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Valleygolfer

Your Toughest Hole; Your Nemesis Hole

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This year I decided to play from the tips at my golf course and the one hole it really affects is the par 4 number 6 hole. Playing the blacks adds about 65 yards from the whites, and sets you back in a little tunnel of trees. The tee box is small and the out of bounds is 6 feet off the left side of the tee. I have had more balls OB on this hole than any hole this year. Even if I make decent contact, the ball might go 230 yards at most. It is the strangest scenario. It doesn't look that bad but, dammit it is in my head now. I can't get over the dread of this hole, even though I birdied it the time before the last round. I hit it left into the trees the last round and the OB, en-route to a 7.... It is a relatively easy hole from the whites but from the tips it is quite challenging.

Hole 6.jpg

Anyone else have a punishing hole for them?

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Good thread. There are quite a few holes I consider tough, but then there are some that are really in my head.

There's one I play that's only 393 yds. from the back tees, but is a bear. It's a dog-leg left, and the back tee boxes and markers line you up for trouble. There's OB on the left and water on the right. The fairway slopes hard left to right. But since the water essentially ends at around 230, and there is a bail-out area on the right, it doesn't seem like it should be a difficult tee shot, but it is.

H02-1.jpeg.f74655a4c35e34641ddbb23ede1f7fc3.jpeg

Even if you survive the tee shot, the second shot is uphill to a severely sloped green. The pin is almost always way back right, guarded by a deep bunker.

While I've parred the hole a bunch of times and even birdied it once or twice, I also have so many 7s I can't even count!

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2 minutes ago, Valleygolfer said:

 

Side note... I knew I spelled nemesis wrong...

Fixed. Looking forward to reading others and thinking if mine has merit in writing up. Good thread 

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5 minutes ago, RandallT said:

Fixed. Looking forward to reading others and thinking if mine has merit in writing up. Good thread 

Thanks! Post it. If it gets to you it is worthy.

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Toughest hole(s) for me are those maxxed out par 3s I run into every so often. My tee shots only go so far, and some par threes are out my first shot range. I usually play from the middle tees. 

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21 minutes ago, Patch said:

Toughest hole(s) for me are those maxxed out par 3s I run into every so often. My tee shots only go so far, and some par threes are out my first shot range. I usually play from the middle tees. 

Hmmm, that's funny. The first two holes I thought of were par 3's and neither of them is long at all. One is only 125 yards. No water, two large bunkers fronting the green with heavy rough all around. But who cares, right?! It's only 125! But, it's like there's a force field in this corner of the course that forces balls away from the green. It's quite a large green, so even if I'm on in reg I'm a mile from the hole!

The other is a par 3 that plays across a lake. It's from 140 to 165 depending on the tee you play. All carry to a green that is wider than it is deep. Oddly enough 3-4 years ago I owned this hole. The last two years, it has owned me!

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This is the third hole at my home course, Copper Ridge.   It isn't long only 489 from the white tees.  I hit my drive about where the red dot is located,  That is about 240 yards.  It is tight left with OB and the trees on the right block a decent second shot.  I'm usually right, left or in the green pond.  

I am keeping individual hole stats.   I'm averaging a double bogie.   I've hit the fairway 3 times in 13 rounds with my misses usually right.  (My normal tee miss is usually a hook).   I'm averaging 2.1 putts per hole because my approach shots are usually short....(I know, more club) and this is the only hole on the course that I have 0 GIR. 

This hole is my nemesis.   It gives me pause.  I may have to change my strategy and go with a 5 wood off of the tee, heck I could almost get GIR with three 7 irons but that defeats the purpose of me winning the mind game this hole plays.  

hole #3.PNG

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9 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

This is the third hole at my home course, Copper Ridge.   It isn't long only 489 from the white tees.  I hit my drive about where the red dot is located,  That is about 240 yards.  It is tight left with OB and the trees on the right block a decent second shot.  I'm usually right, left or in the green pond.  

I am keeping individual hole stats.   I'm averaging a double bogie.   I've hit the fairway 3 times in 13 rounds with my misses usually right.  (My normal tee miss is usually a hook).   I'm averaging 2.1 putts per hole because my approach shots are usually short....(I know, more club) and this is the only hole on the course that I have 0 GIR. 

This hole is my nemesis.   It gives me pause.  I may have to change my strategy and go with a 5 wood off of the tee, heck I could almost get GIR with three 7 irons but that defeats the purpose of me winning the mind game this hole plays.  

hole #3.PNG

I feel you here. I'm thinking a 3 wood off the tee at my nemesis but then I feel defeated...

