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Does anyone have any pictures they could post to this thread to show the rough line, blind tee shot, bunker complex, etc.?Also, I remember a guy I went to college with telling me he saw the U.S. Amateur there back in the late 80s. I can't remember the name of the guy who won it, but he was on the heavy side. But my friend told me he watched player after player at that hole with a wedge in their hand wind up in the water because they couldn't figure out the wind. Does the hole have a sort of Augusta #12 factor to it?
Although a small point since none of us ever saw it, I would also say the 11th hole of Merion is probably a big improvement over Merion East's original 11th l
JNC Lyon:I may have to start a separate thread about #18 at Merion just to give my disagreement with you all the publicity I can.PLENTY of strategy off the tee and PLENTY of strategy on how you play the approach.One of the great finishing holes in all of golf, I think. It's reputation doesn't need Hy Peskin's picture for support.
Several current threads have mentioned the 11th at Merion as one of the greatest holes in golf. What makes this hole so great and so memorable?In my opinion, it is the worst hole on a truly great course. It requires two do-or-die shots with very little strategy, and the green is less interesting than most others on the course (which provide quite a high bar). The player must hit a ~220 shot to a very narrow, blind fairway, and then must execute a ~120 shot to a small target with trouble on all sides. Anthony, the required drive you reference is shorter than 220 due to the downhill nature of the hole and while the DZ isn't visible, the golfer has a pretty good sense of where the fairway/DZ resides if he looks at the visible rough lines, terrain and backround.As to the 120 yard approach you mention, with a shot that short or shorter, there should be a premium on accuracy.I don't find the hole overly demanding and I don't understand why you feel that a par is a right of entitlement on that hole, or any hole.The only opportunity the player has to make a strategic decision is if he/she misses the fairway.So you don't think club selection on the tee is a strategic decision ? Do you go for the green or chip it sideways (the latter is correct for most lies in that rough)? There are other decisions, namely, do you go left or short of the green.Obviously there is a lot of history on this hole with Bobby Jones clinching the grand slam here, and the green site is photogenic. What are the other merits of the hole, and why is it so famous (especially compared to the other 17 on the property)?Jones's milestone is certainly part of the story, but, I don't know if it's any more famous than # 1, # 3, # 4, # 5, # 9, # 10, # 12, # 16, # 17 or # 18
JNC,For what my opinion is worth, the 18th green is probably better approached from just short of the crest of the hill than anywhere in the next 50 yards beyond it, so many players will want to dial back their distance. Also, when doing that, the right side of the fairway provides a slightly flatter stance which helps in trying to hit a high soft shot from 200+ yards. Curious what else Chip would add to the tee shot strategies...
Thanks JNC, that's good stuff and I can't disagree with any of it other than the people that go around to the right are more likely reaching the green in at least 4 but that's besides the point. #18 doesn't really give that player an option at all does it?As to the tee shot options on 18 - the lay back option is a good suggestion for top players. I didn't see the Walker Cup much so don't know, but if I were caddying in a good amateur (or better) tournament I would strongly suggest my guy lay back. If conditions are so favorable (firm and/or downwind) that it seems realistic to get down close to the bottom of the hill I'd change, but if the best the player can realistically expect to do is 20 - 40 yards beyond the crest they'd be better off laying back.Once I've talked you into laying back, the preferred angle is an interesting decision. I believe the right portion of the fairway is somewhat flatter, but the left offers a better look into the green, even if only slightly.Regardless, this is a hole a good player should be looking to make a 4 on and the long iron from the top of the hill carries less risk than the mid iron from the rough on the downslope.