Hole 15 – Firethorn


PAR 5 – 530 YARDS

Another hole that has changed a lot over the years. Left side of the fairway will leave you blocked out by the trees and the second is a good 10 yards downhill.

It’s a tough green to hit and the right-hand bunker is a good miss. This is perhaps the toughest club to call of the round, not just because of the elevation change and the wind, but also because the green is a small target, shallow and firm.

It normally plays downwind, but, again, you can check by looking over the clubhouse at the flags on the driving range. So many things happen on this hole. If you’re going to lay up then you should do so down the left side, even in the rough on the left, because then you have a flatter lie with a chip up and across the green.

Over the green is very tough because the grain is into you and the ball won’t jump forwards if you’re short with the chip back. It’s such a fine line between success and failure.

ADRIAN BISHOP: “A drive hugging the right side of the fairway is the best line from the tee on this final par 5. But… miss the fairway to the right and you can find trees, relatively new but still very capable of hindering your approach. The fairway bulges to the left, though huge pines can easily block out your chances of
hitting a second to the green. If you do get a good drive away and make it over the brow of the hill you may be tempted to go for the green. The putting surface is very shallow (from front to back) so if you do decide to go for it you’ll need to hit a towering long iron – though for many, the higher-flying hybrid will prove a tempting option here. If you lay up you must make sure you leave yourself a full pitch as the shot will be played from a downhill lie and anything less than perfect contact is sure to end up in the pond. When you play the pitch you must make sure you take plenty of club and hit the shot smoothly as anything struck hard can spin back off the front of the green and there is no fringe to stop it ending up in the water. Distance control is vital here, as going long leaves a horrible chip to a
green that slopes down to the water.”

PETER ALLISS: “I think this is a monstrously difficult hole if you’re trying to hit it in two. The green is pretty receptive but you haven’t got a big area to land it on and if you’re a whisker short you can end up in the water. Every player has a decision to make and you have to decide on a clear strategy of how you’re going to play this hole.”

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