Archives for the ‘2010 – Golden Tee LIVE 2011’ Category

Preparing for Golden Tee 2011

By • Category: 2010 - Golden Tee LIVE 2011, Improvement • • Leave a Comment (0)


Golden Tee 2011 is only two months away!  While it’s hard not to get excited for the new courses and features, due to ship in the last week of September to bars with eager vendors, you’ve still got a few weeks left to work on your 2010 game.  Since you’ve probably been playing 2010 for 10 months now, you’re familiar with the courses and execute most shots by memory.  This is the time of year I like to get back to basics and work on improving your fundamentals while also taking more chances on the course.  I recommend working on these tips your next few rounds while you’re waiting for 2011 to come out:

1) Chipping — it’s absolutely true that good chippers save multiple strokes per round by being able to punch the ball in the hole after missing the green.  Work on chipping in all types of situations — everything from low-lofted runners to 3/4 lob shots out of the sand.  Pull back on every chip shot and pay attention to distance.  You’ll want to hone these skills to carry forward into 2011.

2) Pulling the trackball back on every shot — Get used to the distance added by pulling back on each shot and the angle created when pulling back to the side, even ever so slightly.  The great players always combat wind and slope by pulling back off-center to create an angle into these obstacles, and now is the time to pay closer attention than ever to how your ball reacts to different approach angles.

3) Play aggressively!  You don’t learn without experience, so it’s time to take some chances on those tough drivable par 4s and go for the gusto.  Sure, you’ll make some mistakes, but the knowledge you’ll gain is worth those extra strokes at this point.  Learn from what doesn’t work, and store away what does work — I guarantee you’ll always have to execute similar shots on new courses!

4) Play the 2009 courses one more time — on most machines, these will be gone when 2011 comes out, so give the old courses one last spin for nostalgia!

So, enough with the lessons — let’s start running down all we know about the newest version of the game!

Here’s an early review from one of the pros that got to test out the courses:

“I only got to play one cycle last night and I must say…I am fairly impressed. There are lots of holes that are mirror images of past holes, but have their own quirks to them that make it challenging.

The good:
1) The layouts of these courses are quite challenging. I think that on any one of them it would be fairly simple to shoot -21 or so. However, if you want to shoot -27, you will have to risk shooting -17. Very much like many of the current courses.
2) While the new tees will be required to shoot GT Par, it is fairly obvious when you need to use them.
3) Potentially driveable par 5.
4) Drop for mistakes are very easy.

The bad:
1) Quartz balls and old Black balls do not act at all like they once did. The indicators showed that they cut more and spun more, but the fact is that they do not. They reacted more like stock.
2) The new tees are going to be a requirement, if you want to shoot GT par.
3) Drops for mistakes are too forgiving.

The ugly:

1) The difficult part about the new tees is that backspin does not apply at all when you change the tee height. So you need to raise the tee to drive certain greens and then can’t hold the green anyway.

IMO, the golden tees were needed more to get the ball higher to clear trees. The right to left is sometimes helpful, but not as necessary as the ability to get the ball high very quickly and to get the extra distance.I would say it is a good 15-20% increase in distance. I had one tee shot carry into the 390 range. I was down 15mph, but it didn’t land until almost 400.”Also, be careful not to hit Start too often when skipping to the next hole, because you may inadvertently use a Golden Tee on the next hole!

 

We know all 5 of the new courses for 2011 — check out the pages for each under the 2011 courses category!  They are Laurel Park, Falcon Sands, Grizzly Flats, Alpine Run, and Timber Bay.  More on each of these as updates are released!

So, this leads us to a couple of the most exciting new features for Golden Tee 2011.  First, we have learned that most old club sets and all old virtual balls will be available for purchase!  That’s right — now everyone can have access to the “old birds” or other popular old club sets, along with any old type of virtual ball you want, all from a 2011 cabinet.  This might be a good time to check out the categories for Golden Tee golf clubs and Golden Tee golf balls — you’ll have dozens of combinations to try out!

Next, and perhaps more exciting, players will have the ability to YouTube any shot you want! That’s right — YouTube is not just for hole-outs any more.  I know I’ve had lots of great and/or lucky shots that ALMOST went in — well now you can capture those as well!  Any type of shot at any time can be saved, BUT, word is that there will be a small fee if you want to save non-holeout shots (this is so that YouTube doesn’t get quite as flooded with Golden Tee shot replays).  It may cost as much as $.50 for a single upload, with perhaps a “3 for $1 deal,” but I’m hoping they reduce this cost since that seems a bit high to most of us.

