Many of us have different opinions when it comes to crowning the ultimate Jim Zielinski creations in the latest installment. With the game out for more than six weeks, however, we’ve all had ample time to establish our own opinions regarding the holes that make us say things are mothers would be appalled to hear.
There’s also something clarification required when it comes to defining “toughest.” To me—and for the sake of our top five we will be revealing over the next few weeks—these are the designs that are the most difficult to reach the desired score. Well, duh.
The drivable par-4s where eagle is most difficult to come by, the par-5s that are the most difficult to reach and the par-3s that can be downright mean when it comes to birdie seeking—these are what make a design both fair and challenging. Playing for birdie can make these more than manageable, but as we all know that’s not what the game is all about.
We’ve made our way to the top two, and deciding the toughest hole in 2013 was not an easy challenge. You could make a great case for both—but only one can be THE toughest.
No. 2 on our list is none other than the Sequoia Grove 18th, a drivable par-4 that will require damn near perfection to walk away with an eagle.
The layout is simple. There are no tricks, no gimmicks, no secrets or hidden roads to a magical two—or better yet—an even more magical ace.
The path to the green is to the left and under the tree with a convenient hole cut through it. So, what makes this so difficult?
Well, hitting that gap is far from easy. It’ll usually require a driver or 3-wood (and probably a low tee) to make your way through this gap and nothing is a given. Different tee boxes and high winds will make this an even bigger challenge, and finding the right amount of cut on the trackball to hit this gap will require practice.
Lots and lots of practice.
If you happen to make it through, you’re not home yet. The green on the 18th is sloped downwards and surrounded by water. Although the bank beyond the tree will help shots on the short-ish side make their way onto the green, a tee shot with any speed will struggle to hang on.
So… not only do you have to control the cut on the trackball, but you also have to manage your power. The two, of course, go hand in hand, which is what makes this shot so challenging.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. This is a [expletive deleted by lawyer].
Not feeling your oats here? Laying up is an option, and a solid one. Your buddies will likely chastise you to no end for doing so, but you can probably make fun of their scorecards with a hilariously large number at the end.
Seriously, there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, it’s almost advised with a lot of setups. The hole can most certainly tamed, but it will take a shot like this to do so.
So... is this one of the toughest holes in 2013? Is it THE toughest?
Stay tuned as we reveal our pick for the toughest hole in 2013.