Strat­egy

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - Contents 01/18 - BY JACK NICKLAUS

Play your best at el­e­va­tion.

Play­ing in the moun­tains is a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence. Be­sides the aes­thetic plea­sure of see­ing for miles in many di­rec­tions, it’s thrilling how the ball cuts through the thin air and flies far­ther than you’re ac­cus­tomed. But if you don’t know how to ac­count for this new­found power, you’re go­ing to strug­gle with club se­lec­tion.

My rule is to sub­tract 2 per­cent of the yardage for ev­ery 1,000 feet of al­ti­tude. The Sum­mit Course at The Club at Cordillera, which I de­signed in Vail, Colo., is 9,000 feet above sea level, so the holes typ­i­cally play 18-per­cent shorter than their listed yardage. Il­lus­trated here is the 559-yard, par-5 17th. Eigh­teen per­cent of 559 is roughly 100, so first cal­cu­late that the hole plays 459 yards. But be­cause the tee box is 63 feet higher than the green, the hole plays closer to 450 yards.

That means golfers who nor­mally don’t reach par 5s in two might have a real chance to get home on this hole. The les­son: At higher el­e­va­tions, never be in­tim­i­dated by the yardage on the card.

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