Course Caddies: Desert Valley No. 12
Welcome to the Only Suited Par-3 in Town

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. 12

On occasion, you will be dealt a diabolical setup on Hole 12 and we’ll get to that. But, for the most part, this suited par-3 pretty much plays like any ol’ par-3: The only major difference is the shape of the green.

It’s in the shape of the club suit, which is a celebration of the Vegas setting. That’s nice and fun to look at, but it’s not the most important part.

The green slopes considerably downward, which is something to keep in mind as we ease into strategy. While there occasions where the pin will be tucked deep in the left or right quadrants of the green, most pin placements are pretty accessible.

This will be more about distance and spin control than the shape of the green itself, although that is not always the case. There are times to be aggressive and other situations that cause for caution.

Your club set will also help dictate your approach. Lower-lofted clubs such as irons and hybrids can be easier here with some larger winds. But your classic fairway wood, as you’ll see below, will work just fine as well.

Manage your distance, manage your spin—bite here works wonders and backspin can sometimes be too much—and you’ll put yourself in a pretty good place.

Now, there is another matter to discuss here. Occasionally—and it doesn’t happen often—the pin will be placed in the bottom, stem-like part of the green. That’s where the difficult-ometer starts to pick up a reading.

This shot can be incredibly challenging. Leaving yourself a putt will demand a smart, precise tee shot, one that will likely have to hit another surface before hitting the green.

If you have been dealt this challenging setup before, here is an idea of how you should go about it.


The good news here is that a miss won’t mean scorecard death. You’d like to avoid par if you can, but a short birdie chip isn’t the end of the world.

Adjust based off of wind and pin, and you’ll walk away with a two more times than not. How do you play?

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