Par 4 / 371 yards
How it played out in 2005
Eagles: 1 Birdies: 85 Pars: 322 Bogeys: 52 Others: 11
One of the most testing holes, this par 4 sums up why the Old Course has remained so mystical for so long. A blind tee shot with an approach to a double green protected by a huge bunker; what’s not to love?
“It was a bit of a nightmare really,” Neil admits. “I hit a reasonable drive out left which I thought was OK but we just couldn’t get the carry off the back tees. I ended up on a downslope in the rough. I tried to play a running 5-iron but it never really came off. I ended up pitching on to the green and two putting for a five. The extra 30 or 40 yards for guys at our level made it very difficult. We were barely making the fairways in most cases. That made a big difference.”
IAN: 6 NEIL: 5
LUKE SAYS: “Most players will use 3-wood here for yet another blind tee shot. The massive Shell bunker is about 300 yards out and you really don’t want to go in there. This leaves a blind second at an awkward distance and makes par tricky. A 3-wood will carry a little hill at about 240 yards, leaving a short iron to a green that slopes away from you. It’s a tricky green with a big ridge running through the middle and they can put pins on either side of the ridge.”
PADRAIG SAYS: The first thing I will ask Ronan, my caddie, when I get on this tee is: ‘Where’s the pin?’; because, more than any other hole, this dictates how you play it. There are some very inventive pins here; one of which is way out on the right, which they never use during the Dunhill. Off the tee you are more concerned about running through the fairway than anything else. I usually hit a 3-wood here and – unusually – I like to go down the left, because from this angle the green is a little longer; and down the right there is a collection area which tends to have a lot of divots. Though it’s a tricky green, you should be going in with a short enough club to get reasonably close.