News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Richard Choi

  • Karma: +0/-0
Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« on: September 24, 2012, 11:21:44 AM »
One of our favorite mantras around here is how wide fairways provide plenty of strategic value. There have been many discussions on this subject, but let's do it again - this time by posting your favorite wide fairway hole and sharing why you find it so strategic.

I would have begun the discussion with the study of the 5th hole at Chambers, but that hole, tragically, no longer fits in this category.

So, let me start off with a great hole from a course FULL of great wide fairway holes - 13th at Ballyneal.

From the tee box, you are overwhelmed with the sheer scale of the fairway. It is probably about 100 yards wide and looks even wider from the tee box. It is almost impossible to miss this fairway (although I may have, a time or two...) and some may wonder, how could a hole where you cannot miss a fairway could possibly be strategic, and better yet, fun to play everytime you play it.

Let me count the ways...



The most obvious place to hit it is down the middle. You get the most level lie there and the best view into the green. However, the landing area in the middle is squeezed by a pair of bunkers on the left and an ENORMOUS bunker on the right. If you hit either of those, your approach will be severely limited.

One of the best place to hit it is actually down the left side. If you can squeeze it between the bunker and the native grass on the left, you will get a speed boost and you will have a very short approach to the green with the best angle to the pins on the right. However, you may not have a level lie and worse, your view may be blocked by the rising fairway. Decisions, decisions...

If you want to play it really safe (or wind is howling), you can leave it short of the huge fairway bunker on the right. You probably have about 80 yard wide space there. However, if you end up there, you will probably have to fly the native grass area that guards green on the right side and you will have a completely blind approach with rightside pins.

We are talking about 3 or 4 very distinct landing zones with distinct risk/reward scenarios. When you add the contours on the green (which are SEVERE!) and corresponding pin positions, the strategic combinations go through the roof. The hole plays differently every time you play it. It is one of those rare holes where playing it more and more will make you appreciate it more and more.

What are some other great examples of strategic wide fairway holes?

Sam Morrow

Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 11:28:11 AM »
It's funny Richard, you're right about that being a mantra around here yet I recall one of the bigger knocks on The Prairie Club being it's width.

Jason Thurman

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 11:55:53 AM »
Sam, I recall some of the same criticisms. However, 13 at Prairie Club is the first hole that comes to mind for me when it comes to strategic width (photo stolen from Mark Saltzman).



The green wraps around the bunker in the rear left of the foreground, and pin position dictates everything. For a left pin, the ideal play is probably up the left side that stays short of the bunker complex. For a right pin, the ideal play is between the left bunkers and the shorter bunkers right. For a middle pin, I think the play is out to the right.

The factor of wind is also huge in the tee shot. From what I was told, the wind is usually across but can be in either direction from one day to the next. My rounds at Prairie Club were in wind off the right, and with pins in the front right or middle, the conservative play was to go wide to the right side of the fairway. The aggressive play though, at least for me, was to let the wind draw the ball between the bunkers and run it into that little slot, which was pretty much at a perfect yardage for my 3 wood. That left a fantastic angle and only about 150 yards.

The bottom line is that the hole's one huge fairway really plays as about 4 or 5 sub-fairways, with the ideal target changing depending on wind and pin placement. Strategic width doesn't exist without wind and large greens, and having multiple teeing angles helps a lot too.
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

Chris DeNigris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 12:39:56 PM »
One of our favorite mantras around here is how wide fairways provide plenty of strategic value. There have been many discussions on this subject, but let's do it again - this time by posting your favorite wide fairway hole and sharing why you find it so strategic.

I would have begun the discussion with the study of the 5th hole at Chambers, but that hole, tragically, no longer fits in this category.

So, let me start off with a great hole from a course FULL of great wide fairway holes - 13th at Ballyneal.

From the tee box, you are overwhelmed with the sheer scale of the fairway. It is probably about 100 yards wide and looks even wider from the tee box. It is almost impossible to miss this fairway (although I may have, a time or two...) and some may wonder, how could a hole where you cannot miss a fairway could possibly be strategic, and better yet, fun to play everytime you play it.

