Course Caddies: Desert Valley No. 5
Left, Right, or Up: The Curious Case of a Fabulous Early Par-4

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. 5

This is a major turning point in your round; there’s no question about it. With high reward comes high risk, and Hole 5 of Desert Valley, one of the most intriguing drivable par-4s in the update, is stockpiled with both.

Let’s start with the water. There is a lot of it, and it serves as your primary concern. The trees, which typically lead to the water, also play a significant role here. Combined, they can be diabolical. In turn, they also give you options to attack the green.

The most common attempt here certainly works, although to do it you’ll have to travel over water. By moving the ball right to left, you can maneuver around the trees and to the green, although you have to be careful not to over-cut your shot. If you hit the tree at all, you’re likely getting wet.

But, you also have green to work with and a shot that works. It boils down to finding the right amount of cut off the tee.

You can go right, and you can also go left. By turning one time to the left, an A-1-type shot can perfect bend around the trees and to the green. The same risk applies as the shot previously mentioned, although hitting the trees from this route won’t guarantee a visit to the water.

Still, it requires an accurate shot with the right amount of power to get it right.

Or, you don’t even have to turn at all. The path (and required accuracy) still applies, though.


There is one more way. With a 5 or 6-wood and a high tee, you can actually go up and over the trees directly and hit the green. The main issue with this shot is that the consistency isn’t always there. While it will work on consecutive occasions, it can also be inconsistent to pull off.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t attempt it, but please keep this valuable disclaimer in mind before you give it a try.

You have plenty of options at your disposal and a handful of proven paths that work. How you decide to attack this hole will depend greatly on the wind, pin placement and general overall comfort.

Without a ton of room to miss, you have little room to play conservative. If you’re at all uncomfortable with the look, laying up might not be the worst idea.

How do you play?

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