Hole four


PAR 4, 392 YARDS

The 4th is the shortest twoshotter on the front nine, and turns back, heading northwest towards the clubhouse. The fairway dog-legs left, thereby encouraging golfers to head down the right of the fairway from the tee, yet a new fairway bunker on the right-hand side heightens the need for accuracy, as does heather and gorse beyond that. The green is now better protected too: half-a-dozen greenside bunkers lie in wait, and the front-right bunker has even been relocated closer to the front of the green. The overall e ect is that players might not favour the right side of the 4th hole quite as much as they did in 2001.

LAWRIE: There are a lot of bunkers to catch out an errant tee shot or approach – as is common at Royal Lytham – but it’s under 400 yards so it’s a relatively short hole. After a pretty tough start, you’ve now got a hole you can attack. The best strategy is to lay up short of the bunker on the right at the dog-leg and go at the pin from there. This is the fi rst hole where you’re really looking to pick up a birdie.

DONALD: I may stick around Lytham and play more links golf – such as at Hillside, Formby and Birkdale – to fine-tune my game for The Open. Or I may go to Ireland. My results have been getting better at The Open. I played solidly over the weekend at Turnberry in 2009 and finished just a couple off the lead, and was 11th at St Andrews. Last year was disappointing, especially going to Sandwich after winning the Scottish Open the week before.