Let me count the ways...



The most obvious place to hit it is down the middle. You get the most level lie there and the best view into the green. However, the landing area in the middle is squeezed by a pair of bunkers on the left and an ENORMOUS bunker on the right. If you hit either of those, your approach will be severely limited.

One of the best place to hit it is actually down the left side. If you can squeeze it between the bunker and the native grass on the left, you will get a speed boost and you will have a very short approach to the green with the best angle to the pins on the right. However, you may not have a level lie and worse, your view may be blocked by the rising fairway. Decisions, decisions...

If you want to play it really safe (or wind is howling), you can leave it short of the huge fairway bunker on the right. You probably have about 80 yard wide space there. However, if you end up there, you will probably have to fly the native grass area that guards green on the right side and you will have a completely blind approach with rightside pins.

We are talking about 3 or 4 very distinct landing zones with distinct risk/reward scenarios. When you add the contours on the green (which are SEVERE!) and corresponding pin positions, the strategic combinations go through the roof. The hole plays differently every time you play it. It is one of those rare holes where playing it more and more will make you appreciate it more and more.

What are some other great examples of strategic wide fairway holes?

Richard,

Thanks for posting this pic. Although I've only been fortunate to play BN one time (2 rounds) this hole stands out as my favorite there and one of my favorites anywhere. To me, and I'm probably overstating the obvious, is that the width combined with the various other features of the hole landing areas- center bunkers, differing fairway elevation and slopes, angles- create a whole series of varied outcomes and subsequent next shot options that is really interesting and fun to play.

Reminds me a lot of Ballyhack number 2.

2 really great holes that are really fun to play.

Matthew Petersen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 12:58:22 PM »
The course I know best that really uses width well is C&C's WeKoPa (Saguaro). On a desert course, the wide fairways offer more than just options, they also help to keep you in play. And yet the best holes still can make life difficult for someone who finds the fairway but isn't paying attention to where you really want to be.

My favorite example on that course is #13.



The hole is a slight dogleg left, more pronounced the further back you go. It's long on the card (470 from the tips), but does not play that long as it is somewhat downhill, often downwind, and this course always seems to play firm.

From the tee, the fairway is just huge. The natural tendency is to aim at the centerline bunker, which is reachable with a good drive. On this line, only a drive missed badly left will miss the fairway. It would be very hard to miss the fairway right.

The trick is that anything on line with or right of the bunker leaves a very difficult angle of approach. From the left, the green is open in front and long, so a mid-iron approach can bounce in and have plenty of time to stop. The green runs away from the player and to the left, down toward the 14th tee. That ground movement exacerbates the difficulty of a second shot from a drive that is too far right. The first concern in the bunker, which blocks virtually any running or bouncing shot into the green. And to take an aerial approach makes keeping the ball on the green extremely difficult. The player will want to be sure to have enough club to carry the bunker, but landing on a firm green running away from the player ... it's tough. I've had as little as 9 iron into the green from that angle and been unable to stop the ball on the surface.

Obviously, then, the proper play off the tee is to hug the left side as closely as possible. This makes what is actually a very wide fairway play very narrow, because the player knows he has to play a cape-style tee shot and hug the desert as close as possible, taking a line appropriate to how long the ball will go.

It's an excellent example of a hole that uses width without making anything easy. A player who knows the course doesn't confuse the wide fairway with an advantage, because they know they need to challenge the trouble down the left. The less experienced player, or the less brave, has plenty of area to hit their tee shot and find it in short grass, but that leaves plenty of challenge ahead.

Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 01:24:21 PM »
Freedom.


« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 09:05:17 PM by Adam Clayman »
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

John Penny

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 01:25:14 PM »
Rich,

One additional point re: 13.  Strategy is also amplified by the hidden/reverse bunker over the center bunker.  For the longer hitter, or from the front tees, the initial/easy thought is to blow it over the center bunker/shoot the gap.  While fairway is possible with a lucky shot, you are likely to end up in the reverse bunker (which isn't the worst place to play from).  A great hole that spans strategy across all handicaps, I'm still forced to decide on every play.

