Yards and yards away, there's the hole. Oh, it's there, but it won't be easy getting to it. Sure, that's sounds like many other holes at many other courses, but that doesn't make the No. 14 hole at Seven Hills Golfers Club any easier. Despite what clubs you may have, despite what strategy you may use to get down the fairway, you better pretty much rule out eagle opportunities. Though it's not impossible. This hole, however, has a little of everything. Hazards, hills, trees, even a dog-leg right. For the type of course this is — inside a suburb community — and for the normal clientele the course sees — usually retirees or snowbirds — its just an abnormal hole to throw at average golfers. "I would say the average score on this hole is usually a seven," Seven Hills pro shop manager Tim Spangler said. "It's really just not a good hole for your average golfer. It has to be played just right." That sounds about right. Here's the scouting report:
Narrow and narrower
For just a minute, forget that you're nearly 500 yards (the white tees) or nearly half a mile (the blue tees) away. We'll get to that. Right now, you've got to worry about just getting into the fairway, and that isn't easy. It's more narrow than the Olsen twins combined, and even then, you have to stay to the left side. The drive needs to be straight and long, because not only is the fairway about 10 feet up, its shaped a little like a crescent moon. Staying to the left center keeps you away from trees on the left and then the bunker on the right. "The farther placed left, the better chance you're going to have (for an eagle opportunity)," Spangler said.
See, it's not totally out of the questions, but good luck. You need two perfectly hit shots for maximum distance, and they probably need to be ones that come off the clubs of a professional to reach the green. Though you might be able to do it, a birdie attempt will be more realistic.
Dog gone it
What's interesting about the hole is after yards and yards of narrow fairway, there's a random dog-leg right thrown at you just before the green. This factoid is what makes it imperative that you stay on the left side of the fairway. Being over there gives you the best shot/view up to the green. A fade shot is the key on this hole, if you hit a draw — whether naturally or by accident — then you'll be hitting over that dog-leg right of trees. Then it's a shot that will take some extra mustard to get not only over the trees, but the bunker to right of the green.
"You need a heck of a poke to get up to the green in three from the right side," Spangler said. "That shot is usually hard for your average golfer."
Thanks to that dog-leg, you're going to run out of room quick in front of the green. The fairway funnels — literally shrinks — leading up to the green. It'll come into play when you lay up the second shot, in the fact that you'll just be running out of safe real estate to put that shot. Also, be wary of the two sand traps guarding both sides of the green.
Ah, a big, wide open green. There's nothing like the sight of it. Sure, there are larger greens out there, but this kidney-shaped green is not only easy to get on — given your third shot, that is — its flatter than an old tire. However, the green is fast, so be prepared to take a little off your putts.
Community Sports Editor Mike Camunas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 544-1771.