Dangerous Curves Ahead
Studying a double dogleg
BE READY FOR A SHIFT
I can see Mike Davis, the USGA executive director who is in charge of course setup, utilising two or more tee boxes on this hole. It’s listed to play at 397 or 424 metres. The prevailing wind is against, so from the back tee most players will play to here. From this rise, the approach is about 160 metres with the left portion of the green hidden. But shift the markers up a box or two, and even shorter hitters would be tempted to play more to the right.
Successfully challenge the tall fescue and catch the fast downslope of the fairway, and you could have a wedge shot left for your second. Davis wants players to face a decision. If the wind is calm, he can cause uncertainty by choosing a longer tee box that makes this carry more formidable. But smart golfers will have tested their favourite driving clubs from each tee so as to not be caught off guard.
SHORTER IS BETTER
This is a small green complex, about 370 square metres. The front two-thirds slopes towards the fairway, and the back third slopes away. With a green like this, I can’t imagine many situations where I’d want to be chipping from anywhere but the front opening.
DON’T MISS HERE
On many courses, the line that reaps the biggest reward is usually the most penal if you don’t pull the shot off. Here, a high ridge completely blocks your view if you come up short. Hope there’s a cloud in the sky, otherwise you’ll have next to nothing to aim at for your approach. The ground is elevated along the left rough, so you’re slightly better off if you miss the fairway there. You’ll probably see some of the green.