Getting on the green

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

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Hole # 7, Tierra Rejada GC, Moorpark, CA

Hole # 7, par 3, White tees, 110 yards

Three of my favourite holes are Tierra Rejada are holes # 6, 7 and 8. I don’t usually shoot a good score on # 8 but I’ve par’d # 6 and # 7 in the past so they will be my favourites for some time to come. Hole # 7 is a short par 3 where you have to hit a nice draw to. If you try to go straight at it, you have to contend with the sand bunker in the front or worst, go over the flag and cliff at the same time.

I try to hit a strong pitching wedge to the green from the white tees. If I hit it well, the ball hits the middle of the green and rolls to the back of the green where the pin is usually positioned. This is one of those holes that you want to avoid hitting the sand at all cost. Make sure you use enough club to get to the green.

I was up first so I went with my PW. I hit it hard enough and luckily got underneath it. It went up and over the sand bunker and onto the green. Phew! Waruna was up next. He also hit PW and it settled back of the green. It was a good shot. Stan was next and he made a beautiful swing. His ball ended up almost next to ours. Arlen was last and he decided to get fancy with his wedge. He got totally underneath it and his ball flew left and over the fence. From the fence, you can look for miles over Simi Valley to Oak Park.

All of us on the green putted and walked away with a par each. It was a good hole on a good day with good friends.

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Hole # 4, Lost Canyons GC, Simi Valley, CA

Hole # 4, par 3, Silver tees, 155 yards

Shadow Course - Hole # 4 Silver Tees

Shadow Course – Hole # 4 Silver Tees

When you drive up to hole # 4 on the Shadow Course at Lost Canyons, the sweat begins to form on your eyebrows. Just seeing the amount of rough between tee box and green will make any grown golfer run for the hills (and there’s plenty of hills here at Lost Canyons). People say it’s target golf here on the Shadow Course and hole # 4 is all target.

At 155 yards, this hole isn’t easy. Sometimes my golf GPS reads 165 yards but it stays on the high side. Today it reads 158 yards which to me, is a long ways for a par 3. I like to take my 6-iron and hit a draw. That way, it gets there. I have to start the ball right (towards the rough) then curve it back left. It’s a chancy shot but it’ll have to do.

I’m up and I address the ball. It helps visualizing the shot so I set up, ready to hit it onto the green. My ball travels exactly the way I thought but it comes up a little short of the green. No GIR but it’s over the gully and is a chip away. I get up there and take a big sigh of relief. I chip on and 2-putt in for a bogey. I’m happy with that.

Have you played here lately? If so, please add a comment of how you played.

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Hole # 9, Lost Canyons GC, Simi Valley, CA

Hole # 9, Sky Course, par 4, Silver tees, 420 yards

With two courses to choose from, Lost Canyons GC in Simi Valley, CA is a true test for the low handicapper. For me, it’s just a humble reminder that I’m not as good of a golfer than I think. In my opinion, the Sky Course is more fair than the Shadow Course. If you like blind shots then go play the Shadow. Otherwise, if you want to play a decent game then stick with the Sky.

Hole # 9 is called the Sky Lake hole. Why? When you drive up to the hole, you can see why. A large lake spans across from tee box to landing area. It’s up to you how much of the lake you want to carry your ball. I like to aim my ball so that I’m left with 150 yards for my second shot. Big hitters can probably go for more but make sure you hit it hard.

I like my TaylorMade Burner Draw driver with a 10.5 degree loft. When I hit it well, I end up in the middle of the fairway – dry. My friend Stan usually hits it short and into the bunker that runs along the lake, right of the fairway.

My second shot is 150 yards right on the mark. The green always looks far away but it can be quite deceiving if you don’t choose the right club. I usually hit a 6-iron and hit it with three quarter power. It flies low and bounces up to the green. I’ve got a GIR and ready for a 2-putt. I finish the front nine with a par.

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Hole # 1, Rustic Canyon GC, Moorpark, CA

Hole # 1, par 5, White tees, 495 yards

Getting on the Green - Free Shipping on Callaway at Fairway Golf

Getting on the Green – Free Shipping on Callaway at Fairway Golf

Wished I had Bubba Watson’s pink driver here to tee off on hole # 1 at Rustic Canyon GC in Moorpark, CA. At 495 yards from the white tees, it’s not terribly long but the hole looks a long way from the tee box. Sure it would be nice to drive it long and try to get it on the green in 2 for an eagle putt.

The hole is a dogleg right. It is best to cut some of the corner off on the right but don’t flirt with it. Losing your ball right is not a good idea. Just blast it a little right with a fade and you will be perfect for the second shot. I dropped my tee shot just over the crest and it bounced and rolled for another 30 yards.

I decided to use my Callaway 4-Hybrid Edge for a low boring shot leaving me with a wedge shot to the green. Luckily my ball ended up just short of the dry river bed that is carved in front of the green. I hit a nice high shot that landed hard on the green and bounced off. If you’ve played Rustic Canyon before, you would know how hard it is to stick your ball on the green.

