Getting on the green

Blogging about some of the world's best golf holes.


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Hole # 17, Elkins Ranch GC, Fillmore, CA

Hole # 17, par 4, Blue tees, 440 yards

Spring time means allergies for many of us, including me. One of my favourite and worst courses is Elkins Ranch in Fillmore. A favourite of mine because of the layout and openness of each hole. But during the spring, the orange blossoms play havoc on my allergies. If you are like me, choose a day when the wind isn’t blowing.

Hole # 17 is one of the best holes at Elkins. From the 17th tee box, you have a commanding view of the fairway below. A hard, straight tee shot can get you within a mid-iron away from the green. A GIR is makeable for most players.

My playing partners and I like to visualize our shots from the white tees. From there, you can better judge what line to choose and you can also spec out the group ahead. When safe, back up to the blue tees and take aim. I like to set the tee low to avoid hitting a high tee shot. Remember, you’re already high up and you need a piercing shot with plenty of roll.

I hit first. My drive looks promising as it beamed straight to the middle of the fairway below. It takes a couple of bounces and stops. It looks good from up here. My playing partners hit next and their balls surround mine, left, right and centre. Driving down the hill, you can see how a duffer could easily lose a ball.

From the fairway, we all have long iron to the green. Guess there was more wind than we thought. I choose my 4-hybrid to get to the green. Others choose a 4-iron, 5-wood and a 3-hybrid. Only 2 of us hit the green but it’s a long putt for the both of us. With the pin situated in the front, it was hard to land the ball and stop it where it landed. A par is an accomplishment and three other bogeys followed.

Have you played Elkins Ranch lately? If so, please add your comments, tips and adventures.