Find it difficult hitting over a water hazard or a pond? How about having to do it twice on one hole? Let's just go ahead and make it a little more difficult for that average golfer.
Well, that wasn't the exact thinking behind the 5th hole at Heritage Pines Country Club, but that still doesn't make it any easier. According to course pro Kevin Burnsworth, the community developer did not have that second pond on the golf course plans. They went to put in a retention pond behind the No. 7 green, but hit a artisan well instead. So without thinking about how difficult it would make the hole, the developers put the second pond on No. 5.
Obviously, they weren't golfers, but here's a scouting report to help.
Pond No. 1
The first one sits a little to the left of the tee box, but still right in front of the part of the fairway that gives you the best lie to the green. Honestly, you're going to need a straight drive, but not a hard one. Take it easy so it sits perfectly on the fairway right before the second pond.
Pond No. 2
This pond, while wider than the first one, forces you to go over the water, though your only other option, according to Burnsworth, is to take a special-rule stroke and move your ball to the drop zone on the other side of the water. "If certain people had to play by the rules of golf, they'd be out there all day long and we'd never finish. We do it to speed things up," Burnsworth said. Making if over the water is not impossible, an iron shot - probably seven or eight - will get you across and near or on the green.
No bunkers, no trees in the way. Worry about the ponds and staying dry, because really, that's your biggest concern.
The Drop Zone
If you have to take that extra stroke - Burnsworth said the average score on that hole is between six and seven strokes - just sit the ball pretty and grab your pitching wedge. If you're one of those golfers that has a hard time breaking 100 on your scorecard, head to the drop zone after your first ball goes in the water.
So this hole is not kind. It's the No. 1 handicap at Heritage Pines and the green is fast and merciless. It slopes toward the second pond, not making for any gimmies. There's room to go up hill in front of the hole, but a light touch is required everywhere else. Play it conservatively here or you'll be looking at a snowman or beyond on the scorecard.
His 2 cents
"You have to lay up to the 150-yard marker (on the fairway). You can actually carry it too far and get to the second pond. From there you have a 110-120 yard carry on your second shot to the green. It can be difficult to carry that second shot if you play course management."
- Kevin Burnsworth, course pro at Heritage Pines
My 2 cents
"Hit straight shots. This hole has no room or need for draws or fades. Think of it as straight-forward business approach. A pure and simple drive - no crushing the ball needed - and a simple iron swing is all that's required. Just get it in the air. There's no room for grounders, or errors for that matter."
- Mike Camunas, Community Sports editor and golf enthusiast
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 email@example.com or call (352) 544-9480.