Re Prairie Club Dunes:  I think it required multiple plays to realize the strategy associated with the width.  On a single play, the differences associated with the angles were difficult to discern.

John  

Patrick_Mucci

Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 01:26:06 PM »
Richard,

My time is limited, but, I find this an interesting topic.

I think that width must accompany wind.

Hidden Creek, GCGC, NGLA, Sebonack, Shinnecock, Westhampton, Southampton, Hollywood, Seminole, Friars Head and other courses subject to good winds tend to have wide to very wide fairways.

In terms of sites where there's wind, but not to the extent of most courses located near large bodies of water, Mountain Ridge and Essex County East have good width.

In many cases, the width is an illusion in terms of the ideal tactical play.
A perfect example is the 1st hole at Mountain Ridge, a par 4 into a prevailing wind from a high, elevated tee.
While the fairway is very generous at first glance, when the hole is cut to the left and especially the back left, the fairway, from a tactical perspective is really about half its width, and, the ideal location in the fairway is guarded by an adjacent fairway bunker, providing the ultimate in risk/reward.

I should also mention that the fairway slopes from high left to low right, accentuating the tendency to fade/slice the ball and that the fairway gets flatter as you near the right side bunker.

In addition, the left flank of the green is higher than the rest of the green, feeding balls away from the left side, so any approach from the left side of the fairway better have a good draw on it, because it's not going to get close to a left side hole location.

Here's a picture that illustrates the above.


« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 01:30:15 PM by Patrick_Mucci »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 02:35:48 PM »
I don't have a photo of the tee shot and this is a bit of a cheater hole in terms of width because of the essentially combined fairways.  But, the 5th hole at Strandhill is a remarkable par 5.  From a high tee (with a great view in all directions) the tee shot plays to a very wide double fairway doglegging left.  The aggressive play can cover a load of gunge on a more direct line to the green, but because of the scale and depth of the fairways below its difficult to know the length of carries (if we play properly without yardage guns). 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Alex Lagowitz

Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 02:51:26 PM »
How can one forget the 18th at St. Andrews!
Perhaps the widest fairway I've ever seen, but with great strategy and risk/reward.
Be bold and go down the right, but hit a slice and say goodbye to that one (unless of course you hit a car and get lucky).
Be shy and hit down the wide open left, and have to hit over the valley of sin.  For a short hole its amazing.

Mike Nuzzo

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 04:10:11 PM »
It's funny Richard, you're right about that being a mantra around here yet I recall one of the bigger knocks on The Prairie Club being it's width.

As I recall, the knock wasn't the width, but the lack of importance where one hits it in the fairway.
Thinking of Bob, Rihc, Bill, George, Neil & Tiger.

Joe_Tucholski

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2012, 01:17:48 AM »
Reading the posts I think the take home is width done well must present defined choices w/associated risk/reward.

From Rustic Canyon, the wide fairway course I'm most familiar with, I thought of #2 or #13. 

If each course were to get a point for every GCA DG member who has played the course, Rustic is has to be in the top 10.  But for the few who haven't played it #2 is a 420ish-450ish par 4.  The fairway is shared with #5.  At 240ish from the tee the fairway is 60ish yards wide but angles diagonally away towards the 5th green so the fairway at 270ish from the tee is nearly 100 yards wide. 

There is a linear depression running diagonally across the fairway (the google earth image makes me think it's a man made design element?) and being on the left of the depression gives you a clear view of the green.  The slope of the green is also more favorable from the left.  The left side however is bordered by the entrance road, which has only about 8 yards of rough and a hard pan cart path separating the fairway from OB. 

If you bail out to the right your approach is over a series of bunkers 40ish yards short of the green and the green slopes away from you.

