1st Hole An opening dog-leg hole with ample driving width. The prime location from which to view and approach the green will be on the higher plateau. For those long enough, a line down the right shortens things considerably but remains somewhat blind. The green is set in a hollow surrounded by large dunes and has a substantial tilt from right to left. With a rather wide approach, hollows and bunkers left and right, the green is open to either a high pitch or running shot. A little thought and accuracy is needed but all in all a starting hole to warm up on. 2nd Hole Probably the widest fairway on the course but the greater the risk taken with the driver by either playing alongside or taking on the wasteland on the left, the greater the reward for the approach shot. It is not only shorter but there are no hazards between the player and the hole. Go too far right and face a long iron in over 2 out of the 3 bunkers on the hole. A pin on the right makes this shot even more formidable. Subtle undulations on the green and a drop off behind can make getting up and down an interesting challenge. 3rd Hole Played into the wind this hole can be quite a prospect as it meanders up a gentle rise towards the surrounding hills. It can be a little difficult for the player to become orientated on the tee, but for those capable of carrying to the top of the rise (225- 230 metres from the back) the drive is helped on its way and can set up an opportunity to get home in two. The bunkers, especially the small one in the centre of the approach, and front hollows ensure that only the well struck accurate shot will reach. For those playing for par, right of the approach gives a clearer view of the green and pin. The green is large and the variety of pin areas can make a difference of 2 clubs. Care must be taken with the deceptive right to left slope or three putts will result. 4th Hole Flanked by surrounding hills to the left and beyond the green this hole occupies the highest section of the front nine and offers expansive views of other holes and the Gulf of St Vincent. A somewhat blind drive over a gentle rise with ample width but bunkers lurk in the right rough to keep long hitters on their merits. The placement of pins on the green dramatically alter the way in which the approach is to be played. Accuracy is at a premium when the hole is towards the back as the green narrows considerably. When the pin is forward, club selection is paramount with the creek at the front and a bunker beyond coming into play. The L shaped green will cause some consternation for those putting from the wrong section. 5th Hole The first of the long par 4s playing in an opposite direction to the others and therefore, according to the wind, will either be a stiffer test or offer some relief. A hazard in the form of a creek bed winds almost all the way along the right side with the fairway at its narrowest approximately 250 metres from the tee. There is plenty of room to drive but if off line and in either one of the two left bunkers, recovery for par will not be easy. The green will accept a running shot from right of centre but bunkers left and right call for accuracy. The green rises to a plateau at the back presenting a range of pin areas from the front left to the back right that can be as far apart as 30 metres. 6th Hole (This hole was sculptured out of featureless flat land to be one of the most attractive on the course.) A par 3 dominated by the bunkering. A small opening is provided at the front but otherwise the green is totally surrounded. The green itself is crowned and quite wide. Almost 2 distinct holes can be created when the hole is taken from the left over to the right side. Touch is at a premium as undulations flow throughout the putting surface and it will not be enough just to hit the green. 7th Hole This is a reachable par 5 if the drive is long and the lake "taken on”. Otherwise there are 2 other options for the second shot. Lay up into the wide area short of the lake and face a 6 or 7 iron in over the water or, play left into the narrow part of the fairway where one will have only a short pitch but to a green sitting diagonally. A better angle to the green can be obtained by taking a risk and skirting the lake. The back of the green is quite narrow with hollows and bunkers to contend with if the approach shot is not exact. Apart from a ridge running across the centre of the green, the contouring is gentle and putting relatively straightforward. 8th Hole The second of the par 3s and more difficult than the previous one, especially when the pin is in the back left portion of the green. Only those with maximum control of their mid-long irons need think of attacking this hole location. The feature of the hole is the green sloping from front to back, which can be quite deceptive. We do have, however, a very generous opening signalling that it is not necessary to carry the shot all the way to the green. In fact, the best result will be from a low running shot that uses the slope to feed the ball down to the hole. The fact that everything seems to be back to front will be hard to adjust to even when chipping or from the bunkers. 9th Hole A long narrow par 4 that calls for strength and accuracy and some fortune in the form of a flat lie to get home in two. By hugging the right side off the tee a little length can be saved but too far right will mean some very awkward lies in the rough with the ball well above the players' feet and no chance of reaching the green. The green is quite large and it is not good enough just to be on as the undulations make long putts hazardous and two putting can be quite an achievement. 