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Course Caddies: Desert Valley No. 14
Exploring the Many Ways to Tackle an Option-Filled 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. 14


It’s good to have options. It can also be remarkably dangerous to have options.

Those two sentences perfectly outline Hole 14 on Desert Valley, a drivable par-4 with… wait for it… options.

The distance to the green will vary greatly, something that will ultimately impact your tee shot. With a dirt/sand mound in the way and a small opening through the trees guarding the green, your typical path to the hole is defined. (Note: I say “typical” because there are more ways to drive this green. More on that in a bit.)

But let’s assume the pin is in the center part of the green, and you’ve decided you’re going to aim for that gap between trees. The typical club will be a fairway wood, usually a 3, 4 or 5-wood. You may also want to use a high tee here, which can assist in a variety of ways: It will add distance and give you more loft heading into the green.

While most fairway woods will clear without issue, having that extra loft to ensure you get up and over the mound is never a bad thing, especially on longer attempts.

Landing far enough down on the dirt mound—or driving over it entirely—is also important. While your ball can bounce off this surface and onto the green, it won’t if you hit it too short. And you don’t want to be left on the near side of the hill closest to the tee box; that is where scorecard problems start to come into focus.

Manage your spin, distance and cut the ball just enough through that gap. You should be left with an eagle putt. It’s a shot that will take some getting used to, although you’ll almost always be bringing the ball in from left to right.

But yes, you have other options. By turning right, you can change the shot (and hole) entirely. When the pin is on the right side of the green, you can go through the gap of threes closest to the tee box with a high-teed 3 or 5-wood.

Although there are other trees to navigate, the path is there. It’s an option, and a good one with certain looks.

And finally, there is one more way. By turning right once more you can actually get to the green with a C-3-type shot, going around the obstacles rather than over.

DISCLAIMER: This is where water comes into play, and this should be a last-ditch effort if anything at all. However, with a favorable wind, it can be done. Allow Damage Inc. to show you the way.

 

Options. You have them. The first shot executed above will be the one you attempt the majority of the time. But on the select instances when something else is required, don’t be afraid to dive into the bag of tricks. But be careful when you do. How do you play?

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