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. 1
For an opening hole, there is long list of items to discuss. We’ll get to the simple approach in short order, but Hole 1 on Desert Valley has proven to be far deeper than your average Golden Tee greeting.
You have a surprising amount of options and limited ways to destroy your scorecard on this par-4. As a result, you can (and should) take advantage if you’re comfortable.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with birdie. The green is flat, the fairway is straightforward and the conditions are optimal. You can hit it straight, knock it on the green—maybe occasionally hitting it in the hole—and walk away with a three at the very worst.
Start off easy. Start off right. Start off under par.
But yes, there are other ways to attack this hole. In fact, there are a handful of ways to approach this design and even drive this green.
Now, this will not be possible on every look. If you’re close enough to the green—within the 380 to 410-yard range—you’ll have a chance to reach, especially with a favorable wind. And even if you don’t make it to the putting surface, you can put yourself close enough to allow a chip.
With a wind blowing directly toward or against your golfer, you can do some pretty incredible things from some incredible distances here. Like using a driver or a fairway wood, not pulling back on the trackball and just pushing the shot straight forward.
Behold the “Chush.” I would tell you not to try this at home, but goodness is it fun.
Of course, there is risk in this attempt. You can end up short (or long) and be left with another chip into the green and a likely par. That is NOT what you want here. It’s also why driving the green—which can absolutely be done, especially with a high-lofted driver—should be approached somewhat delicately.
Although a high-lofted driver with a high tee can get up and over the trees guarding the green, there are also ways to navigate through these trees with your typical driver and a high tee. It is not the most scientific shot, but as seen below, it can work.
Trial and error.
That’s precisely what this hole will require. With no hazards to deal with, you can get aggressive if you desire. You can attempt radical shots, and most of the time, you’ll still end up with a chance at birdie. That’s the beauty of Hole 1.
Or… you can hit in the middle of the fairway, knock it on the green and play for birdie. Back to square one. Often times all strategies will yield the same results. How do you play?