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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.
Pearl Lagoon No. 13
Scoreboard destruction exists in many forms—a late par-3, a tough Hole 9, a risk-heavy par-5. The last part of this unscientific equation is what Hole 13 of Pearl would fall under: It’s the kind of challenge you appreciate and respect.
Let’s address the obvious. The most popular and successful path to this green in only two shots involves a tee shot that never gets all that comfortable, even with ample reps. The small sliver of fairway to the right of the rock structure in the middle of the hole is where you want to be; well, sort of.
Distance isn’t the biggest commodity here. While you have to be on that second fairway, placement is far more significant. In fact, placement is everything.
With a driver of a 3-wood, your goal should be to land the fat part of this small sliver and stay on the right side, as clear of the larger structure as one can be. The problem, however, is that the fairway slopes right. This can help you if you get too close to the rock… or hurt you if you stray too close to the water. Given some of the winds you’ll see, this shot can be extremely challenging.
If and when you land it, however, you’re halfway home. It’s no guarantee at this point—the second shot into the green involves more water and risk. And if you land tucked behind the rock, you’ll have to decide if trying for the green if worth it.
But when you land in the right spot, you’ll have a driver or a 3-wood in and a fair amount of green to work with. I don’t want to minimize the obstacle, but you should be able to handle it more times than not.
Of course, like most great holes, there is another way. Instead of dealing with all that water, there is a way to reach this hole—multiple ways, really—by going to the left fairway.
The good thing about this route is it is far safer. Water comes into play less and you can always layup for birdie if you don’t feel comfortable. The shot into the green, while there, is by no means a walk in the park. It will require just the right amount of curve and potentially the right amount of bounce.
It works, though.
This is an eagle you should feel good about; I don’t care how skilled you are.
It’s a hole that will require some flexibility, creativity and troubleshooting. It’s a hole that you should respect. It’s a hole that gets far easier the more you play.
How do you play?