Course Caddies: Sparkling Waters No. 14
The Drivable Par-4 That Will Make or Break Your Round

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. 14

Welcome to a critical moment in your round. In fact, you could argue that Hole 14 on Sparkling Waters will ultimately dictate whether you sink or swim. And without floating golf balls in GT just yet, maybe avoid testing out either concept here if you can.

This is perhaps my favorite drivable par-4 in all of 2015; let’s address that now. You have risk vs. reward, you have multiple paths (and shots) to get to the green and you have a tough (but fair) challenge ahead. It’s a spectacular designs. It’s also rather difficult.

Reaching the green comes with a fair amount of risk. With water surrounding the left and back parts of the short surface—and the drop-off to the water being clear and defined—you only have to be slightly off to be penalized.

As result, allow me to offer up the “Laying Up Isn’t a Horrible Idea on Some Setups” Disclaimer. I hate having to do this—and you hate hearing it—but this can be difficult. With that out of the way, let’s get after it.

The safest and most frequented way to attack this hole will require a C-3-type shot from right to left. You see the opening between the trees? That’s your path.

You do not want to overcut this and risk going into the water. If anything, reaching the green—and even rolling up through the rough—is the more cautious way to still come away with an eagle putt.

Depending on what golf ball you’re playing, bite or backspin will be a must.

Managing distance, spin and wind will all factor in the shot above. It will take some getting used to, although it becomes easier with reps.

The other path to this hole is, without question, the risker shot. With a pin near the top part of the green or a difficult wind, however, it might be the only reasonable path to the hole.

Instead of a C-3 shot, this will require an A-1-esque shot to reach the green. It will also demand backspin or bite in order to keep the ball on the putting surface.

With the right amount of distance and cut, the results could be visually and score card appealing.


It’s a difficult shot no matter how you go about it. With the wind likely to play a significant role, you’ll likely be forced to adjust each and every time. Play safe while taking an aggressive approach and you should end up swimming more than sinking.

(Well, scratch any mentions of doing anything with water. No sinking or swimming.)

How do you play?

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