Hole eighteen

Published:

PAR 4, 413 YARDS

From the 18th tee, all the players can see is a sea of pot bunkers, with a thin landing strip of green fairway up the middle leading to that magnifi cent old clubhouse. There is in fact more space on the fairway than there looks, particularly for the pros, who should comfortably clear the diagonal run of bunkers that interrupt the early stages of the fairway, and which frequently hamper the fi nish for club golfers.

A pair of bunkers has been positioned much further down the fairway on the right, to test the accuracy of the longest drives in fair weather, before the course ends in customary fashion, with a green tightly guarded by six greenside traps.

LAWRIE: If you take driver here you can flirt with the two fairway bunkers up the right but taking less club leaves a tough second shot and some guys were hitting their tee shots only just over the bunkers in the middle of the fairway in 2001. I tried to favour the right and hit it just short of the right-hand traps so I was going in with a 7 or 8-iron. There are lots of bunkers around the green, which is quite narrow at the front, but it’s a great-looking shot with the clubhouse just behind. I played with Gary Player in his last Open the last time it was here. He’s a legend and he asked me and our other playing partner up onto the fi nal green with him to enjoy the applause, which was really cool.

WATSON: The 18th provides a fi tting end to the great closing stretch, with a minefi eld off the tee that you have to hit into. Finding a good position off the tee here is critical, as you just have to be playing your second shot off the turf. The whole idea on links courses is to keep out of the bunkers, as they are always hazards. Rarely can you advance the ball to the green from a fairway bunker. The 18th is a good example of how you need to play at Lytham – you’d better hit some quality shots coming in or you are going to make some bogeys.