I think #2 is a good example because the width takes an otherwise bland hole and presents the player with a mental choice to either mess with OB or take the more difficult approach.

#13 does the same thing.  Instead of the diagonal depression there is a centerline bunker.  The OB is on the right.  I've never reached the green in 2 from the larger left side of the bunker but have multiple times from the right (I've also been OB multiple times).

For best - #10 at Riviera has to be in the discussion somewhere.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 08:37:10 AM »
I was actually thinking of the 10th at Riviera when I came here to post, but to ask whether it is a good example of a strategic wide fairway, or not.

Yes, it has a wide fairway.  Yes, it is a great strategic hole.  But, the wide fairway is a bit of a red herring ... there is never a time when any player really WANTS to be in the right half of the fairway, or even the right two-thirds.  There are two good plays ... up by the green if you're long enough, or left side.  So is having all that fairway to the right really a great thing if it doesn't fool very many players?  Or is it just a waste of maintenance?

Jason Thurman

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2012, 08:48:45 AM »
Tom, that's kind of what I wonder, and what I thought when reading Matthew Peterson's post earlier on WeKoPa. I think we tend to call things "strategic" when there's a strategy to playing a hole, and I think that's a misnomer. Every hole has a strategy, even the long straight bunkerless par 4 surrounded by trees and tall rough.

For a fairway's width to be strategic, there have to be multiple options regarding which part of the fairway you're aiming for, ideally varying depending on the day's conditions and pin position. This is why I don't see Matthew's description of the hole at WeKoPa as strategic. I haven't played it, but Matthew's description implies that the correct play is ALWAYS up the left side. I don't see anything strategic about that. If you can rough in an entire side of the fairway and not change the ideal line for a player familiar with the course regardless of the day or condition, the fairway width just isn't strategic. It's not good or bad, but it's not strategy. It's the same thing that I saw over and over again at Dormie Club: holes with a wide fairway and a correct strategy to play the hole, but not strategic because the strategy is the same every day regardless of conditions or pin placement.

Re: 10 at Riviera, it seems that the strategic choices stem not from the fairway width but from the bunkering scheme. Having the wide fairway in front of the bunkers looks great, but it's not strategic since no one would ever purposefully aim for the right side (if they're familiar with the course and reasonably intelligent).
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2012, 09:12:25 AM »
Width isn't for the player that hits it exactly where they want to, every time. It's mostly about the recovery from the worst spot, where the only place I have ever seen great shots come from. Who doesn't want to hit a great shot from the worst spot?
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2012, 09:22:45 AM »
1. I think of width as supporting the green-side bunker scheme and shape/contours of the green.  I don't much see the point in having the best angles of approach from the rough.  

2. Playability.  Okay, that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be all fairway, light rough is fine if its not the ideal line.  

3. Fairway width also encourages bold recovery shots.  Sounds weird, but most guys in the fairway will play for tight parts of the green where in fact sometimes they should be playing for fat parts or even better angle fairway spots.  Fairway signals green light so some strategy exists even if its secondary, but I would say this sort of thing shouldn't really be deemed secondary.  Why? Becxause most of us are from expert golfers and the recovery shot(s) part of our games are often the most fun and are encountered one hell of a lot during a typical game.  

Regards Riviera, wouldn't it look very strange to have the right side of the fairway turned into rough - especially with the line of bunkers seen from the tee?  Sometimes, fairways just look better than rough.  I bet dimes to dollars, that if those bunkers and the fairway were removed, #10 would never have become a famous hole.

Ciao      
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 09:27:58 AM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Turnberry, Isle of Harris, Benbecula, Askernish, Traigh, Minehead, St Medan, Gog Magog Old & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Jason Thurman

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2012, 09:24:55 AM »
Adam, agreed that there are lots of good things about width. But what exactly is strategic about a player hitting the ball to a place that they didn't intend to hit it?

