By Golf Monthly published
Oak Hill Hole-by-Hole Guide
Hole 1-Par 4-460 yards
The tee shot is the most difficult feature of this starting hole. A long, carrying drive can take advantage of a fairway downslope at the 260-yard mark and the ball should run another 30 to 40 yards, leaving a short iron onto a generous green. However, with trees on both sides of the fairway and an out of bounds to the right, the first shot of the day will test a player's driving skills and set the tone for the rest of the round.
Hole 2-Par 4-401 yards
A tee shot with a long iron or fairway wood will put players in position for a short-iron approach to a small green, while deep bunkers in play on both sides of the fairway are to be avoided. Keeping the iron shot below the hole will afford the player the best birdie chance as the green is very quick when putting from behind the hole. Hole 3-Par 3-214 yards
Most players will hit a mid to long iron onto a very small green with deep bunkers guarding both sides of the green. There will be almost no chance to get the ball up and down from this position if you miss the green long and to the right. This hole will give up very few birdies and always ranks as one of the hardest holes at Oak Hill. Hole 4-Par 5-570 yards
This hole always plays as the easiest of the 18 and gives up the most birdies; 50 percent more than any other hole.
The difficulty off the tee is taking the gamble for the long ball with a high, fading tee shot, when it is then reachable in two shots by many in the field. This shot will have to go around and over two very deep fairway bunkers, which you will have to lay up with a 7- to 9-iron if you hit into them.
Because of these difficult bunkers and an out of bounds on the right side, some players will play this hole in the "lay-up mode": long iron off the tee, long iron second shot and full wedge onto the green.
With the exception of the back-center hole location, the green is receptive to shots and when the pin is placed on top of this narrow knob, birdies will not come easy.
Hole 5-Par 4-428 yards
This hole features one of the most dangerous tee shots at Oak Hill. Your tee shot must travel through a shoot of trees for more than 215 yards and then avoid a creek that winds itself into the landing area at the 250-yard mark.
With heavy rough on the left side, it makes playing safe over there no bargain. If you happen to hit a good drive, you will have a mid to short iron to a green that is fronted by that same creek with shots landing short will be wet.
The green offers some great hole locations, making birdies difficult to come by so expect more double-bogeys on this hole than any other. Due to this, it makes it one of the most difficult holes during the tournament.
Hole 6-Par 3-175 yards
The green has a deep bunker on the right side and a creek that winds itself around the green on the left and front sides. The back-right hole location will be the most difficult to get to and most players will hit 6-, 7- or 8-iron onto this green. A fun hole to watch and the easiest of the par 3s with a chance of a hole-in-one.
Hole 7-Par 4-461 yards
A truly great par 4 and one of Oak Hill's finest, with 30 yards added to this hole. This is a very tight driving hole with the fairway width about 22 yards and a creek to avoid on the right side that comes up close to the fairway. There are also trees on the right to keep the players from bailing out on that side. If you hit it in the creek, a double-bogey will likely follow. A good drive here will leave a mid-iron to the green, which is one of the smaller greens on the course.
Hole 8-Par 4-428 yards
A beautiful, straightaway hole will let the player try and hit a long drive, although with deep fairway bunkers on the left, a player may not be able to reach the green if they drive into them. A straight drive will be needed with trees on the right protect that side of the fairway. A mid-to-short iron will be hit onto a large green that offers some interesting hole locations, especially on the back-right portion of the green.
Hole 9-Par 4-452 yards
A new tee has added 35 yards to the hole, making it a very difficult driving hole. With "Death Valley" to the right, any drive missing the fairway in the right rough is almost a chip out. The left side of the fairway slopes to the left so that any drive landing on the far left side will kick into the rough. Because of this, the fairway width at 25 yards plays much narrower. The second shot will be an uphill mid-iron shot to a green that is shaped smaller in the back.
Hole 10-Par 4-429 yards
This is a beautiful downhill hole that will require another accurate drive. Some players will lay up off of the tee with a fairway wood or long iron, but as the green is small, hitting from the fairway is a must to control the ball on the second shot. This is another hole where the slopes in the fairway make the tee shot much tighter than normal.
A bunker on the left protects this side of the hole and trees and a creek protect the right side. The green has a small slope in the middle that makes it difficult to get close to the hole on the second shot.
Hole 11-Par 3-226 yards
This hole used to be one of the easier holes of the course, however it has been made more difficult with an extra 30 yards added. This will be a long-iron tee shot hit to a fairly receptive target. The traditional left-to-right wind will make some hole locations play especially difficult and a creek winds its way to the right of the green with some balls finding it. The green is surrounded by bunkers, although they are not terribly punishing.
Hole 12-Par 4-372 yards
It will be interesting to see if some players will hit a driver to see how close they can get to the green. With a subtle downhill slope in the fairway, a longer hitter can get to within 50 yards of the green.
This is another very tight driving hole with trees guarding both sides of the fairway, so the smart play will be to tee off with a long iron and hit the tee shot 150 yards from the green. A short-iron approach to a wonderfully shaped green is all that will be left with the best hole locations are in the back, left part of the green. This is a great viewing hole for the spectators.
Hole 13-Par 5-598 yards
This hole has never been reached in two shots but that could change during the tournament, as someone with two fantastic shots might run one up on the green. A fairway wood off the tee should keep the drive short of the creek that bisects the fairway at 300 yards. This creek meanders down the right side, also coming into play.
A long-iron second shot will put the player 125 yards from the green, avoiding the right side fairway bunkers and the tree trouble on the left. From there the player will hit a wedge onto a receptive green where keeping the ball below the hole is a must because the green is especially quick from back to front.
Hole 14-Par 4-323 yards
This is a very short par 4 that will allow some daring players to use a driver to see how close to the green they can hit it. Most of the field will use a long iron to make sure that they hit their second shot from the fairway, as the uphill second shot to a two-tier green requires a play from the fairway if you want to knock it close with a wedge.
Hole 15-Par 3-181 yards
A difficult downhill par 3 that requires a mid-iron to a narrow green. Water on the right is the big fear, especially when the normal wind is blowing towards the water and a couple of bunkers guard the left side. It's very easy to hit your tee shot through the green, leaving a very difficult up and down with tricky hole locations making this green difficult to putt.
Hole 16-Par 4-439 yards
This hole usually plays much shorter than the yardage. Most players will be able to carry the tee shot far enough to hit the fairway on the downslope and the ball will run another 30-plus yards. However, the fairway is very narrow in the landing area and there is a slope on the left side that will kick most balls into the deep rough. Most shots onto the green will be hit with a short iron to a fairly large green.
Hole 17-Par 4-509 yards
Along with hole No. 5, they are the toughest on the course. It is a great driving hole that requires a left-to-right tee shot that must hug the right side or the ball will run through the fairway on the left side. Heavy rough and pine trees guard that side of the fairway and if you hit it in the rough on the left side, you will probably be chipping out to the fairway.
Trees on the right side will take care of any drives that go in that direction. Most players will be hitting a longer iron onto the undulating green that makes it difficult to stop your second shot close to the hole and is well bunkered on both sides.
Hole 18-Par 4-497 yards
Another great driving hole where a left-to-right shot is required and a big drive is needed in order to have a mid-to-long iron onto the green. There are problems off the tee everywhere. Deep bunkers on the right and hills and trees on the left will make it difficult to hit the green if you are not in the fairway.
The green is set right at the base of a very steep hill, with any shot hitting short of the green will not make it up this slope. With the green being wide, it is also very shallow and shots must have good distance control to hit this green.
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