My ball ended up on the apron which at Rustic is like an extended green because it is compact, just like the green is. You can putt right from the apron and your ball will roll as though it was on the putting green. With undulation, it is difficult to get it right, especially on your first hole. I would double bogey, even with a GIR. Putting has to be improved.

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Hole # 6, Tierra Rejada GC, Simi Valley, CA

Hole # 6, par 4, Gold tees, 295 yards

From the back tees, this hole will take your breath away. Playing the front 9 at Tierra Rejada GC requires courage, confidence and trust for your swing. Hole # 6 is no exception for black, blue and white tees. The Ladies’ league will play from the gold tees and has a break because they tee off from the other side of the gully. Some ladies in the league with a big swing will tee off at the white tees. Getting your ball across the gully is an achievement and it feels good hitting it over.

If you haven’t play Tierra Rejada, bring your mom there tomorrow and she gets to play for free. You’ll have to pay regular green fees but she can play for free because it’s Mother’s Day. Otherwise sign up for their free birthday round.

From the white tees, take out the big dog and hit it towards the cart path. If you have a slight fade and can drive it 220+ yards then you will have less than 100 yards into the green. If you drive it less than that, try to hit your ball to the 150 white marker. Anything clearing the gully is good.

From the other side, take an extra club to go for the green. It’s slightly uphill so you will need to make perfect contact. Depending on the pin placement which is usually in the back, hit it nice and high to give you a fair chance for birdie or par.

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Hole # 3, Tierra Rejada GC, Simi Valley, CA

Hole # 3, par 4, White tees, 425 yards

I’m man enough to admit that I’m scared of losing my ball on hole # 3 at Tierra Rejada Golf Club. I usually come to this hole after parring the last hole so I usually feel pretty good, until I have to tee up. From the white tees, the tee shot is scary. From the blue tees, it is even more scarier. Staring across the gully, you need to aim towards the hill on the right and draw your ball in to the middle. That would give you the best shot for an easy GIR. Straight shooters should always aim to hit in the middle of the fairway. Don’t try to aim for the wooden fence across the way, if you do, you will sail it past the fence and lose your ball to the 23 freeway.

I decide to hit driver and aim for the cart path. It goes across the gully safely and disappears. I suspect keeping left was a good idea because anything right is trouble. My ball ended up hitting the slope and gained some distance. My playing partner got lucky and hit his ball against the wooden fence. His ball was inches to being OB.

My second shot required a 140 yard iron shot. I had figured that my 9-iron would get me there because of the elevation drop. I was right. My ball ended up in the front part of the green. I had a 20 yard putt for birdie. Unfortunately for the undulation, I had to settle for a par.

Have you played this hole recently? If so, please write me a comment on how you played this hole.

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Hole # 14 – Simi Hills, Simi Valley, CA

Hole # 14, par 4, White tees, 336 yards

My favourite hole on the Simi Hills Golf Course, located on Alamo Street in Simi Valley is hole # 14, a challenging risk and reward hole. If you play with your buddies, you always try to go over the water and leave yourself a short wedge shot to the green. From the white tees, I would try to go over enough water to hit a 9-iron. Other players will attempt fate by going for the green. Some would try so hard that they end up slicing their ball to the next tee box.

It’s too bad the golf swing takes a few seconds to execute. There’s no pullback when you know your ball is not going to travel straight. A bad pull would easily cost you a ball into the lake. And if you don’t calculate it correctly, you simply come up short. Make sure you have enough club to carry the ball over water and safely to the fairway.

My playing partner would play it safe and hit his drive over land. His ball would leave him to a 160 yard approach shot. My other playing partner would skim the water’s edge and drop his ball a little left of the cart path. He has about 140 yards to go. I decided to go for it and hit a bomb over the water so I set up with a wide stance. I would let it all out and the ball would sail over the water and safely land middle of the fairway. I sighed relief.

With only 100 yards left, I decided to run my ball up to the green instead of hitting it up. In the past, I would pull my wedge and end up in the bunker. I would execute a nice pitch and be left with a 20 yard putt. Now it was left up to me to get it into the hole in 1 or maybe 2. I was not going to leave it short nor blow it past the hole.

I ended up settling for a par. This hole could have easily eaten me up, if I didn’t negotiate a drive over water. A par is a good score for this hole. Have you played here before? If so, please share your comments, tips or adventures.

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Hole # 17, Tierra Rejada, Simi Valley, CA

Hole # 17, par 3, Blue tees, 105 yards

After playing a long stretch of holes along the road at Tierra Rejada, hole # 17 is a nice change. From the blue tees, I used my PW and hit a knockdown shot to the green. There was no use flying it because the pin was upfront. Flying it on a windy day would not be a good idea. If you have played there before, you would remember this par 3. It is short, really short and players often use their sand wedge or even their lob wedge to get the ball close. But there’s no forgiveness when you hit the green because of the undulation. When the pin is upfront, there is no coming up short. Going over the flag is one option but count on a tricky putt.

On this day, my ball would come to rest at the bottom of the valley past the hole. I took one good look at the line and putted it close but not for birdie. I would end up with a par. My playing partners would end up with a bogey each, over sailing their shot to the back of the green.

How did you do? Please share your comments, experience, tips and adventures on short par 3’s like this hole at Tierra Rejada.