The five key shots for winning at The Old Course

2. Drive down the right side

On the majority of the Old Course, if you find the right side of the fairway you have a really good angle in. However, if you miss right you’re either in sand, rough or out of bounds, like here on 17. The safe play is left, but it makes the second shot harder. It’s a bit of a risk-reward course off the tee – the further right you go the easier your approach is but the closer to danger you are. There’s no more extreme example anywhere than 17 with the hotel staring at you. It’s about picking a line and being brave.

Five Shots

Where to aim
People talk about going at the ‘o’ in hotel but you really want to be just right of the words. The wind is usually off the right so will bring it back a touch. Anything over the dragon symbol is too far left and in the rough. 

Be aggressive
You’ve got to hit driver from this back tee, unless it’s one of the rare occasions when it plays straight downwind. The really big hitters, around two or three per cent of the field, might hit 3-wood if it’s behind. 


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