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Any hole with a narrow, extended chute of trees to drive through.  Two examples to follow.

At my previous club (CC of Tuscaloosa, now defunct):

Hole 7, Par 4.  Can't remember exact yardage but not long...maybe 380ish from the back.  However, from the tips (only ~6300 so I played 'em), the very narrow chute of old southern pines stretched out for 150yds+, and even then, didn't open up much.  Problematic was that the hole played as a slight, gradual dogleg right.  Thus, my push draw (which can use a lot of lateral space!) was a no-go, unless I shaved the pine needles off the right side trees to bend back to the left side of the fairway.  Pic below is from green looking back; back tees marked in yellow.  What's more, about 100yds. out from the green, a large, old oak tree (not rendered well here in Google Earth) pushed out over roughly 35-40% of the fairway, so really, only a drive to the left half had an open line to the flag, and once again, my big draw can't be done.  Split the fairway (which I did rarely), and I'd have a fade over the oak (which I frequently would hit dead straight over the bunker which would bound down OB into the road), or my more frequent play--a low punched 8iron that I'd keep lower than 20', Scottish-style, to hit ~25yds. short and run up onto the smallest green on the course.

That little par 4 derailed many of my rounds.  Adding insult to injury, lots of the low handicap seniors I played with got to play from tees over the path (100 yds. forward from mine) with very little chute and an easy tee shot.  I always grumbled that no single digit capper, regardless of age, needs to be playing tees that make par 4s under 300 yards...especially when the tips were only 6300,

 

TCCHole7.jpg

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And now my current club, Indian Hills CC.

Another seemingly innocuous par 4 from the picture, but stand on the tees and it's a different story.  About 175yds. out from my tees, the fairway narrows through a tree-lined chute under 20yds. wide (see where my Google Earth line measures it at 18.31yds!).  It calls for my draw (as the big bushy tree bulges in from the left), but I have to burn the edges of those monster pines on the right.  The back tees on this hole (far out of the bottom of the pic...and I don't play them often) are just silly-difficult.  Not many players--even the really good ones--get through that narrow chute from that long.  They really like to tuck the flag in the far back corner (where I have it marked in red...yes...that extreme, but it's a large green), but that fits my shot shape, and the contours of the green allow a draw into the center to run back left.

I really don't score all that badly on this hole.  Even when I over draw it, I normally get up over the bushy tree and into the pines down the left side.  The pines thin out down there, so I usually have a punch to the front of the green, as there's no further trouble other than the bunkers.  But the tee shot has a way of zapping whatever confidence you've built up to that point.  Furthermore, this is the one section of the course with several parallel holes--a concept that is most certainly my nemesis--as it gets in my head that you have golfers left and right, with one thin row of pines between you, and very little room for error.  Pretty common for older courses in city limits and limited land.  Thankfully, it's just holes 3-6, here, then you get your space until the 15th.

Next scariest would be 17 and 18, which are bordered for most of their length with million dollar homes closely down the left.  Gulp.  Plenty of trees planted to protect them, but I still pucker up a bit every time I tee it up there.

IHCCHole5.jpg

Edited by BamaWade

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@BamaWadeOur toughest (handicapped) hole is set in a tunnel of trees but the whites deal with it too, so I have been used to it forever. The hole I previously mentioned is much more visually different and considerably tighter confines than that of of the white tees. Forcing shots have left me consistently in trouble.

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12 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

But, it's like there's a force field in this corner of the course that forces balls away from the green.

The two more detestable holes on my home courses are like that. 

Kittyhawk Eagle No. 7 is a par three with a moat-like hazard left, right and front. It's about 150 yards, but the ball magnets at the bottom of the moat pull the balls out of the air. God help you if the wind is blowing, because it's right in your face.

No. 13 is a 180-yard over water with a bailout bunker to the left. Shot pulled finish pin high. Anything else barely makes it over the water.

Ball magnets I tell you.

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At Stonewolf GC, my home course, you need to avoid double whammy of potential 

StonewRoundBusters.jpg.7ddc5477c3092d5d3cad19a14a21aba4.jpg

No. 15 has OB left and a deep hazard right, complicated by a quartering headwind going toward the right trouble. Sometimes the tee box shields you from the wind, but it's usually there. Fairway bunkers are deep. Pulled drive can leave you a 45* downhill lie in shaggy rough. Don't go for green in two unless you can fly it on - bounce shots end up in deep bunkers. And, long green can yield three-putt once you get there. Can usually get a bogie with back to back 4Hs and an 8 iron blind uphill to irregular shaped green. Two degrees left or right can mean difference between putt and bunker shot. Anything can happen. Many groups have one birdie and one 8 on this one.

