Date: April 14, 2008

An insider’s look at Royal Adelaide Golf Club

Hole 1: 348m par-4, By Rohan Blizard The opening hole is a short par four with a collection of fairway bunkers on the right and severe mounding on the left. The aggressive player will have to be hit a driver at the right edge of the green into a narrow landing area. Alternatively you can play more conservatively with a three-wood or long iron into a wider part of the fairway, leaving 100 to 140 metres into the green. This decision may well be influenced by the height of the rough, particularly on the left. The approach is into a narrow green set at an angle with a bunker front left and heavier rough just over the green. The prevailing wind can create a difficult-to-judge downwind second; however with a relatively flat green this hole provides a good chance for birdie if playing your second from the fairway. Hole 2: 507m par-5, By Josh Younger This is a long par-five which dog-legs slightly to the left with a reachable fairway trap on the left for the tee shot. An unusual feature of the hole is the railway line running through the course and all the way along the second hole with featured mounding all of which is in play for a hooked shot (Editor: a local rule states that any ball landing on the railway line must be played as it lies or declared unplayable!) After a good drive there is a decision to be made: to go for it for two, or to play into a lay up area to set up your third shot. This decision can be influenced by the valley of rough short and left of the green and the rough and fairway bunkering on the right. The pitch third from a well placed second is played from between 60 and 80 metres and with good distance control can set up a birdie, however a poorly judged third will bring the tier running through the middle of the green into play and a more difficult putt. The prevailing wind on this hole can affect the spin and the length of the third shot. Hole 3: 226m par-4, By Scott Arnold The third is a risk reward hole. For the player that takes it on, they will hit a driver or three-wood to a long narrow green with a very small entry to the putting surface. The main feature around the green is the long, diagonal, rough covered ridge on the which guards the left front of the green. The right side of the green is also heavily protected by rough. A three or four iron played off the tee will leave a short pitch shot from 40 to 60 metres to a green sloping from back to front. The tee shot decision and the positioning of the tee shot are paramount to success and a birdie on this great but dangerous short hole. Hole 4: 410m par-4, By Brett Rankin The fourth hole is a dog-leg left protected by two fairway traps down the left on the inside of the dogleg at the 250m mark. The tee shot is blind over the brow of a hill and requires the player to carefully select a target line on the horizon for the tee shot. The second shot from around 150m to a slightly downhill hill, long, firm green with guarding traps on the left is usually a difficult judgement shot and is complicated by any prevailing wind. This hole will yield the odd birdie but is one of the sleeper holes which will have a number of players walking off with a five. Hole 5: 420m par-4, By Daniel Beckmann The fifth is a mid-sized par four with a slight dog-leg to the right with two very visible bunkers facing you on the right. The decision off the tee is whether to take driver and play into the neck of fairway between the bunkers, or take the three-wood and play safer and short of the bunkers. The second shot is a mid to short iron into a narrow green with a guarding hill to the left with longish rough. The green slopes from back to front falling off at the sides. The ideal play is to leave yourself with an uphill putt as there is enough slope on this green to leave some tricky side and downhill putts. Hole 8: 358m par-4, By Matt Griffin This hole provides the player a number of options off the tee to avoid the water on the left and the fairway trap on the right. The player must decide how aggressive their strategy needs to be. The decision depends largely on the wind direction and whether the player can carry the fairway trap on the right. Using the driver successfully can leave an easy pitch shot to a small, tricky green with subtle slopes. The green is angled across the player with a narrow entrance and is best approached from the left side of the fairway. The iron or three-wood play from the tee will leave the player with a 7 to 9-iron shot to a small target (the pin placement can influence the decision a player makes from the tee). Hole 9: 495m par-5, By Tim Stewart This par-five can be a two shot hole but requires a strong tee shot the best line being a few metres right of the left fairway trap. A strong pulled or drawn tee shot will see you playing your second from the trap or rough. The mounding and rough on the right can be penal depending on the height of the rough, making the hole a definite three shot hole. The second shot needs to be threaded between rough and the fairway bunkers particularly if playing your second shot from the rough. The prevailing wind out of the south can make the second shot more demanding. If playing at the green for two the false front and the design of the green make it a smaller target than it appears, placing a premium on touch and variety if you are to secure your birdie. Playing your third from the fairway will usually be between 80 100 metres but requires the player to play precisely and accurately to the pin quadrant of the green a shot which is a little short with excessive spin will find you finishing at the front of the green with a tough chip. While this is a definite birdie hole, you need a combination of power (if a two shot hole) and precision with your distance control and placement if a three shot hole. Hole 10: 345m par-4, By Justin Roach An open tee shot with a blind landing area over the brow of a hill can be played with anything from a driver into the wind to a long iron down wind (most players will favour a three-wood on this hole). The tee shot will leave you a downhill, sloping lie for your short iron into the green which can affect your contact and distance control. The green design demands pinpoint accuracy for your second as the green is domed in the middle and is wider than it is deep, making the distance control on the second difficult. Putting and chipping from the wrong section on and around this green is very difficult to judge due to this mounded shape of the green leaving many players disappointed with a five on the score card. This is one of the “sleeper” holes and par is a good score. Hole 15: 464m par-4, By Michael Foster This long strong par-four is one of the toughest on the course and will play over par in any tournament with any field. The ideal tee shot is a high draw with the starting line down the right side of the fairway to avoid the wasteland on the inside of the dogleg. The fairway runout is a 270-metre swampland, irrigation area. This will leave the player with 180-metre to the front of the green. If a southerly wind is blowing then your task is made more difficult as the wind will push your drive to the right and the second shot is into its teeth. The best play to any flag position is to the centre of the green with the best miss in the front right bunker. Many players not in position from the tee will be forced to lay up. The lay up zone from the wasteland is to 75 to 80 metres on the right and 45 to 55 metres on the left. A tough hole four is a good score any day. Hole 18: 383m par-4, By Ray Beaufils If the prevailing wind is up your tail, tee the ball high and let it fly. Fairway traps protect this hole left and right with one down the right and two on the left. If the rough is down then the cost of rough isn&apost as bad as the fairway traps will be. Into the wind, the strategy may differ. A 220-metre placement shot will take the traps out of play and leave a six-iron into the pin. The green is protected by a bunker on the right leaving the best miss front edge or short of the green. A short side miss will make par difficult requiring a perfect chip or bunker shot. Take four and move to the 19th!