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The slope is the enemy



The layout

No kidding — this is a long hole, even for the big hitters. This fairway elevation drops at least 40 feet from tee to green and sits at about a 30-degree angle. Everything tends to roll right.

The hazards

You lucked out. No serious hazards. No water and no bunkers, even though one used to be in the middle of the fairway but was removed because of complaints it was in the exact spot most drives landed. Trees line the fairway on both sides and can present a problem. But without question, the slope is the enemy.

Take two drives

Pack your 3-wood. You'll probably have to hit it twice after your drive, unless you can pull off a Tiger-esque 356-yard drive. There's plenty of space in front of the green, with no bunkers. So lay it up for a chip and a putt.

The green

It's slick. And depending on the pin position, the slope can kill you. On the back side of the green? You'll have to chip up a small hill; then good luck getting the ball to stop. Practice drawing that snowman.

Suggest a hole for Signature Series

Like the island par 3 hole on your favorite course? What about the massive par 5 that seems impossible to birdie? Or is there a favorite hole that just seems like a Utopia to play? Then tell us about it for our Signature Series. We take a hole, break it down and give you tips on how to tackle it. Golf courses and their pros are encouraged to nominate holes to Community Sports editor Mike Camunas. Submission, comments or questions can be sent to communitysports@tampabay.com or call (352) 544-9480.

ST. LEO

It's a marathon hole — on an angle.

No. 10 at Saint Leo Abbey golf course is one of the longest in the area at 560 yards from the course's farthest tees, in this case, the white ones. Most casual golfers are happy with bogey.

No need for much course management as the hole is pretty wide open. Just grip that Sasquatch Sumo2 and rip it.

Here's a scouting report:

>>OUR TAKE

His two cents

"Stay out of (that) left side because it moves to the right and you'll want to get it to lay down at about the 100-yard marker. That way you have a clear shot to the green. Staying to the left side is the toughest part, especially with the trees. You get that, you'll be good to go."

Tom Floberg, course pro and owner at Saint Leo Abbey

My two cents

"Work on your fade shot, if you're right-handed, or work on your draw, if you're left-handed. Don't try to cheat on the right side of the fairway or you'll want to head into the clubhouse early."

Mike Camunas, Community Sports editor and golf enthusiast

The slope is the enemy 03/11/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 13, 2008 2:42am]
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