No. 16 goes through the valley, and it's rough to get a tee shot into fairway. Big hitters often avoid drives into bottleneck where fairway is maybe 10 yards wide. Hillside with trees to left, and jungle-style hazard to right (medium green outline shows foliage that has grown up around creek since hole map was sketched.) And, the crowned green has soft shoulders up front - shot not squarely on green tumbles into bunkers. Better to be long and lag for par rather than short and sandy. I've seen single-digit HDCP players get their only double bogie of day on this one.

If I can escape these two with a pair of bogies, I'm a happy camper.

18 hours ago, BamaWade said:

 About 175yds. out from my tees, the fairway narrows through a tree-lined chute under 20 yds. wide (see where my Google Earth line measures it at 18.31yds!).  It calls for my draw (as the big bushy tree bulges in from the left), but I have to burn the edges of those monster pines on the right.

Sounds like the greens crew needs to bring in the lumberjacks. When trees grow, fairways can get too narrow.

A neighboring course had a 485-yd. par 5 that had virtually no landing area. The course sold, and new management gave everyone an extra 15 yards of width by cutting some trees. (Tree removal also helped grow grass in the rough - fewer limbs and leaves allowed the sunlight in!

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6 hours ago, WUTiger said:

Sounds like the greens crew needs to bring in the lumberjacks. When trees grow, fairways can get too narrow.

Yeah, they did this a few years ago at Ol' Colony GC just around the corner from me (U of A's home course) and it was a fantastic move.  It's a newer course, so not narrow--and the growth wasn't closing things in--they did it more to thin out the woods just off the fairways and between holes to make them playable, with the added benefit of letting in more sunlight so the grass wouldn't thin near the tree lines.  A marshal told me they cut over 3,000 trees.  They used the mulch from the trees for landscaping in areas, like pine straw.  Little chunks of wood seemed like a terrible thing to me, but they are surprisingly soft and easy to play out of.  Pace of play sped up noticeably, and golfers were happier.

But I guess I have mixed feelings on this for my home course.  They've built some new tees in the last year to stretch it out close to 6800ish, but previously the tips were 6500 or so, and the blue member tees (next set up from the tips) right around 6000.  So, with no more real room to expand (being in a developed area), they have to protect par somehow (and boy do they do it around our greens!).  And really, on those holes you can see in my pic (3-6), the extra trees give added protection to help keep errant tee shots (like mine) from killing someone a fairway over. ;-)

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This is the 8th hole on my home course that is 403 yards but begins somewhat uphill and as you can see gets really steep about 140 yards out.  That bunker on the left is about 200 yards out and driving uphill with a good drive I still have about 180 yards to the hole. The trees on the right looking down from the green is all OB, and the fairways narrows at the green which is protected by bunkers.  The uphill shot plays more like 220 and I do not have a club that can do that.  I am usually in the trees to the right of the green, or in the rough about 30 yards out, OB, or in the bunkers.  I have never been on this green in 2 and rarely make par with a good chip or pitch.  I consider a bogey on this hole a victory.

 

sv-8.jpg

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Hole 16 at Rancho Park Golf Course.  It's a par-3, the shortest of the par-3s at the course, and #18 handicap.  When I started playing this course, I kept track of my best ball score across all my rounds (like the commercial with Jack doing this at ANGC).  I had made a handful of birdies on other holes and had parred the other 17 before I made a par on this one, including three par-4s over 400 yards (and I used to be a very short hitter -- a driver and a good 3W wouldn't take me 400 yards back then). 

The thing is, I don't think it should be a difficult hole.  It's 160 yards, give or take.  There are two tee boxes and two greens.  There's no water.  There's one bunker, but only one of the greens is guarded by it, and the bunker is short and left -- a rare miss for most people.

There used to be an issue with overhanging trees, but that wasn't design, that was maintenance.  And the course management has gotten a lot better at that sort of thing lately. 

I still think bogey is a good score there.  I know par-3s are hard holes anyway, but that hole feels like one I should be able to get a near-GIR often, but sometimes I find myself walking away with a 5 and thinking I got away with something.

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