awkward side-hill lie.  And if you execute those well, you've got a partial-swing pitch to a well-protected green. Fun hole.

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I don't like the look of this hole. Doesn't look like I'd gain much by going driver from the tee; it puts the trees in play and I'm not too comfortable hitting anything over 200 yards to a green guarded by bunkers off an uneven lie, even if I hit a good drive.

So I'll go conservative off the tee, hit 3w, and look to put my second shot over the fairway bunkers in that clear landing spot @Pretzel mentioned above. Should be a partial wedge up to the green and hopefully a 2-putt par to start the day.

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No concern about hitting a wood with your second shot off what is likely am uneven lie?

When you have that large a margin for error (the fairway widens considerably past the fairway bunkers), there's no need to worry.

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Great choice of holes RFK and as I've told you before this may be my favorite course in the Capitol Area(Glens Falls CC is pretty fun as well and very hilly like Capitol Hills)!

I've only played the hole from the back tees which isn't much of a difference here but every yard helps getting to a flatter spot down the fairway. The key to this hole is hitting a solid tee shot down the left side of the fairway. This will give you a nice kick forward and back to the middle of the fairway and if hit far enough will put you in one of the flatter areas. Which is kind of funny to say since there doesn't seem to hardly be any flat areas in that fairway, lol!  From there your in solid position to go at it with long iron/hybrid/5-Wood.

When my son and I played out there last year we both hit decent drives but I blocked mine a touch and ended up just ahead of the big tree in the fairway with a horrible hanging lie. My son hit a beauty down the left side of the fairway and got the kick ending up 20 yards ahead of me on a much better lie. Although I had a great angle to the green, and boy did I debate going for it in my mind, I laid up with a 6 iron past the fairway bunkers, pitched on and two putted for an easy par.

Watching the Symetra Tour ladies last year play that hole they pretty much played it as a layup hole. Some of the girls didn't have the fire power to get there but some of them that did were usually slightly out of position and chose to lay up. It's kind of unfair for someone just looking at a picture of this hole because it's easy to think it's wide open with no real trouble. When you see all the slopes and angles in real life it's a completely different story!

But that's the beauty of this hole. I'm sure most people stand on that tee thinking I got this easy in two. The tee shot looks so wide open you think you have tons of room. The problem is you do have a ton of room in general but to hit the correct drive and set yourself up for a legitimate shot at the green in two you have about a 10-15 yard patch of fairway on the left side you have to hit to get into the correct position.

The one absolute key to this hole is you have to be past the fairway bunkers in two to set up a legitimate birdie attempt. If you lay up short of those bunkers you have a blind uphill approach with likely a hanging lie depending on what side your on. Get past those two bunkers and in the fairway and your basically playing a 75 yard par-3!

RFK you should do #5 at Capitol Hills as well! From the back tees it's a drivable 285 yard par4 and I've always went for it with Driver every time. The funny thing is I've hit it into that left green side bunker every single time I've played that hole. I guess when you hit it in the exact same spot every time you get good at it because I've birdied that hole about 50% of the time from that bunker.

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Looking more closely, I'd definitely want to be past those two bunkers that are just inside the 100-yard mark. It looks like the terrain gets much flatter there. That requires, what, about 430 yards in the first two shots?  On par 5's, I can usually get 430-450yds from the tee after two shots (barring some flub/mishit/whatever).  This hole looks like a tough challenge though, not much room to miss left/right on the tee, plus a second shot with an awkward side-hill lie.  And if you execute those well, you've got a partial-swing pitch to a well-protected green. Fun hole.

Yes that's the target for the 2nd if you're in the clear. I think it's an important note that this landing area past the cross bunkers is tilted a bit R to L. I once hit a hybrid 2nd from the flat area of the fairway and it rolled up to the front of the green because with the elevation from the fairway it came down nearer the top of its trajectory. If you're in the flat, ~ 30-40 short and a bit right with wood or hybrid  might be the best play. If the ball is rolling, the front right bunker is sloped to deflect balls away from it and toward the green.

I don't like the look of this hole. Doesn't look like I'd gain much by going driver from the tee; it puts the trees in play and I'm not too comfortable hitting anything over 200 yards to a green guarded by bunkers off an uneven lie, even if I hit a good drive.

So I'll go conservative off the tee, hit 3w, and look to put my second shot over the fairway bunkers in that clear landing spot @Pretzel mentioned above. Should be a partial wedge up to the green and hopefully a 2-putt par to start the day.

I think that's part of the risk-reward of the hole. Wide open fairway looks easy, but I personally have a devil of a time hitting a smooth 3-wood from that fairly severe slope with the ball below my feet. If you carry about 230 and hit a drive with a low trajectory from the front whites (middle tier) it will likely catch the down slope and carry to the flatter area at the start of the neck-down. Even if it goes a bit right you will likely catch enough slope to end in a flat area down to the right, but does leave you partially blocked on the right.

When you have that large a margin for error (the fairway widens considerably past the fairway bunkers), there's no need to worry.

See above.

Great choice of holes RFK and as I've told you before this may be my favorite course in the Capitol Area(Glens Falls CC is pretty fun as well and very hilly like Capitol Hills)!

I've only played the hole from the back tees which isn't much of a difference here but every yard helps getting to a flatter spot down the fairway. The key to this hole is hitting a solid tee shot down the left side of the fairway. This will give you a nice kick forward and back to the middle of the fairway and if hit far enough will put you in one of the flatter areas. Which is kind of funny to say since there doesn't seem to hardly be any flat areas in that fairway, lol!  From there your in solid position to go at it with long iron/hybrid/5-Wood.

But that's the beauty of this hole. I'm sure most people stand on that tee thinking I got this easy in two. The tee shot looks so wide open you think you have tons of room. The problem is you do have a ton of room in general but to hit the correct drive and set yourself up for a legitimate shot at the green in two you have about a 10-15 yard patch of fairway on the left side you have to hit to get into the correct position.

The one absolute key to this hole is you have to be past the fairway bunkers in two to set up a legitimate birdie attempt. If you lay up short of those bunkers you have a blind uphill approach with likely a hanging lie depending on what side your on. Get past those two bunkers and in the fairway and your basically playing a 75 yard par-3!

That;s been the target of almost all the Symetra Tour players I've seen play the hole. With a strong following wind (or if they really bombed it) the target seemed to shift more toward center to avoid the tree on the left. I've been on that uphill slope and knocked it to tap-in range from ~120, but on my 5th stroke after finding the trees on the right so it was a 'good' bogey save.

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Played it yesterday, hit three wood off the tee to the left fairway, hit a little punch three iron to just in front of the left fairway bunker, had 77 yards to a front pin. Came up a few feet short of the green, putted on to 2 feet and made the par.

Hardest shots are the tee shot and the second. The second shot is almost always a severely sloping uneven lie. You have to focus on dead solid contact. Full swing mechanics are difficult. I prefer a strong punch shot.

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