Another very interesting new feature is the introduction of “Golden Tees,” which allow you to both change your position in the tee box and tee the ball higher or lower!  Bags of these tees come at a small cost but can be beneficial to sometimes significantly improve your position during a challenging tee shot.  There are mixed emotions on this one, but I think the majority agrees this is a really cool new feature (some just don’t like the added cost associated with them).  You can tee it at one of three heights: low, medium (default), or high.  Important note — if you tee it high, backspin and roll will not work!  That’s right, so keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to tee it high.  In contrast, teeing it low increases the effect of backspin or roll — you might even see some double-skipping over water in 2011!

Want to test out Golden Tee 2011?  There are now 4 test locations in Illinois waiting for you!  Help give the Golden Tee team some early feedback while you give the 2011 courses and features a spin!

Keep checking back here often for updates as they are made available!  Here are a few more pictures of what’s coming in 2011:



Golden Tee 2011 — A Statistical View

By • Category: 2010 - Golden Tee LIVE 2011, Features, Statistics • • Leave a Comment (2)

Now that you’ve hopefully got many games of 2011 under your belts, you have a pretty good idea of the holes on which you score well, but more so, you probably know which holes are giving you fits.  Ever wonder if other players like you are struggling on the same holes?

Better yet, wouldn’t it be nice to know for sure if laying up for birdie on a tough par 4 will net you a better overall score than if you alternate between the tough eagle and the disastrous par or worse?  If an average player knew that a good player only eagles certain holes a small % of the time, he could decide to play the odds and take the safe birdie.

Well, a short while back I was approached by Jeremy Olson, a statistical analyst from Chicago who plays under the name NIGHTRAIN !.  He had developed a model to handicap each hole on the course based on certain variables and the scores he was shooting on them, but he needed a larger data set.  With the help of the GTF community, we’ve gotten many volunteers to give us access to their hole-by-hole scores on the 2011 courses, and with this data, Jeremy has been able to develop some awesome-looking spreadsheets and dashboards with great statistics for each hole!

SO, let’s take a look at some data!  These statistics are from 7-8 players whose handicap ranges from 15 to 21, which turned out the be the ideal audience for this type of analysis.  Also, the first few rounds played on these courses and any obvious outliers (blow-up rounds at 2AM, for example) were excluded.

First, pop open this spreadsheet and browse over the first tab.  Each course has all its holes classified into one of 5 categories, as defined below (remember that GT Par is the best score you can normally shoot without holing out — we used a slight modification of GT Par and called it “Potential”):

Easy:  75% handicap or better.  Only unforced errors can lead to dropped strokes.
Moderate:  50-75%.  Player is NOT faced with a decision whether or not to lay up.  Probability of GT par is reduced because of course variables, but chance of a penalty stroke is minimal.
Risk/Reward:  40-55%.  Player IS faced with a decision whether or not to go for GT par. Average score should be within +/- 0.10 of birdie (meaning the risk of getting Eagle is in balance with the penalty of par).
Professional:  40% or less. GT par is very difficult.  Risk of bogey outweighs benefit of Eagle.
Difficult:  50% or less.  No option to lay up with significant danger.  Probability of GT par is negative.  Chance of bogey high.

The % column shows how often players score the potential value (normally GT Par) on these holes, and the Avg. Score column shows that value for these holes.  You may find that “Potential”  is flexed a little bit towards what average/good players can realistically be expected to shoot on particular holes.

Now, click the Scorecards tab.  Here you see the hole-by-hole breakdowns for each course.  You’ll see an additional column for Handicap — the holes have been handicapped based off players’ percentage of realized Potential on those holes (again, you can also think about this as the ranking of a player’s average score on this hole relative to GT Par).  We didn’t always want to use GT Par as the standard for handicap because there are certain holes like Alpine #7 that may have a low GT Par %, but they are not necessarily difficult to birdie.  Now you truly know which holes are causing players in the 15 to 21 handicap range the most trouble!  You can use this knowledge to help with course management, and you can also use these ratings when playing with your buddies to know where to give strokes if you want to even things up based on your handicaps!

