Sunday, April 12, 2009

LPGA #7 and #18

The Legends course at LPGA, in Daytona Beach, was designed by Arthur Hills in 1994. This is a 36 hole complex with a practice/teaching center that includes a three hole practice course. It also houses the headquarters of the Ladies Professional Association, who play host to the final stage of Q-school each year. The condition of this course is always impeccable.
Hole # 7 is a long par 3, 207 yds from the tips, that plays uphill into to the prevailing NE wind. You are usually playing some sort of hybrid or FW wood into this hole, unless you get a westerly wind. It is protected on the left front by a long, deep bunker and if you miss the green right you will have a tough up and down. So you need to either hit it on the 40 yd deep green or miss it short or long left. Hitting this green is very difficult for most people. I was in a group of 40 golfers that play here twice a week. One day this was the closet to the pin hole. The pin was located in the front, only one person hit the green and he was 100 feet from the pin. A birdie on this hole will usually get you a skin.

I usually play at least 1-2 more clubs than the yardage, maybe more depending upon the wind. If it is a back pin don't be concerned about being long, because long left is a good position to miss. If a front pin, don't be long or you will be facing a tricky downhill chip or putt. I have played this course so many times that I have birdied every hole a few times. I have taken my share of big numbers on this hole. This is one of the toughest par 3's I have ever played.

Hole #18 is a superb, finishing hole. You will need two good shots here to have a chance at making par. On the left corner of this dogleg is a large oak that will prevent you from even thinking about going for the green if you are anywhere near it. Off the tee you need to play to the right center of the FW and be out at least 250 yards to have a good look at the green. This could leave you with as much as 185 yards, depending on how far right you are. If you hit it long enough and can draw the ball, go for it. I have gotten around the corner a few times and had a wedge left in. Draw it too much and you will punching out and hoping to get up and down. The wind can swirl here and if that is not enough the green is severely sloped and protected short by an unplayable area. Make sure you have enough club with the only place to miss, long left. A par here will feel like a birdie for most golfers. By the way, the hardest hole at the Legends is the par four #17. Very few golfers ever finish par par here.

Other notable holes: #4, 11, & 14.