This year’s breakdowns now include video of each hole being played, although your feedback is most appreciated on these designs. How do you play? Share your strategy or Golden Tee Great Shots in the comments below.
All holes will then be available for reference on the Course Caddies page—a bookmark must for the entire encyclopedia! Enjoy, and stay tuned for plenty more.
Desert Valley No. 7
There are no hidden paths to this par-5. There are no routes that will leave you with a wedge for your approach. The road to the green on Hole 7 is defined, obvious and yet, still not a given. To conquer this design, you have to battle the elements, club selections and avoid the untimely fringe bounce. (More on that shortly.)
The water on the hole breaks the fairway squarely in two. Because the pin is situated on the back left side of this hole, you’ll want to be as far left on the first fairway as possible without landing in the rough or water.
This cannot be stressed enough. Don’t. Get. Too. Aggressive.
You want to be as close as you can to the hole, which is a driver or 3-wood tucked along the left side—but not too long to bring the dirt mound into play. Your ideal landing spot should be the point of the fairway where it takes a left turn, turning from horizontal to vertical.
From here, you still have work to do. Depending on the wind, you’ll either be left with a driver or a 3-wood. Your driver will likely get more of a workout, which means distance control will be crucial. You should also be mindful of the trees left of the green that can impact your shot on certain pins.
Backspin will most likely be your desired spin, although bite will work here as well, especially if you’re dealing with a pin in the back part of the green.
This is not the time to be aggressive; this is the time to play for the green, play for a putt and play for a birdie.
Your shots will vary round to round, and the wind will ultimately dictate the difficulty of your approach. Another element to look out for—and this part is pretty much out of your control—is the possibility of hitting the fringe or bouncing up through the sand.
Some of these bounces will work greatly in your favor; others will not. Although the fringe can be your friend, it can also hurt you when you desperately need spin. On a hole like this, you are bound to see a lot of different results. (Hopefully most are favorable.)
How do you play?