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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. 8
Decisions, decisions. That’s what we’re greeted with off the tee on Hole 8 of Desert Valley.
You have a green, you have water surrounding this green and you have trees in front of the green and the water surrounding the green. The makeup of this drivable par-4 is simple. It is also one of the more thought-provoking designs in all of 2015.
How you play will boil down to a few things, none of which is ground-breaking in nature.
1) The Wind
2) Pin Placement
3) Tee Box
4) General Comfort
The obvious goal here will remain the same regardless of how you attack this hole: Stick the green.
Although it’s a larger putting surface, there still isn’t much room for error. Anything short will be wet; anything that comes in too hot will likely find the hazard also. As a result, your distance control must be on point. If you’re not comfortable with anything about the setup, lay up.
Let’s assume, however, that you’re comfortable enough. Or maybe you just hate laying up.
Good to hear.
While the wind was listed first above, it’s actually secondary in terms of decision made. The pin placement, above all, should dictate which path you take. A pin on the right side of the green means you want to come in from the left; a pin on the left side means you should consider coming in from the right.
It’s not exact science—that’s where “General Comfort” comes in—but it’s a quality system. When your ball lands on the green, the bite or backspin applies will play a significant role. By starting your shot away from where the pin is located, you’re allowing the spin to do the work. Like so.
This will probably be the most common path, but coming in from the right also works fine.
Some tee boxes might make this approach slightly easier. Again, how you decide to go about it should be dependent on what shots you feel comfortable making.
However you decide to play it, be sure to play safe. Adjust for the wind and eventually you’ll grow more comfortable with certain looks. Given the way the ball will be spinning toward the hole, you actually have a decent chance to make this shot.
Go get it.
How do you play?