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 # 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.