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dsc123

How would you play this par 5?

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Here's #16 at my old home course:

Its not that colorful in real life; I had to draw because the trees block the outlines of the fairways and such.  Here's the picture from the scorecard:

Markings :  So the red box is about where the tee boxes are.  The fairways are the yellowish green.  The white dot is the 250 marker.  The red lines are fences .  The blue is water.  The green is the green.  There is a bunker in the front left of the green, towards the front, that you can't see and I forgot to mark.

Here's the best description I can give :

Right off the tee there's a huge drop down.  The first fairway is a little higher than the tee boxes, maybe 10-15 feet higher, but there's a gully in between them.

Left and right of the first fairway are small strips of rough that slope towards the fairway, but have thick trees on both sides and OB isn't very far into the trees on the left.  You really want to be in the fairway, or just off, otherwise you're losing a stroke to punch back into the fairway without advancing.  You have maybe 10 yards of fairway after 250 marker, sloping gently downward (note: the scorecard says 230 to the edge of the first landing area, but 479-230=249 and the 250 marker is not at the edge.  I think its more like 240 to the edge of the landing area).  Then you hit a patch of rough and there's a 3 foot fence maybe 10 yards after the rough starts.

Between the fences is a steep overgrown down slope, followed by a small landing area, water, and the second landing area toward the right.  If you're in the trees on either side of any of this, you're not likely to find the ball.  Steep hills, rocky, wooded, etc.  Between that second landing area and the fairway short of the green is a huge slope of rough.  I'd say more than 45* and 2+ clubs.  Unless the pin is in the front right, you can't see it.  If its in the middle or back, you can't even go straight at it because the trees on the right of the green are in the way.

Speaking of those trees to the right of the green, there are a lot of them and they are on a big hill.  So if you miss the green right at all, you're going all the way down, then trying to punch uphill, under the trees but over the slope.  If you clear the slope and keep it under the trees, you're probably going over the green.  You pretty much have to bump and run off the peak of the hill, while keeping it under the tree line.  In other words, its jail.

The fairway right before the green is nice.  Its probably about even with the first fairway.

The green is 43 yards deep, 19 yards wide.

Common approach :

The most common approach is to hit something like a hybrid or 3 wood to the 250, then a 7 iron or whatever down to the right part of that second landing area.  Then you need a 9 iron or so to get up to the front of the green.

I have grown to hate that approach.  It requires a straight tee shot and anything else will cost you a stroke at least.  But the next shot isn't any better.  The "layup" has trees right and a huge hill left.  If you're short you're in the water but if you're long you're either in the trees or on the fairway but without a look at anything but the front edge.  Oh, and you're looking at a 2+ club hill.   I feel like it takes 3 good shots, plus either a long up and down to make par or a 60 foot 2 putt to make par.  Even a bogey usually takes 3 good shots.    And this is the safe route.

I've taken to hitting 3w/3w and hoping to hit that fairway in front of the green.  If I hit it really well (or if the tees are a little up), I can almost reach the fence, giving me a downhill lie in the rough with a fence to get over.  If I do that, or if I don't get all of my tee shot, then I take the route described above.  But if I hit my spot, I take out my 3 wood and give it a go.  I've only reached the green once, more often hitting that fairway in front of it.  Its very risky because right is jail and left is probably a lost ball.  Short is playable, but a huge hill.  But I think this is the only way that I have a decent shot at par.  Then again, I got a 12 the last time I played this hole.

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Try to hit a driver or 3W to the 250 marker. Since the graphic shows 150 just short of the water, it looks like 150 should make the landing area. Since the total yardage is 479, it looks like a wedge in to he green. 250 + 150+ 79 to get on. At 479, I'd play the back tee to get a little more bite in the hole.

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A course I used to play on the regular has a hole that is similar:  (10, pictured below 500 yd par 5).  Have to carry water off the tee, but 2 area of water is roughly 240 to reach off the tee, 310 to carry.  I normally would hit 4i, 4i, 9i/Wedge to do the job.

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I like your try at going for it in two - it's a short hole and if you have enough 'aim' with your three wood, that bunker or the bit of fairway is decent.  NOT a fan of fences though.  Weird.

Here's one with a similar feel local to my area.  (I think there would be a lot of examples of this type of hole - i.e., the par 5 with the pain in the center layout)

511 yards - 270 drive takes you just past the sand trap, with still a medium solid 3w to the green.  Green is very tight with stone walls along the path right and OOB/Fence left - you either hit the green or just short, or you lose your ball.

The layup version is a decision of do you layup short of the neck or go past the neck.......it's VERY tight and a bit of a ravine right there and left and right.

I've lost a couple balls here, I've also been putting for eagle.

