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I really liked the 7th and think it is one of the best par 5s at the Cliffs. The tee shot is intimidating but the carry isn't that excessive - and the bigger risk may be bailing out too far left as has been mentioned above. The green on #8 is very much Biarritz-like. Personally I found the tee shot visually awkward and I never hit a good tee shot on the hole in my three rounds. Is the proper tee on #5 open yet or are they still using the one right behind the 4th green?
#16 is stunning to be sure, and very difficult at 175 into a wind that also pushes toward the cliff. It's a do or die shot, but seems playable to a point. We played three rounds on three straight days at the Cliffs, and the pin was always back left on the upper tier. Most of the photos I have seen also have the pin at left, although the recent GDigest slideshow had it to the right. I asked a few caddies around the resort how often it is pinned to the right, and I heard "not often." The more forgiving left pin placement is almost completely hidden from the back tee, and there is some fescue left that I'm sure sees many bailed tee shots. I like the left placement, and the slope that allows you to kick a ball onto the green. It sounds like the resort is unsure of the right pin location for everyday public play, either challenge-wise, or foot-traffic-wise. Perhaps this will evolve as the course moves to full-opening and the grass gets healthier, but the slower greens at present make the right pin as forgiving as it will ever be, and the difficult wind promotes stopping the ball on this shallow area. I enjoyed playing #16, but if the pin is located on the near-blind left side 90+% of the time, and I never got to see the right pin, I would leave my trip thinking I missed out!
I like 17 but a have a friend who detests the hole and thinks it is unfair as it is too easy to hit the ball through the fairway and lose the ball.Like Ben I putted from way back in the fairway on the hill and my ball trickled onto the fringe. One day I also drove into the bunkers and then thinned my ball into the Gulf. In hindsight the play out of the bunker might be backwards to the right half of the fairway and hope you roll back down the hill.
Quote from: Tom_Doak on October 16, 2015, 10:29:03 PMI have to admit the sixth is a hole I just didn't get. You play straight down a chute into a giant bowl, with a giant tier to a lower level in the green. We played when there was no wind, and this hole was as straightforward as could be. The back hole locations might require more creativity if you want to get close, but balls want to get down there on their own. I actually wish they had done more in front of the green. Some more movement in front, to me at least, would have made this quite a bit more interesting. Maybe a missed opportunity for a cool take on a reverse redan here?
I have to admit the sixth is a hole I just didn't get. You play straight down a chute into a giant bowl, with a giant tier to a lower level in the green. We played when there was no wind, and this hole was as straightforward as could be. The back hole locations might require more creativity if you want to get close, but balls want to get down there on their own.