Archive » May 24, 2012
Golf & Travel
By Ray Navis, Contributing Writer
The Central Coast is blessed with some of the most natural settings in golf. Many of our courses have few structures in sight. Just lush green fairways and an abundance of nature. This time around, we will look at the best par 4 holes – and there are some great ones.
La PurisimaWhen I think of tough par 4 holes, the first thing that comes to mind is La Purisima. Right off the bat, players have to negotiate the tricky 2nd hole. This downhill dog-leg left requires an accurate drive to set up the medium-length approach over the water. Windy conditions can make this one difficult, and the green is undulating once you arrive. The 5th hole is long and uphill, playing 430 yards and requires an accurate tee ball. The 7th is downhill and not too long, but the tee shot must be accurate. Big hitters may try to carry the corner here and will not know the fate of their play until they arrive down below. Number 10 plays long but mostly downwind.
Perhaps the most treacherous is the relatively short 14th. Although only 360 yards or so, it requires two accurate plays to reach the blind green with severe undulation. This hole has wrecked many a round for me and merely thinking of it causes a rise in my blood pressure. The 18th is as tough as any playing 430 yards into the wind. The drive is reasonable, but the second will catch your attention crossing a barranca with trees and bunkers guarding the green.
Hunter RanchThis Ken Hunter creation has a great variety of four pars. The classic 2nd hole plays uphill and doglegs to the right. Gamblers will try to carry the bunker on the right allowing for a shorter approach. Perhaps the most terrifying two-hole stretch for tournament players are the 11th and 12th holes here. Many will play well up to here but to get through these will require skill. The 11th is fairly short, but the approach plays across a lake to the green surrounded by water. It is a frightening shot made easier if you get farther up the fairway off the tee. If you survive this one, the tough tee shot on 12 awaits. You must thread the needle on this uphill dog-leg left with a lateral hazard to the left. Anything close to par on these two will be celebrated at the end of the day.
SandpiperWhat is it about 2nd holes around here? The second at Sandpiper is a doozy, playing 440 yards and usually into the wind. The drive must be long and accurate to set up the long approach. This shot will seem like a long field goal between the towering eucalyptus trees right and left. The 10th hole is one that can really do damage to your card if you are not careful. Most will be distracted with the ocean backdrop on this short downhill dog-leg left. The green is small and a miss is not forgiving with lateral hazards long, left and right. Once on the green, two putts is no sure thing. The 14th is also memorable, as it rides the bluff and stretches more than 450 yards. This one is mostly downwind – but again, the green is tough. Pars on any of these will bring a sigh of relief to even the best golfers.
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