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Posted by Dave on Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oakland Hills Hole-by-Hole

In preparation for the Oakland Hills (South) review, I wrote down a hole-by-hole description of the course.  Believe it or not, this was really the first time I've done this for a course (OK, I lied.  I did it for Cypress).  I figured it would be a good idea to share it.  It's kind of terse, but it gets the point across.

Don't forget, the full review of Oakland Hills (South) can be found here.  Enjoy.

First Fairway


1 - Par 4, 435 Yards

  • One of the better views of the course from first tee
  • Fairway pitches left, favoring draw in to green
  • Two plateaus make for tough pins - front left and back right


Second Fairway

2 - Par 5, 523 Yards

  • Fairway bunkering steers you right but left side is better
  • Green placement up on ridge
  • Stay below the pin...  Unlike me


Third Hole

3 - Par 3, 198 Yards

  • Only hole on the course that was not revised during Rees Jones' 2006 redesign
  • Favors a draw - almost redan-type shot
  • Trees on right frames hole and makes you think you have way less to work with on the right side
  • Green narrows as it goes back, making for a very tough back pin


Fourth Green

4 - Par 4, 430 Yards

  • Playing to the right is favorable, even though it yields a longer approach
  • Another green that sits lower than the fairway, but is well bunkered.
  • Left plateau makes for tough pin placements, and near-impossible up-and-downs from short side


Fifth Green

5 - Par 4, 459 Yards

  • Blind-ish tee shot, can't see last bunker on the right, and fairway pinches in from the right after the hill
  • Approach is one of the more difficult on the course if pin is right.  Uphill and long
  • Would be fun to tuck pin front right and move tees way up, enticing players to try to carry the creek.
  • Green slopes back to front


Sixth Hole

6 - Par 4, 360 Yards

  • Landing area for driver is extremely narrow, warranting fairway metal off the tee. 
  • Optional forward tee gives players opportunity to drive the green
  • Narrow top right portion of the green requires very accurate approach


Seventh Hole

7 - Par 4, 411 Yards

  • Most serene green setting on the course
  • Fairway bunkers start at 260 and run to 355 - give the golfer the feeling that there is much less room with which to work in the fairway
  • Fairway is actually very wide back by the start of the water/bunkers - most pros take iron here.
  • Fairway slopes toward the water, favoring a draw from the tee
  • Back left pin is very well protected, approach from the right side is favorable.  


Eighth Hole

8 - Par 5, 482 Yards

  • Difficult tee shot - Very undulating fairway in the landing zone pinched together by bunkers.
  • Favors a cut, but still leaves long approach
  • Fairly daunting uphill approach is difficult to manage with a long iron, almost better to play as a three shotter with 3w, 5i, wedge.
  • One of the steepest sloped greenside bunkers on the course, can't really see the putting surface
  • False front on this green will make you pay


Ninth Hole

9 - Par 3, 226 Yards

  • LONG.  Almost unfair.
  • Green is less of one green and more a grouping of tiny, tiny greens connected by short grass.
  • You would think that a long par 3 of this ilk would have a much more tame green, a la number 3 at Beverly


Tenth Fairway

10 - Par 4, 453 Yards

  • First hole that Ross routed.
  • Elevated tee, then valley, then landing area. 
  • Three fairway bunkers right steer you toward a hill on the left that can kick you down in to the trees/rough
  • Fairway could also kick you right toward the third bunker if you can hit it long enough
  • Green almost looks as though you could run the ball up, but the fairway in front of the green definitely makes you fly it at least to the front part
  • One of the better looks back on a hole


Eleventh HoleEleventh Green

11 - Par 4, 423 Yards

  • Most interesting hole on the course - almost to the point that it doesnt fit in. 
  • HUGE speed slot over the left bunkers take the ball another 40-50 yards. 
  • Very rare to have a hole run almost straight up the crest of a hill
  • MUST control spin on second shot with a wedge, as the green is severely pitched from back to front. 
  • Driver is almost too much in some cases, as it would fly you to a flatter part of the fairway and not produce as much roll
  • Run-off area in back could lead to some chips off the front of the green


Twelfth Hole


Twelfth Green

12 - Par 5, 578 Yards

  • Trees and bunkers pinch your tee shot, but you would much rather be left than right
  • Widening the fairway here on the left brings a much better angle in to play off the tee, flirting with the bunkers in order to get prime angle to the green
  • Gorgeous bunkering gives would-be risk takers fright, as a 50-60 yard bunker shot promises to follow a poorly struck attempt at the green in two
  • Back left pin is protected by a tree and front right by a false front.


Thirteenth Hole

13 - Par 3, 171 Yards

  • Very interesting one-shotter.  Horseshoe type plateau in the green makes for tough club selection
  • Difference of four feet in elevation from back to front
  • Bunkers revamped by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. for the '51 Open, adding a pot bunker front right


Fourteenth HoleFourteenth Green

14 - Par 4, 480 Yards

  • No fairway bunkers, but hole doglegs slightly to the right, making the sightline just difficult enough to make you uneasy
  • Green pitches away and to the left, contradicting the draw that seems to be warranted while standing in the fairway
  • Another low-lying green.
  • Run off area left catches over-drawn shots
  • Front left pin is nearly impossible to hit.


Fifteenth Hole

15 - Par 4, 401 Yards

  • Visually off-putting tee shot.  Must either thread the needle or give up significant yardage.
  • Trying to fly the bunkers is pretty much useless, as you will most likely be blocked out by trees on the right for your approach
  • Laying back on your tee shot makes for a much more difficult approach over a series of bunkers short left of the putting surface


Sixteenth HoleSixteenth Green

16 - Par 4, 406 Yards

  • Tee shot isnt all too difficult if you're smart about it.  Take something that will leave you short of the water, and you wont have to worry about reaching the trees on the left
  • Second shot is where you earn your keep - club selection and spin control crucial
  • Protected by water front right
  • Bunkers over the green will leave an impossible up and down


Seventeenth Hole

17 - Par 3, 214 Yards

  • Difficult to stop your tee ball, as a long iron or hybrid approach will probably not have much of a descent angle - green is 30 feet above the tee.  
  • Well protected by bunkers, doesnt allow for run-up at all
  • Back right pin location would call for high, long cut shot.  Not easy


Eighteenth HoleEighteenth Green

18 - Par 5, 492 Yards

  • Dogleg right with a fairway that slopes left. 
  • Bunkers short of the green on the left demand accurate second shots if attempting to hit the green by rolling it up.
  • Shallowest green on the course - split in two by a mound in the middle

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