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Jim Z's Favorite Holes From 2021
See what Jim Z and a few more from IT think about the newest courses!

As the 2021 courses roll out to commercial Golden Tee cabinets this week, we look to some of the IT staff to give their opinions on the new courses! Over the 30+ years and 80+ courses that Jim Zielinski has created, he didn't miss a beat with the new 2021 courses! Throughout this week we will hear directly from Jim Zielinski, Adam Kramer, and Kevin Linsday about their favorite holes in each course. Continue with part 2 here.

Forest Knoll

Jim Zielinski

One of my favorite Forest Knoll holes is the par 5 10th. It’s a dogleg-left with both eagle or birdie approach shots over water. The eagle shot is more daunting because of the trees that protect the left side of the green. I like this hole because the best approach angle for Eagle is often further away from the green on the right side, on the hill to the right of the fairway bunker. The approach shot from this area cuts down the amount of draw needed to avoid the trees. This makes the approach shot much easier to control. The natural tendency of most players is to keep the drive as close to the pin as possible. For this hole it is often more beneficial to place the drive further away on the right side.

Adam Kramer

Favorite: Hole 15

My favorite type of hole in Golden Tee are par-4s that can be driven on occasion. I love the decision-making that comes with these designs, and Hole 15 on Forest Knoll is a perfect example. Long, left dogleg, water in play… big hitters will have a shot to reach this green plenty. But there is risk involved as well, and a lot of this will depend on how you’re playing. Just the perfect hole at the perfect time of the round.

Hardest: Hole 17

Wow. That’s all I’m going to say. I am here for this challenge. But make no mistake about it, it’s a glorious challenge. A par-3 that is broken into smaller tiers means you’re not just going to have to hit the green. You need to be accurate. Throw in those brutal Hole 17 winds and awkward distance that’ll have you juggling irons and wedges, and there you have it. This is, in my opinion, the toughest hole in 2021.

Kevin Lindsay

Favorite: Hole 7

There are so many ways to approach the green for an eagle putt even in some of the harder setups and tough winds. There’s at least three spots you can try to get to make the green into for that eagle opportunity.

Hardest: Hole 17

Like a lot of players, this is one of the hardest holes on this course, much less all of the 2021 courses. But, at the same time, and almost sadistically so, it’s kind of a favorite whole of mine too. I think of the YouTube opportunities with a three-tier green and at the same time, I also think about the number of strokes that everyone is going to lose just trying to get a birdie or par opportunity at this green.

Travis Tressler

Favorite: Hole 16

The three-tiered green makes this hole the most fun! The chances for up or downhill putts are endless. Who will be the first to sink a putt down two tiers?

Hardest: Hole 17

Depending on where the tee box is, this has given me the most trouble. You can cut around the trees on both sides. If the tee box is set up to hot directly over the trees then this would make this hole a much simpler hole.

Anse Cocos

Jim Zielinski

Anse Cocos I like the Par 4 15th. For a straight up par 4 it’s fun because the ocean creates a gap between the fairway lay-up location and the green. This leaves a fairly long approach shot. I like a challenging approach shots this late in the round, because any mistakes are magnified. The other nice aspect of this hole is although it isn’t really designated as a drivable hole for most players, a precise deep drive can occasionally drive the green with the right conditions.

Adam Kramer

Favorite: Hole 7

I could make the argument that this is also the most challenging hole. Not in a sense that it’ll destroy your scorecard, but because it has just enough distance and dogleg to really inconvenience the tee shot. The best part of this drivable par 4, however, is that thin, tropical river that protects the green. I love this design for that reason. The hazard isn’t enormous, although its impact on play is. Really fun shot.

Hardest: Hole 18

I don’t think this is the hardest closing hole in Golden Tee 2021. And you might get some setups where it can be quite manageable. But when you get tucked behind the trees and try to stick an island green, this tee shot can setup to be really challenging. Throw in a big wind and some pin placements that change drastically on a larger green, and I think this is a hole that will bite back every now and then.

Kevin Lindsay

Favorite: Hole 5

For being the first Par 5 of this course, it’s a pretty challenging design. There are a few different spots on this hole where you can land to try to make the green in two for your eagle. You also, of course, have a lot of trees in the way and the water can come into play pretty easily if you ignore the slope of the fairway. Don’t hit your approach shot too hard or you’re looking at birdie or potentially par early on!

Hardest: Hole 10

All I will say here is let’s hope that you get a favorable box on the right side of Jim Z’s dynamic tee zones, otherwise eagle will be tough to achieve through so many trees and a green surrounded by sloped sand and rocks!

Travis Tressler

Hardest: Hole 18

A green sitting in the middle of the water leaves little room for mistakes. Not only do you have to dial in on the green, but you also have to cut around palm trees directly in front of you. The bright blue water that almost looks to real mixed with the low hanging palm trees might have you daydreaming. This hole is going to test your cutting skills!

Favorite: Hole 12

Par 3s aren't usually favorite holes for me. The gigantic green that is surrounded by water makes this hole my favorite. The long staircase to the top of the green gives it a clever look. It's a short way to the hole from the tee and will surely create some creative short shots!

Continue with part 2 here.

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