Do you want to play like a champ? Get the lay-and-roll of the land with these Champion golf tips from Leadbetter Certified Instructor, Jae Suh.
#1 – Short first hole with water left and OB right, as the fairway narrows at the bunker. Deep narrow green has a deep pot bunker in the front that must be avoided; bailout is to the right of the green.
#2 – Tough driving hole with trees lining the left and OB on the right. Landing area has a bunker-narrowing fairway. Green has a bowl on the front left which makes club selection crucial, as there can be a 3-club difference from front to back.
#3 – Generous fairway for this par 5 with bunkers left and right off the tee. Lone palm tree on the right is about a 100 yards from the center of the green, making it a good target. Choose your approach wisely as the front portion of the green is extremely narrow, sandwiched by deep bunkers. Take enough club if the pin is back, and leaving it short is not bad for a front pin.
#4 – A short, dogleg-left par 4 with room right off the tee. Distance control for the second shot is crucial, as the wide shallow green is angled left to right. Deep bunkers in front and back of the green, cradling a narrow green, makes this one of the tougher short holes.
#5 – Par 3 has water short and left with a bailout right. Bowl mid-right on the green makes back pins difficult. Arguably the easiest par 3 on the course, it can be a beast if the tees are stretched to the back.
#6 – Finding the fairway is crucial with bunkers on the right and left portion of the fairway sloping left into water for this par 5. Those going for it in 2 are better off aiming for the opening mid-right of the green, as green slopes severely to the back left. Use this slope for approach shots to a back-left pin.
#7 – Par 3 has a dip in the mid portion of the green with very little room to run up the ball, making front pins difficult to find. Bunkers cover the front left and right portion of the green, making the tee shot all carry distance. Very deep green makes club selection crucial.
#8 – Generous fairway but water crosses the hole. Check the wind carefully before deciding on a club, as the prevailing wind may be blocked off by the trees surrounding this green. Green slopes back to front and left-to-right, but generous areas makes for easy putting anywhere from the middle.
#9 – Slight dogleg left with trees left and bunker right. Elevated green is covered by a bunker front left, so take an extra club as a precaution. Green is angled back left to front right, with a bailout area short right of the green.
#10 – Dogleg-right par 5 has an open fairway with bunkers right. This par 5 has the easiest green out of the 4, so middle of the green gives you a good look at birdie; 3 good shots will give you a chance to take advantage of this hole.
#11 – Fairway runs out to the right, as water can come into play on this difficult par 4. Second shot is brutal without perfect distance, as water guards the front and bunker back left. With the green angled front left to back right, there is very little forgiveness on the approach apart from a small area left of the green. This hole typically plays as one of the most difficult holes during The Honda Classic.
#12 – Dogleg-right par 4 is guarded with bunkers left and right. Solid faders of the ball can open up the right side of this green; otherwise, the middle of the green is a safe bet with bailout left of the green.
#13 – Narrow driving hole has penal bunkers up the left side and water guarding the right. Avoid bunkers short and right on approach to a slightly elevated green sloping back to front. This hole typically plays short that leaves you with a short iron in.
#14 – Long dogleg-left par 4 with bunkers left guarding balls trying to cut the corner. Hole plays longer as you play safe to the right side of the fairway. Green has a severe bowl mid-right with bailout right of green.
#15 – First hole of The Bear Trap is a par 3, as water guards front/right/long and bunker left. Front left to back right diagonal green has bailout short left. Check the wind carefully as this hole is susceptible to 3 club swings.
#16 – The longer you hit your drive, the tighter the fairway becomes. Shortest approach is from the right side of the fairway, but that involves negotiating the bunker and the water. Approach to a 2-tiered green is over water with a generous bailout short of the green.
#17 – Water guards the front of this par 3 that plays slightly downhill. Bunker behind green leaves difficult shot to a green that slopes towards the water. Accurate club selection is a must with a bailout area to the left.
#18 – Par 5 dogleg-left has a generous fairway off the tee, with severe narrowing for the lay-up shot. Approach to the green has bailout left off the green, but is made difficult with water right and bunkers left. Beware the right pin as that portion of the green only has a sliver of green to work with.