10th Hole A picturesque hole that is not demanding, but stray too far left off the tee and it is likely one of the gathering bunkers will cause a dropped shot. A short iron or pitch is all that is required from the valley to a green cut midway up a gentle rise and flanked by bunkers. A ridge running through the green separates the pin areas at the back and will mean that those putting from the wrong side need perfect judgement to get down in two. 11th Hole Here we have a hole that will reward those prepared to take a risk with the driver and carry the dunes down the left. A short iron approach to an undulating green guarded by bunkers left and right will be the result. Otherwise, a long iron off the tee to the wide part of the fairway will produce another long iron in. Of course the strength and direction of the wind alters things in a major way, particularly from the elevated tee. As one turns the corner of the dogleg a special scene greets the golfer. In certain lights, the folds in the approach and the green, and the contrasting deep bunkers are made to look quite dramatic. A backdrop of the waters of St Vincent Gulf completes a stunning picture. 12th Hole This is the longest and most difficult par 4 on the course. Played into the tough south-easterly, only the very longest will get home. The drive is through a chute of sand dunes to a fairly open area but well below the green. A narrow entrance to a long green with a valley separating the front from the back places a premium on length and accuracy. Putting from the front to a pin back left is a daunting prospect and can be over 100 feet with borrow to match. Fours here will be well earned and not a regular occurrence. 13th Hole The shortest par 4 with a blind drive that is fairly innocuous looking. However, it is not all that it seems. The best angle to the green is gained by going down the left side but the boundary is lurking all the way. A drive along the right does not risk too much but can be pulled up by the fairway undulations. The shot in from here has to negotiate all the bunkers and must be hit with extra backspin as the green slopes gently away. Coming in from the left, a simple pitch is all that is required and a birdie a distinct possibility. This green is part of a large double green adjoining the 16th and the pin can be tucked away to make the hazardous right side approach even more difficult. 14th Hole We have now reached a contrasting part of the course in a valley protected by hills to the east and west. The coastline is no longer visible and there is a feeling of seclusion. The long drivers here will need to be very accurate as the fairway is narrowed about 230 metres from the back tee by a lake on the right fed from Salt Creek, which continues to wind down and across the fairway. A bunker on the left, a little closer to the tee, can push the player of average length to the right making his shot in rather more interesting over the lake, an old tree and bunker in front of the green. The green is wide and the demands of the approach shot can be increased greatly as the pin is moved further to the right. A bunker behind makes club selection very important. 15th Hole The shortest hole on the course. An uphill par 3 guarded by bunkers on the left front and behind. The green is large but there are definite and separate pin areas that call for a well-judged short iron or pitch. If the green is missed there will be a range of shots required out of deep bunkers or grassy hollows and a 3 is by no means a “walk in the park". The slopes on the green place a premium on putting. 16th Hole The longest hole on the course with a steep grade running across from left to right, especially at the start. The drive is best if aimed at the bunkers and allowed to feed off the hill to the right. Once this is successfully negotiated the decision now is whether or not the bunker crossing the fairway about 430 metres out can be carried. There are options left and right but the pitch is more exacting, especially if the pin Is tucked away to the right. To play short will mean a tough shot possibly as much as a 6 iron is required and again the green is surrounded by an array of interesting hazards. We are now on the other side of the double green shared by the 13th. There are a variety of undulations which flow toward fairway for the most part but feed away towards the back on the right. Needless to say, the closer the pitch is to the green the easier the third shot is to judge. 17th Hole This hole is a feature of the course - very difficult and beautiful. It will be renowned as one of the best par 3s in the country! The course returns to the links theme here with the coastline back in view and the wind playing a major role. Played into the westerly, a full-blooded drive can be required to get home. On the other hand, a mid-iron downwind will be sufficient. No hazards are in front but disaster awaits in the form of deep bunkers (unseen on the right) and tufted grasses covering the large dunes if the golfer strays off line. Just being on the green is no guarantee of a 3 as its size and slope can be quite daunting. 18th Hole A par 5 with hazards all the way to the finish that give a brilliant contrast to the emerald green Santa Anna couch fairway. A small deep bunker, unseen from the tee, has been placed right in the centre of the fairway and can cause a degree of consternation for some when playing the course for the first time. Once the player knows it is there and that almost certainly a shot is dropped if not avoided, there are alternatives to be considered off the tee. The most common will be to skirt the left rough and guide the ball past. If one chooses to play short the next complex of bunkers will come into play on the right, as the ball for this second shot will be below the golfers feet - an impetus to slicing. Those who drive straight and long will be looking to get home in two and make a birdie to finish. There is a narrow level plateau in front of the green that will aid them to let the ball run through, but miss to the right and the deep bunkers could bring about a bogey. There are a number of pin placement areas that will call for a variety of third shots in and some very interesting chipping and pitching around the green. A four is a distinct possibility for the best players but a great deal of skill and judgement will be required to get it.
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