Harding Park in a nutshell

mulligan, 04 October 2005, Comments Off on Harding Park in a nutshell
Categories: Uncategorized

Getting ready for the AMEX, I thought I’d give some insight into the holes for those of you not lucky enough to live in the Bay Area. When you look at the reports from the World Golf Championship, most times the difficulty of the hole is described by the contours of the greens. I cannot agree with this more, although with brand-new greens that are not particularly hard, the professionals should be able to cope easily with the slopes. Thus, my prediction that there will be some low scores shot this week. Also, after seeing a number of tournaments in Arizona, Pebble Beach, and North Carolina, it should be noted that the fairways have been pinched in severely. You would expect that at a short par 70 course (they have it marked at 7,086 for the tournament, but that is at the tips on every hole, and it should be shorter in total). Also, the rough is thick, and stays reasonably wet (San Francisco dew and fog), but the professionals should have less trouble than myself muscling it out of the thick stuff.

Hole 1: A birdie hole, in short. Not much trouble, less than 400 yards, and straight away.

Hole 2: At 450 yards, it is a little longer, but again there is little trouble off the tee. Expect the Sunday placement to be back left on a nob. Shouldn’t be too tough.

Hole 3: A par 3 straight uphill. The pros should get used to the blind green in their practice rounds.

Hole 4: At 600 yards, it would seem unlikely that the pros will get there in 2, but you can cut off the dogleg left with a high shot over the trees. Expect a lot of 350 yard drives on this hole. The green is easy to putt and generally flat.

Hole 5: Again, a fairly straightforward hole with a very sloped green. Expect a lot of birdies…especially if you put the ball in the correct quadrant of the green.

Hole 6: toughest hole on the course for amateurs. Very tight off the tee with trees, and long (473 yards). The green is no picnic, and there are well placed bunkers around the green. Expect some bogeys, but nothing worse unless your drive is dramatically off-line.

Hole 7: Short par 4 (344 yards) that the pros will eat up. No real trouble.

Hole 8: A long par 3 (230 yards) that always seems to have the one hard green on the course. Right back pin placement on Sunday will have the pros just hoping to get a par. It is downhill though, so it shouldn’t be that difficult of a hole.

Hole 9: This is one of the converted par 5s. Now, as a par 4 at 474 yards, it will be long, but not for the pros. Most people can reach the green in two in amateur tournaments, and that is playing from a further tee box.

Hole 10: Another hole where a low score is waiting. The pros will reach the green in two
regularly, and the green is fairly benign. OB on the left, so you can shoot a high score if you really duck-hook it, but don’t expect that to happen often.

Hole 11: A 200 yard downhill par 3 with a narrow front. The only difficulty is if the fairways are wet, and the pin is on the front. That being the case, shots that you hope to hit short and run onto the green will stop in the fairway, while those that hit the green will roll to the back. Putting spin on the ball is the key here.

Hole 12: Another converted par 5. Hard dogleg left off the tee to a blind fairway. Oh, and there is OB left as well. Plenty of places to make a mistake, and the blind shots will prove difficult for the pros who have not played the course (which includes everyone). Distance shouldn’t be a factor, but it will be difficult to hit the fairway.

Hole 13: Another blind shot, but with a strong drive moving left to right over the bunkers on the right, you shouldn’t have much left to the green. There is a lot of slope on this green.

Hole 14: Straightaway par 4 that plays long to an elevated green. Trouble left and right, so just get it in the fairway. Holes 12-14 will decide your round.

Hole 15: Dogleg left downhill from the tee, uphill to the green. Same as the prior hole. Expect irons off the tee. The hole is not tough, just avoid the trees on the left. The pros will enjoy the gun club shooting across the lake on the last two holes.

Hole 16: Another hole to eat up. 336 yards, and the pros might be able to get it on the green from the tee, although there are some trees to avoid. This is a birdie hole every time.

Hole 17: Only a 164 yard par 3, and I play it well every time. For some reason my foursome does not. I would expect a lot of birdies.

Hole 18: The signature hole for the course. Hard dogleg left over a lake. The 220 yard carry from the tee box makes it hard for some amateurs, but I expect the pros to be able to hit irons off the tee, and get an easy par. By taking driver, and cutting off the dogleg, you can carry the trees, and give yourself less than 150 yards in. But this can spell trouble since it is a blind shot. The green has a lot of slope, so par isn’t a bad score.


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