Golf Tips From the 15th Hole: Golf at Troon North
Fifth in our series of favourite signature holes: A Troon North Golf Club expert shares an important tip for this par-4 hole. Beware the large but hidden boulders.
Signature Hole: 15, par 4
Why It Is Unique: Most golf course architects agree that the short par-4 is the most potentially creative hole in golf, with the ultimate risk/reward tee shot—manage to drive the green and you have a putt for eagle. Designer Tom Weiskopf is a fan and master of such holes, and as is his style, here he demands an accurate tee shot, which he rewards—when executed perfectly. It plays just 221 yards from the front tees and 299 from the tips, with most visitors playing it at around 275. To add to the intimidation, the approach to the green is blind, and the hole, aptly named “Canyon Pass,” showcases the signature of the Sonoran Desert—exposed rock—with giant boulders in a pile along the left side of the fairway. You do not want to hit these.
Tip: “There is a second pile of large boulders surrounding the green, which are hidden from the tee box,” says Brett Brooks of Troon Golf, which manages the course. He suggests that aggressive players going for it choose one club less and land short of the green. “Those brave souls who boldly play for the green will find a generous kick forward for balls that land 10 feet short. Three of the hole’s five bunkers are in range of a driver or fairway wood, making a mid-iron the safest play. Those choosing the conservative route will find a wedge in their hand for their second shot, but be prepared—a view of the green is unlikely. Either way, whether playing the risk or the odds, balls that miss right have a chance to hang on but shots pulled left are best left for the snakes to find.” Err to the right.
Don’t Be Distracted By: The Sonoran Desert is the desert of cartoons, with its trademark saguaro cacti and barren but beautiful exposed rock in reds and ochres everywhere. With its stark cacti and rock formations, it looks like the bottom of the ocean, minus the water. Running from the American Southwest down the length of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, this breathtaking ecosystem is unique in the world.
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