Hoylake: The important holes

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Hole 6

Hole 6

Par 3; 201 yards
Most double bogeys of any hole in 2006. Hardest par 3 on the course.
The longest par 3 on the course, and the toughest in 2006. The green is long and narrow, and slopes from back to front. The front is well protected by three bunkers, all of which are small and deep enough to cause you a lot of problems if you chase a front pin and get it wrong.
If you miss the green long, you’re in the bushes. If you’re going to miss the green, short but not in the bunkers is your best chance of saving par. The Sunday pin will probably be back-left – everything runs off that left side.

Hole 12

Hole 12

Par 4; 447 yards
It was the hardest hole during the week in 2006.
The wind will almost certainly be coming off the sea, which is on your left. This brings the three bunkers at the apex of the dog-leg right into play; if you’re in one of those, you’ve got a very tricky second shot to a raised green. You may need to aim left and let the wind bring you back into the middle, but if you stay left, you’ll end up in a new area of severely undulating ‘broken ground’, which will mean an extremely difficult lie and stance for your second shot.

Hole 14

Hole 14

Par 4; 454 yards
Signature hole where Tiger Woods made a remarkable eagle two in 2006. Second hardest in 2006.
It’s a sharp dog-leg to the left, and you probably won’t be able to see the green on your first or second shot. It’s just not worth the risk of trying to carry everything over the corner, as even if you manage it, you’re unlikely to find the fairway. It’s easy to miss the green right, because the wind is off the left and to miss left is a disaster. Miss right and you’re faced with a huge slope up to the green, which makes getting up and down exceptionally tricky.

Hole 16

Hole 16

Par 5; 577 yards
Longest hole, but the easiest in 2006. First of two par 5s in the last three.
Although it's the longest hole on the course, it is almost always downwind, which makes it play a lot shorter than normal. The tee shot needs to be threaded between the collection of three bunkers on the left, and some heavy rough on the right. If you manage that, getting on in two becomes a real possibility. The green is protected by three bunkers short-left, plus a deep hollow short-right. Big-hitters may only have a mid-iron for their second shot, if they hit driver off the tee and find the fairway.

Hole 18

Hole 18

Par 5; 551 yards
Easily capable of producing a two or three-shot swing.
There’s an internal out of bounds down the right, which is where the practice ground is normally, but will host hospitality tents during the tournament. Downwind, a driver can carry the two bunkers on the left, making the green accessible in two, but this also brings the OB more into play, as it cuts in more as you get further up the hole. On the Sunday, the pin is normally tucked in tight behind the three bunkers front-left, which means the margins between success and failure are miniscule.

Hoylake by numbers

Par: 72 Length: 7,312 yards
Longest par 3: 201 yards (6th hole)
Longest par 4: 480 yards (7th hole)
Longest par 5: 577 yards (16th hole)
2006 overall average score: 71.2958
Number of eagles in 2006: 61
Number of birdies in 2006: 1,079
Easiest hole in 2006: 16th (av 4.36)
Hardest hole in 2006: 12th (av 4.28)

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