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. 18
It is fair and potentially lethal. It is straightforward but somehow remarkably complicated. Hole 18 on Sparkling Waters presents no unfamiliar threats, and yet, there are nuisances to the design that make it surprisingly complex.
We close out the round—and our first completed Course Caddy course—with a drivable par-4. The notable items are the obvious: The green is steeply sloped downward toward water and protected by a rock wall that isn’t large but certainly large enough.
Hit this rock wall and you have trouble. There are exceptions to this rule, of course—like when the pin gets in the way or a robust wind blows you back just enough—but the wall will likely take away all spin and send you reaching into your bag for a new ball.
The best (and only) way to play this hole is to be safe. With so much that can go wrong, your focus should be on hitting the green and having a reasonable eagle putt. At some point, you’ll likely use every fairway wood in your bad, and this hole alone is enough to make you consider using a club set like the Flares or Surge to get as much loft as possible.
Make backspin your best friend. There are select occasions when bite will be useable—with a strong wind blowing in your face and a pin near the bottom of the green—although backspin should be frequented here. Given the steepness of the green you really don’t have much choice.
With an out wind, clubbing down to a 5-wood—or a lofted club that works for the given distance—will be your desired approach. Backspin here will be of the utmost importance, as bite won’t guarantee that you’ll stop on the green.
Ultimately, a long putt is far better than a penalty stroke. This can ruin a scorecard if you’re not careful. (So play carefully.)
With huge winds to deal with, your shot types will vary. And while laying up is certainly a viable option, the approach shot into the green isn’t exactly a gimmie. Manage your distances, and you should avoid trouble most of the time.
Although the occasional blowup is inevitable, there are plenty of eagles to be had here. How do you play?