Getting on the green

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


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Hole # 11, Westin Mission Hills, Gary Player Course, Rancho Mirage, CA

Hole # 11, Gold tees, par 5, 548 yards 

Hole # 11

Hole # 11

If you get a chance to play this course, do so but bring lots of balls. Also a good dosage of courage too, because you’ll need it to score low on the Gary Player course at the Westin Mission Hills. Hole # 11 is brutal. From the gold tees, it looked narrow. Perhaps, I was spooked on the front 9, after slicing my ball and finding it in someone’s back yard near some patio chairs. After that experience, I wasn’t too confident off the tee and wanted to call my insurance agent to up my liability insurance.

Sure enough, when you have doubt in your mind, your muscles tenses up. The fairway was split into two, green on the left side with expensive homes. And water on the entire right side with expensive homes just on the other side of the lake. How do you take the water out of play? Or how do you take the million dollar homes out of play?

Tensed and all, my drive was nowhere to the calibre of a good and relaxed drive. It ended up short of the water edge and a million miles away from the green. I decided to hit my new 4-hybrid (ie. Taylormade Rescue Burner 4-H) and luckily, it flew straight toward the cart path. I really didn’t acknowledge how good I hit it until I found it, nestled in the fluffy grass. When you lay down your iron in this grass, you lose complete sight of it. That’s how fluffy it is. I should have learned something but I didn’t. I had less than 100 yards to the green, located on the other side of a watery grave. It really didn’t look far and I didn’t want to hit it long since there was someone’s patio on the other side of the green.

I decided to hit a sand wedge. The ball popped up and went straight into the lake. It flew no more than 60 yards, probably because I went completely underneath the ball. I couldn’t get a divot out of that and lost distance because I couldn’t compress the ball. From the edge of the water, I hit my fourth shot but pulled it left. I had to chip on and two putt in for a double bogey. It was a tough hole.