Know the Golf Course Design to Improve Your Score

By Laird Small

The Protector of Par

The architects job title is protector of par. Well, here we are number six at Pebble Beach, what a wonderful example of that. The fairway is a downhill sloping fairway, that is both downhill and sidehill.

Golf Architects are Out to Challenge You

The beauty of this is that the next shot is uphill. The tendency that we have when we are trying to hit a low lofted club like a fairway wood is because a downhill to an uphill shot we are trying to lift the ball up in the air. What happens then and the mistake that we make is that we end up topping it or hitting it very low on the clubface. The reward we get from a shot like that is we hit it low and into this hill and from that hill it is very difficult to recover because the stance is so awkward and the grass is so tall. Also because it is an uphill shot the tendency is to hit it to the right and you can see on the right we have the cliff and the ocean. So it is no picnic here and the architect has done this on purpose.

The beauty of this is that it is so subtle and you have to pay attention to it. What you want to do if you can hit this shot is you have to fudge with more loft or aim significantly more left, but guess what they did left, they put some long fairway bunkers in on top of the hill. So there is a lot of trouble to get in to, you have to pay attention. If you do not have good lie or it is too much to carry, take a shorter club and lay up to the bottom of the hill. Yes you will have a longer shot into the green, maybe 100 70 to 80 yard shot, it is blind, you can not see the flagstick, but you will have a level and you will be slightly uphill and it makes it easy to actually launch the ball up to the green.

Me, I am going to go for it with a three wood and let's see what happens. That made it up on top and I can keep on going.


Category: Course Strategy
Sub Categories: Alignment, Bad Lies, Fairway Shots

About the Instructor

Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650