We use "strategy" as a synonym for "good" way too often. There are plenty of good holes that aren't particularly strategic, and there's nothing particularly strategic about a wide fairway with only one preferred line. It's not any different than a narrow fairway with only one preferred line, aside from the level of punishment it deals someone who misses that line.
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2012, 11:01:42 AM »
JT, Knowing where to hit is the booby prize. Hitting there is only a certainty for the smallest percentage of players. Great gca needs to accommodate everyone's misses too, otherwise you get what we got from the inferior mindset that plagued gca post wwII until the recent renaissance.  It called Bullshee on the narrow mindset. Not to mention the scorecard and pencil mentality too.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Matthew Petersen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2012, 01:31:10 PM »
Tom, that's kind of what I wonder, and what I thought when reading Matthew Peterson's post earlier on WeKoPa. I think we tend to call things "strategic" when there's a strategy to playing a hole, and I think that's a misnomer. Every hole has a strategy, even the long straight bunkerless par 4 surrounded by trees and tall rough.

For a fairway's width to be strategic, there have to be multiple options regarding which part of the fairway you're aiming for, ideally varying depending on the day's conditions and pin position. This is why I don't see Matthew's description of the hole at WeKoPa as strategic. I haven't played it, but Matthew's description implies that the correct play is ALWAYS up the left side. I don't see anything strategic about that. If you can rough in an entire side of the fairway and not change the ideal line for a player familiar with the course regardless of the day or condition, the fairway width just isn't strategic. It's not good or bad, but it's not strategy. It's the same thing that I saw over and over again at Dormie Club: holes with a wide fairway and a correct strategy to play the hole, but not strategic because the strategy is the same every day regardless of conditions or pin placement.

Re: 10 at Riviera, it seems that the strategic choices stem not from the fairway width but from the bunkering scheme. Having the wide fairway in front of the bunkers looks great, but it's not strategic since no one would ever purposefully aim for the right side (if they're familiar with the course and reasonably intelligent).

Of course it's strategy, in the most basic sense. You either challenge the left side to give yourself the best angle, or take a more conservative line on your drive and are faced with a more difficult approach. To cut down the entire right side of that fairway would simply dictate to the player that the ONLY way to play the hole is to try the left side. This removes all kinds of benefits that the hole currently offers. Particularly on a desert course, it makes a hole much more penal. It removes options on second shots for players who do end up too far to the right--options from there include trying to play over the bunker and stop it quick, playing to the short side of the green, or potentially even trying to hit a cut in around the bunker.

Your post also assumes that every player steps on the tee with a full understanding of the hole's strategy every time. But not all players think of strategy the same way we do here. This is the sort of hole where you're tempted to just rip one off the tee, with little regard to the line, since the fairway is so wide. In doing so, many a player is probably left a little befuddled as to why they struggle with a hole where they are able to hit a monster drive into a wide fairway. Part of strategy is initially recognizing that it exists. The other part is making a choice to accept the risk inherent in pursuing the "better" option. Cutting half of the fairway on 13 at WKS eliminates both options there.

Joe_Tucholski

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2012, 04:21:03 PM »
I was actually thinking of the 10th at Riviera when I came here to post, but to ask whether it is a good example of a strategic wide fairway, or not.

Yes, it has a wide fairway.  Yes, it is a great strategic hole.  But, the wide fairway is a bit of a red herring ... there is never a time when any player really WANTS to be in the right half of the fairway, or even the right two-thirds.  There are two good plays ... up by the green if you're long enough, or left side.  So is having all that fairway to the right really a great thing if it doesn't fool very many players?  Or is it just a waste of maintenance?

Tom a good point about the red herring aspect. 

My experience is watching the hole being played during the Northern Trust.  I was surprised with the number of players who ended up on the right side of the hole.  I'm not sure if they were going for the green and hit it off center with a bit of a push or what.  I tried to find the shotlink data in a pictoral format but couldn't find anything.  The nearest thing I found was here:
http://tourreport.pgatour.com/2012/02/15/shotlink-inside-rivieras-10th-hole/
With the following table:

Tee shot location   Birdie/better   Par    Bogey/worse
Green                      86%          14%          0%
Fairway                    31%          59%        10%
Left rough                30%          59%        11%
Right rough              15%          59%        26%

Wish it told us total numbers in each location and the right fairway/left fairway.