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I've played a course where the entrance driveway crossed a par 5. I bet more than one car has been nailed. :-)

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That doesn't even look fun.  And it looks much easier on the card than on the satellite image.

When I first started playing there, I liked it because it made you think about how to play it. Eventually I realized that there is no good way to play it and started to hate it. [quote name="vangator" url="/t/79962/how-would-you-play-this-par-5#post_1104193"]What's up with a fence crossing the fairway?[/quote] It's like a split rail fence to keep carts off the hill side. it's very steep, almost hard to walk down. You get free relief if it interfere with your swing (local rule), but it can still get in your way, or at least your head, if you're close but not that close.

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This looks like a hybrid-iron-iron/wedge hole for me. There's no real viable alternative, based on the hole design. I really dislike these types of holes because they're difficult for no good reason and boring because the options are limited.

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This looks like a hybrid-iron-iron/wedge hole for me. There's no real viable alternative, based on the hole design. I really dislike these types of holes because they're difficult for no good reason and boring because the options are limited.

That's what most people do. the problem is that the landing area after the water is very short on the left, and if you go longer on the right you can't get to the flag. Pick your poison, I guess.

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That's what most people do. the problem is that the landing area after the water is very short on the left, and if you go longer on the right you can't get to the flag. Pick your poison, I guess.

Yea, but I wouldn't go 3w-3w because I have a tendency to miss to the right with the 3w and that's dead on the approach.

It looks like even if you go long on the right, you have an angle at the front of the green. Worst come to worst, get it just on the fairway and have an opportunity to get up and down for par.

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Yea, but I wouldn't go 3w-3w because I have a tendency to miss to the right with the 3w and that's dead on the approach.

Exactly. It's a terrible hole.

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Exactly. It's a terrible hole.

But at 479 yards, it should be an easy par if you can hit anywhere near where you're aiming. The object for me would be to hit it far enough off the tee so I can hit the shortest iron possible into the landing area. From there wedge it in. I kind of like these holes as a change of pace.

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But at 479 yards, it should be an easy par if you can hit anywhere near where you're aiming. The object for me would be to hit it far enough off the tee so I can hit the shortest iron possible into the landing area. From there wedge it in. I kind of like these holes as a change of pace.

Agree. It's a short hole, but not an easy one. Requires some pretty precise shots even playing it as a 3-shot hole. Because of the layout, even though the total yardage is short, in order to reach the green in 2 you're going to have a 250ish second shot....about the same as most normal length par-5's. I like it....

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I would go with a driver, and follow up with a 5i or 7i to cross the water hazard and land on right half of fairway.

I would worry that a layup short of the creek would be too short - in the junk - or trickle into the water. It's one of those sucker layouts where the layup may be riskier than firing away.

If I reach the second landing area across the water, from what you said, I should be able to see the flagstick (?). If I'm 80 yards out, I would probably do one of these:

  1. Take a 7 iron and hit a running punch shot that lands in front of green and rolls on. Or, if pin is back, drop it just onto the green.
  2. If there's no wind, I might try a 3/4 GW or PW. This assumes my wedges have been decent that day. If not, see No. 1.

In St. Louis area, several courses have that short par 5 that can kill you if you're too aggressive. There's a couple of them where 5i - 5i - 8i is the sane way to go. And, a couple of them are on older layouts, and the lumberjacks should come through and reclaim the landing area for the tee shots.

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But at 479 yards, it should be an easy par if you can hit anywhere near where you're aiming. The object for me would be to hit it far enough off the tee so I can hit the shortest iron possible into the landing area. From there wedge it in. I kind of like these holes as a change of pace.

The primary reason that its not an easy par is that shot #3 is not easy.  Assuming your not on the hillside, in the water, or in the trees, you're looking straight up hill.  I wish I could estimate the elevation change better, but its a 2 club difference.  You're probably not wedging it up there.  I usually use a 9 iron.  You can't see the pin.  And if you're in the middle of that right part of the landing area--which is the safest part to hit to ---then your line to the pin is very tight to the trees on the right.  If you're towards the back of it, you  don't have a line.  Plus, its a long and narrow green, which you're coming at from the side.  So even if you nail your line, you've got to get the distance right to land on the green.

The green is pretty flat though.  So I guess there's that.

Not saying its impossible to par.  Just as David in FL says, the "safe" route takes 3 precise shots to get on.  Any small mistake almost certainly means bogey or worse.

Agree. It's a short hole, but not an easy one. Requires some pretty precise shots even playing it as a 3-shot hole. Because of the layout, even though the total yardage is short, in order to reach the green in 2 you're going to have a 250ish second shot....about the same as most normal length par-5's.

I like it....

Well if you're ever in the DC area let me know--I'd love to watch you guys take a couple cracks at it! :-P

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