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. 15
There’s just something about this par-5. It’s hard to put your finger on what makes this hole more challenging than it appears on the surface, although eagle on Hole 16 of Desert Valley can be tough to come by.
In the right conditions, you’ll be in great shape. But when the perfect setup isn’t there, you’ll really have to zero in on controlling placement, distance and spin.
The ideal place to land with your tee shot is on the right cutout of fairway between the water. Landing here will give you the clearest path to the hole. Heck, in some instances you might end up with a straight shot at the green and a relatively straightforward eagle approach.
Hit it out, hit it on (or maybe even in).
But this dream setup doesn’t come your way often. Getting to that fairway cutout can require a big driver and a high tee.
You can’t land short—water—and you can’t go long—water—but putting yourself in this position is critical. It will make your approach into the green far more manageable.
In the instances where you simply can’t make it to that area, you’ll want to hit the ball as close to the right as you can without risking going in the water. Distance is integral. You want to be far enough out so that you can reach, comfortably, on your next shot.
Your approach will certainly vary in difficulty as well. Front and middle pins will be far easier to approach than a back left pin where, again, water comes into play. You’ll almost certainly have to cut the ball to avoid the fairway trees, although this cut shot will vary greatly.
In some instances you’ll have to turn left and fire off a big C-3. In others you’ll only have to do a little swerve into the green to avoid obstacles.
Trouble can find you here if you aren’t careful. It’s off the tee, and more significantly, it can be found on the approach. As much as you want the eagle—and you should get it a good majority of the time—there are some setups where it will be extremely difficult to land.
Don’t risk giving up birdie in your hunt for a three. Tip your cap on occasion to the design and move along. The finish is near.
How do you play?