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.
Sparkling Waters No. 8
This undoubtedly will serve as a turning point in your round—for better or worse.
Hole 8 on Sparkling Waters is the ultimate risk vs. reward test on the front nine; as a result, it will also test your GT creativity.
The layout of this drivable par-4 is relatively simple. You have a long fairway that serves as your layup option—which isn’t the worst idea on certain setups—and then an island green that is surrounded by, you guessed it, hazard.
It’s not the actual green that makes this hole complicating; it’s the trees in front of the tee box and the others guarding the front left side of the green that make this hole. Depending on where you’re teeing off, you may have to adjust the strategies accordingly.
The most straightforward approach might also be the most obvious: You can hit a C-3-type shot in order to avoid the trees and stick the green. This shot—like all shots here—come with a fair amount of risk. It also requires you to manager your spin appropriately, as your ball will instantly kick left with bite or backspin applied.
Depending on where the pin is located, bite might be the most desired approach.
Deciding whether or not to try the approach will depend on a variety of factors beyond tee box. Wind and pin placement are also integral in trying to manage this design.
In instances when you might start a little closer to the hole, a high tee and a fairway wood might be all you need to have a more manageable shot. My particular favorite club—for users of the 2015 set, the Vultures—is the 6-wood. A high-teed 6-wood works wonders on certain looks, as will other woods in similar setups.
This tactic will allow you to head up and over the trees without much worry.
Both methods work in certain situations, and there are also other more exotic ways to the green with a little more risk involved. Regardless of the path you take, give them all a test drive. Aim to stay dry and slowly work your way up to being more aggressive as your comfort increases. And trust me, it will increase.
How do you play?