Getting on the green

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

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Hole # 12, D’Arcy Ranch GC, Okotoks, AB

Hole # 12, par 3, White tees, 136 yards

I hope you have a chance to visit the website on my blogroll because I posted a video on it that shows how Maria Sharapova aces a par 3. Sometimes I feel like I need to use something else other than my 7-iron. (Be sure to check it out and the deals under the proshop too.)

Hole # 12 is a nice par 3 at D’Arcy Ranch. How can you tell that I like short par 3’s. From the white tees, I chose to hit my 9-iron and play the bank on the right. I hit it just right and it bounced on to the green and rolled to 2 feet from the hole. My playing partners, Tom and Doug weren’t so lucky. Doug pulled his shot into the lake. Tom mishit his 6-iron and ended up in the sand bunker.

Tom managed to bogey the hole as Doug walked away with a double bogey due to a lost ball. I single putted in for a birdie.

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Hole # 13, Fraserview Golf Course, Vancouver, BC

Hole # 13, par 3, Blue tees, 180 yards

Fraserview is one of the hardest city courses to get a tee time for. It is popular in the morning, afternoon and twilight and people who live in Vancouver tells me that it is the most played course in the city. With the amount of cars parked throughout the day, I always wonder whether anyone works in this town.

Playing hole # 13 from any colour tee is a challenge. From the blue tees, it is an elevated tee shot guarded by a pond to your right. At 180 yards, most players choose to hit a hybrid. Strong iron players will use their 5-iron but it is hard to drop it on the green and limit the roll. Some better players choose to hit their 6-iron and hope that it will bounce on and roll closer to the pin.

My friend Allan chose his 5-wood and hit it straight towards the pin. Unfortunately, it ended up fading at the end and he was on then off the green. I chose my 5-iron and hit it well. It landed a little short of the green and rolled on. Allan joined me on the green after a nice chip with his 58 degree wedge. I pushed my putt slightly and it didn’t break at all. I thought everything rolls towards the pond but this time, it didn’t. I ended up with a par and Allan walked away with a bogey.

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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 # 5, Buenaventura Golf Course, Ventura, CA

Hole # 5, par 3, Blue tees, 120 yards

Water has an effect on my balls and this hole plays no exception. Hole # 5 at Buenaventura is a nice design and tests the best iron player. It looks harmless but believe me, it has eaten many golfers up including me. The tee box is situated in front of a pond such that you see two ponds. From the forward tees, you only see one pond. The green almost sits on an island with water on the right and to the back of the green. You can bail out to the left if you want to avoid the water, but it’s a tricky chip or pitch to the green that is sloped towards the water.

I would hit a PW when the pin is located upfront. Sometimes when it is in the middle of the green, I would need a 10 iron or a 9 iron. People still look at my 10-iron as though I invented the club. I have Ely Callaway to thank for that. A lot of players would hit a 8-iron but don’t do it because the green isn’t that long and a 140-yard club can easily knock the ball into water.

If you could hit straight or execute a draw, you would be rewarded with a chance for birdie or par. Make sure your tee shot is not low to the ground, the type that hits hard and releases. There is no enough green for you to get fancy with. I would end up pulling my 9-iron into the greenside bunker located left of the hole which is equally bad. Any sand shot towards water is bad news for me. And there are no brakes to the ball when it comes out hot. I blast it with lots of sand and luckily, it trickles onto the green. I would 2-putt and end up with a bogey.

Have you played here before? If so, please share your comments, tips and adventures.