The first three of the four par 5 holes at Bowling Green provide some of the best opportunities to help lower your score. Even though the yardages may seem like they’ll be easy birdies, the facts are different. However, playing the proper angles and learning the Local Knowledge of the holes will give you the best chance to put circles on your scorecard.
|Par 5 Hdcp: M(5)/W(1)|
How can there be a threat of big numbers when the scorecard says it is the shortest Par 5 on the course? How do you avoid the trouble that is everywhere on each shot?
Answer: Play the hole as three par threes
First, locate the yardage markers on the tee box and play that distance to the corner of the dogleg.
Second, locate a sprinkler head and subtract 100. Play your second shot to that yardage (the widest part of the fairway).
Then for your third shot from the 100y marker, mentally add 3-5y for the elevated green. Birdie is still in front of you and the big numbers will be a thing of the past.
What do you do. . .
- … if your less than ideal tee shot on the Par 5, Fourth Hole forces you to lay-up short of the river, leaving you with 215y to a raised green with a large bunker in front? or
- … if you hit a great tee shot up the left side leaving a shorter second? If you can hit a high cut that will land softly and not bounce out of bounds over the green-go for it. If not. . Answer: Play to the fairway, short and right of the green.
While it’s obstructed from view standing with a hybrid or fairway wood in your hand, beyond the mound and rough up the right side is a large hidden portion of fairway. And, it provides a relatively easy pitch uphill to all sections of the green providing a great chance at par or birdie!
Give it a try, and leave the snowmen for winter!
The last hole of the front nine at Bowling Green is a short Par 5 dogleg right. A 240 yard tee shot favoring the left side of the fairway provides a clear look at the hole. The second shot can be played with a mid-iron to your favorite wedge distance.
|Par 5 Hdcp: M(11)/W(9)|
A more aggressive drive of 250 yards that turns slightly to the right will reach the swale and provide a clear look at the green. A well struck 230 yard second shot to a raised green designed for a wedge approach can leave a look at eagle.
While reachable for the long hitters, a layup to the left side of the fairway on the second shot will leave the best angle into “an unusual shaped green designed to accept a short shot.”
If the hole location is in the back right portion of the green, be aware. The flag will look like it is off the green from the fairway and is protected by a gaping bunker and mound. It is the definition of a ‘sucker pin.’ The approach shot is difficult at best if not impossible.
“While playing #9, if the hole location is in the back right portion of the green, play to the back center and putt up the hill.”
Sometimes it is hard to swallow, but playing smart can save strokes. Give it a try.
|Par 5 Hdcp: M(12)/W(12)|
The 14th hole is the easiest of the par 5s providing the best opportunity to make a birdie. With the widest fairway on the course staring at you, it is time to tee it high and let it fly.
For those looking for an edge off the tee, hug the bunkers–the closer you can drive the ball along the left side of the fairway, the straighter (and shorter) the hole plays.
The 14th green is very large and getting your approach shot near the hole is difficult—but why? The reason stems from the uneven lies that often occur with the third shot.
“To take advantage of this shortish par 5, don’t lay-up to 100 yards (downhill lie). Instead, position your layup to the level portions of the fairway: short of the cross road (125 yards remaining) or the left side of the fairway (at 70 yards). This provides the best opportunity to control the distance of the approach shot to this very large, deep green.”
|Par 5 Hdcp: M(2)/W(2)|
The 18th hole at Bowling Green is a classic 3 shot, 611 yard par five, where a par is very good score and is a great finish to your round.
“The widest landing area off the tee is short of what the members refer to as ‘the road of honor’ about 270 yards off the tee. A longer drive may be an honor, but the hole turns left and the fairway narrows. A right to left shape of the tee shot is best following the hole direction and moving away from the water along the right side.”
The second shot, ‘the lay-up’ is probably all out. If you have a choice, the best approach on the uphill 3rd shot to the multi-tiered green is from a flat lie. The fairway of the 18th hole has a significant downhill section from 135 yards to 175 yards to the green. The downhill lie makes the uphill approach very difficult to the multi-tiered green. If you have a choice, play to the flat portion of the fairway giving the best chance of getting the ball onto the correct tier of the green with your third shot.”
The approach shot to the 18th green is difficult, even after two of your ‘Sunday Best’ shots. An approach shot that plays a full club more up the hill is only part of the battle. The 46 yard deep green has a significant rise from right left to reach the back portion of the green. The back tier is ‘plus 4 yards’ from center on the right and ‘plus 10 yards’ from the center on the left portion of the green.
Even with this inside information, pars on the 18th hole are cherished.