Jason Thurman

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2012, 05:10:38 PM »
Adam, I agree with you, but I still think you're missing my point. You're talking about playability. The thread asks about strategy. They're not the same thing. Wide fairways always increase playability. They sometimes also increase strategy, but not always.

Matthew, if the left side requires a more difficult tee shot, then you're right. That's strategic. Your original post doesn't mention that and I don't know anything about how dangerous the left side is since I haven't played the course. What about the left side makes it more treacherous?

I am confused as to why so many people think rough "forces" players to hit the ball to one spot moreso than fairway. You guys act like no one has ever hit a recovery shot from rough before. If a hole only has one preferred line, it only has one preferred line. It doesn't matter whether that preferred line is surrounded by short grass, rough, sand, trees, or water. If there's only one line any sane person would ever shoot for, then it's just not strategic. There has to be a reason to choose one of several lines, either due to varying playing angles or varying degrees of severity for a missed shot.
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

Josh Tarble

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2012, 05:23:19 PM »
Wouldn't the 10th at Riviera be the epitome of strategic width?  It seems to me that the tee and green would aim you up down the right side of the fairway.  On first glance, the right side should give you a shorter approach, but that's completely contrary to the best way to play the hole.  Granted, I haven't played it but just looking at pictures, that seems like what would happen on the first time around.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2012, 09:22:22 PM »
Wouldn't the 10th at Riviera be the epitome of strategic width?  It seems to me that the tee and green would aim you up down the right side of the fairway.  On first glance, the right side should give you a shorter approach, but that's completely contrary to the best way to play the hole.  Granted, I haven't played it but just looking at pictures, that seems like what would happen on the first time around.


It's exactly what happens the first time around.  And, the tenth at Riviera seems more enduring than most holes at suckering people to play to the right when they know they shouldn't.  It's also correct, as someone above mentioned, that if there were less fairway to the right, average golfers would likely aim further left (to the middle).  Their problem now is that they are just aiming into the middle of a big open area, and the middle is actually too far right.  [Oh, no, not another political thread ... :) ]

I guess that would be most people's definition of strategic.  However, there are some holes in the world where all that fairway would be more useful ... where there would be some hole location, or some player, who actually fared better playing into the other half of the fairway sometimes.  And that's never really the case on the hole at Riviera.

Adam Clayman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2012, 09:27:24 PM »
Jason, Increase strategy? Do you mean an increase in the number of options width affords? The strategy is mine, not the hole's. If, as other have said, there's a limited way to play the hole, smartly, maybe it isn't that great a hole?

I'm partial to the ninth at Cypress as an example of a great short 4, but, as short par fours go, the 10th at Riviera is probably one of the best on a flat piece of ground. It's almost simple appearance, (on paper) deceives the player into thinking they should always walk away with a 3, or a 2. But, when you walk off with 4 or 5, you just have to scratch your head.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Matthew Sander

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Best Examples of Strategic Wide Fairways
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2012, 09:41:02 PM »

Matthew, if the left side requires a more difficult tee shot, then you're right. That's strategic. Your original post doesn't mention that and I don't know anything about how dangerous the left side is since I haven't played the course. What about the left side makes it more treacherous?


Jason,

Regarding Matthew's suggestion of WeKoPa - taking the left line isn't overly treacherous. However, due to the angle, it doesn't take much of a tug to find the desert, which is always a crap-shoot result at best. I can see your argument, but there is a risk of over doing it down that side. Now, because of the shape of the fairway, a shot aimed out near that lone bunker would REALLY have to be mishit to find trouble.

I did play the hole a few years ago and if you can hit a really good drive on the aggressive line to the left, the hole becomes very easy. Playing out to the right requires you to play over the fronting bunker (which gets more in my head the older I get) from a considerably longer distance.

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back