Course Caddies: Desert Valley No. 9
Making the Turn With a (Sometimes) Drivable 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. 9

It can be driven. Let’s start right there.

In fact, Hole 9 of Desert Valley can be driven somewhat easily with the right wind and the appropriate cut, as seen here. Let’s get this out of the way now because I know many of you were anxiously anticipating its arrival.

So there’s that. The reality, however, is that this par-4 will (usually) require two shots to get to the green. You might be able to drive close to it and end up with a chip. You might even more frequently go after it with a sand-wedge.

There are setups that are conducive for getting close and others than are not. Even when you can drive the green, it’s worth being as close to the hole as you possibly can for one simple reason: You holeout more from 50 yards than you do from 75 or 100.

Go check your stats. Promise.

But in trying to get as close as you can, you should be mindful of two items: The water on the right can creep into the equation if you’re not careful—especially when you try and approach the green—and the bottle-necking nature of the green can make the tee shot a little more difficult than most.

There’s an opening, although finding the right amount of cut to squeeze through the gap between the trees can be a challenge. How much cut you apply will vary depending on wind and pin placement, although you’ll want to stay away from the rough—and the lumber—if you can.

What you do on your approach will depend a great deal on where you hit from, although you cannot miss right with water lingering.

Play the right break of the green accordingly, and again, don’t risk finding the hazard here. Stay dry.


If you drive it, fabulous. It won’t be there every time but it will be there every now and then. If not, play smart and play for birdie. You’ll holeout every now and then, but this is not the place to go for it all.

How do you play?

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