Getting on the green

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

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Hole # 3, Mesquite Country Club, Palm Springs, CA

Hole # 3, par 5, Blue tees, 492 yards

On the Mesquite Country Club scorecard, hole # 3 has a number 1 in the handicap row. That means, hole # 3 is the hardest hole on the entire golf course and after playing it, I totally agree. If you hate water then it’s going to be hard for you to embrace this hole. From the tee box, you have to make sure you don’t a worm burner, one of those drives that skips along the grass because if you do, you might as well throw it in the water yourself.

Your tee shot has to carry the water. If you simply keep your cool, you can do it without breaking a sweat. The fairway is pretty wide once you prepare for your second shot, however at 492 yards, it is not easy to go for the green in two. Take a fairway wood and blast it over the water. Or if you’re a little unsure of your clubs then take a mid iron and hit it short of the water. You always go for the green in three and ensure yourself a dry GIR.

On your approach shot, take plenty of club because there are sand traps guarding the green. If you have to, sail it left rather than right so that you miss the bunker on the far right side behind the green. Remember, this is handicap hole # 1 and it will certainly test you. If you can get a par, congratulate yourself. It is well deserved.

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Hole # 4, Moorpark Country Club, Moorpark, CA

Hole # 4, Creekside Course, par 4, White tees, 377 yards

Hole # 9, Moorpark C.C.

Hole # 9, Moorpark C.C.

Ever since I played a charity tournament at the Moorpark Country Club, I’ve been back periodically for more abuse. But it’s fun abuse if you know what I mean. There’s three 9-hole tracks here and on any given day, you really don’t know what the starter gives you. This random act allows the starter to guarantee fast play for its members because this is a semi-private course after all.

Hole # 4 on the Creekside course is one scary hole. There’s a lot of scary holes here if you’re not a straight hitter or a long hitter. I think it’s hard enough at the white tees. Members prefer playing at the blue tees. Your choice but don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. When you drive up to hole # 4 north of the clubhouse, you get a good sense of fear. Off the tee is a gully that you have to hit over. From the white tees, it looks like the other side is a mile away so you can imagine what it looks like from the blue tees. It’s like earth calling the moon.

If you hit your tee shot low, good luck. The best way is to keep your head down and swing smooth. Take a deep breath first and don’t look up until you’ve hit through your impact zone. Anything less and you will be kissing your ball goodbye – that gully is deep! On a good day, I normally hit it about a third up the fairway. I’ve seen guys hit it to the back of the fairway and up the hill. I’ve also seen guys lose their ball right, again into the hill. There’s no finding your ball if you miss the fairway so give it all you’ve got.

From a third way up the fairway, I have a scary shot over another gully to the green. It’s at least a 5-iron for me so I choose to hit my 4-hybrid, hoping to get some air beneath my ball. It’s hard enough fighting the temptation to look up let alone, hit it with enough loft to get over the low bearing trees in the gully. It’s like an overgrown river bed down there.

Soon after, all four of us makes our way to the green. It’s hard getting a GIR here so if you do, please write me a comment and tell me how it’s done. Getting par is almost impossible for someone like me who is not playing their best at the moment. I settled for bogey and no lost balls. Phew!

Moorpark has three unique 9-hole layouts, Creekside, Canyon Crest and Ridge.