That’s the overview, but it gets bigger and better — each hole is analyzed in further detail in the write-up for each course!  Alpine and Grizzly are done and will be published soon, so be ready to head on over to those sections to see even more detail.  I’ll also soon be rolling these stats into a new format for each hole’s write-up!

Finally, we’ll be updating these statistics at various times throughout the year to keep them up to date, so hopefully this data can help your scores improve!  We’ll normally be pulling the 100 most recent games to get a good representation of how all our volunteers are currently performing.  Thanks big time to Jeremy for putting in the effort to gather up this valuable data for us!



Air-O Balls — Can You Benefit From Them?

By • Category: 2010 - Golden Tee LIVE 2011, Features, Golden Tee golf balls • • Leave a Comment (1)

You may have seen some pretty awesome YouTube shots this month where you saw someone (probably Putz) drive a par 4 that you never thought possible, just by hitting it straight.  I’ll point out four pretty sweet examples:

Timber Bay #15
Grizzly Flats #7
Falcon Sands #6
Falcon Sands #7

I don’t even have examples of shots from Timber Bay #2 and #14 and Laurel Park #2 and #6, which can also be driven straight in some cases.  And don’t forget about some of the par 5s where the extra distance off the tee can help you reach the green in two!

After seeing these examples, it’s pretty tempting to want to change to the Air-O balls and show off with these long drives in front of your friends!  But not so fast – let’s take a look at how these balls can both help and potentially hurt your game.

First, you have to understand how the Air-O balls work.  Introduced last year (as the red box balls), these balls have all the same properties as stock balls except for one important difference – if you hit a straight 180 shot off the tee, you get a big distance boost, resulting in somewhere around a 10-15% increase based off the club you select.  The driver, for example, can average around 50 more yards than if you hit the normal stock balls.  So, all of a sudden your 350-yard drives are now going 400 yards!

It’s not quite as easy as it sounds, though – you have to be very accurate with your pull back and follow through to trigger the distance increase.  If you don’t create a straight line from your pull back angle through your follow-through angle within a degree or two, you won’t get the distance boost.  I’d say pros trigger the boost 90-95% of the time, but players like you and me might only be in the 75-80% range, especially when you are trying to angle the shot off to the side (actually, sometimes straight back and straight forward can be challenging too)!

When you consider the fact that the penalty (water and par) can exceed the reward (an eagle putt) in some cases, you might second-think that shot – how confident are you?  It certainly adds a fun but potentially stressful aspect to the game!

And here’s another issue you’ll come to discover – the balls can be a hindrance on par 3s and normally drivable par 4s.  How so?  Well, you may be put in a spot where you really want to hit a B2 shot with a particular club – but, now you have to adjust your strategy because that B2 could trigger a distance boost where you’ll overshoot the green!  You either have to hit the same club with a little bit of cut, club up and thumb the shot, or club down and hit the B2 planning to use the boost.  While having to learn and use different kinds of shots can help amateurs get better down the road, it’s certainly frustrating to have to veer from your comfort zone.

Finally, since the Air-Os act like stock balls in every other situation, you may be losing back to the field in several other situations – especially cut shots and some approach shots.  This deduction is not significant enough to figure in for amateurs, but you could theoretically drop another fraction of a stroke from the benefit shown for pros.

All of a sudden, the Air-Os might not seem like the best option for amateur players, but how can we know for sure?  Let’s break down each course to see if the potential benefits outweigh the downfalls that these balls can cause.

Click here to view a breakdown of each course and how amateur players might see their scores change as opposed to pro players using the Air-Os.  The sheet makes the following assumptions:

  • You won’t always get a setup where you can take advantage of the extra distance.  Column D is my best guess for how often the hole sets up to potentially give you a stroke advantage.  As you can see, some holes very rarely set up for it, so you’ll only get the chance to benefit every once in a while.
  • On some holes, the Air-Os may offer a significantly easier approach shot (a chush, for example) without risk of getting in trouble.  Where this is the case, I’m assuming that’s worth a quarter stroke.
  • If the balls give you a shot at an easier approach but come with risk of losing a stroke, I’m assuming you’ll be smart and lay up, so there’s no advantage there.
  • Judging from the surroundings, a missed boost could cost you either 0, 1 or 2 strokes.  If it could be one or the other, I’ll average those instances.
  • Column I assesses the impact on amateurs who effectively trigger the boost 75% of the time.  I’ll also assume that even if you trigger the boost, you’ll only accurately nail the landing area you need 75% of the time.  Pros get 90% for both.  I also have a column of the accuracy required to break even, and what you could expect if you were perfect 100% of the time.
  • For normal par 3s and normally straight drivable par 4s, amateurs will be penalized a quarter stroke if you could lose 1 stroke, and you’ll be penalized a half stroke if you could lose two strokes.  This is assuming you’ll have to adjust from your normal B2 shot half the time, and half of that time you’ll lose a stroke or two because of it.  Pros lose a tenth of a stroke for 1 and two tenths for 2.

So, let’s take a look at row 5 for Alpine hole #4.  This hole offers one of the most significant advantages on any course if you have the Air-Os.  I’m guessing that 80% of the time you’ll have a shot to stick this green where people using other balls won’t.  However, there’s chance of a snow plug or even water if you mishit the shot, so it could cost you a stroke (water and par) or nothing (snow plug or long with a chip and a birdie).

Let’s say you play this hole 100 times and use birdie as the base.  It sets up 80% of the time for the boost shot, so you’re at +80.  Of those 80 attempts, you’ll miss the boost 25% of the time (20 times), with it costing you par half of those and birdie (no harm) the other half.  So that’s -10 more, putting you at +70.  Now, even when you do hit the boost correctly the other 60 times, you’ll be inaccurate 25% of the time (15 times), putting you at +55.  So, in summary, you can expect to eagle 55% of the time when others are getting birdies.

Pros are 90% accurate, so when you plug in 10% and 90% instead, they gain a stroke 69% of the time they play the hole with the Air-Os.

In summary, this grid shows how amateurs and pros may expect their scores to differ on each course by using the Air-Os.  You’ll also see how accurate you have to be with your shot-making just to break even using these balls, and how you could potentially benefit if you had perfect control of this shot!

Course Amateur Strokes Pro Strokes Break even % Perfect Strokes
Alpine Run -0.58 0.74 82% 2.38
Timber Bay -1.38 0.28 87% 1.65
Laurel Park -0.66 0.10 90% 1.60
Grizzly Flats -1.67 0.04 90% 1.45
Falcon Sands -1.76 -0.30 93% 0.93
TOTAL -6.05 0.85 88% 8.01

So, while it may be fun to play a few rounds with the Air-Os, you’ll likely see your game suffer over the long haul.  Stick with the Hawks or Flares and the Maniax and continue to focus on shot-making!



GTF 2011 — Behind the Scenes

By • Category: 2010 - Golden Tee LIVE 2011, Features, Miscellaneous • • Leave a Comment (2)

You won’t find any tips in this article, but I thought it’d be fun to share the process that GTF goes through when preparing for a year of new courses and new features!

First, I soak up all the teasers and previews that start coming out 2-3 months before the release date.  I like to consolidate everything into a preview article with links to the specifics on GT.com.  Here, viewers can have one place to get at all the new features and pictures of the upcoming release.

Then, the course previews start coming out.  This is when I start making categories for each of the new courses, adding all the detail that’s out there into an intro article for each course.  I’ll also start drafting up a post for each hole.

Beta testing is a fun time where we start seeing YouTubes of several of the holes.  IT will do some testing and upload YouTubes, so it’s fun to catch those replays if you can, but they are usually cleaned up within a day or two.  Still, you’ll have players in the Chicago area showing the first solid replays of holes on the new courses!

The most hectic time is the first couple weeks after the official vendor ship dates.  Now everyone is starting to get the update locally, and a flood of YouTubes starts coming in!  Just like everyone else, I can’t wait for the update to come to my local bars, and I’m out playing as soon as I can after the games are updated.

I’ll bring my camera to capture a picture of each hole – this is important for reference, and I’ll upload the pics to each hole post.  During my first few rounds on each course, I’m also taking notes on strategies for each hole, which I eventually bring back and update on the site.

The most work, yet the most beneficial aspect of the site, are the YouTube replays.  I like to capture an example hole-out of each possible shot on each hole, and usually within the first 2 weeks, I have most of what I need.  It takes a long time scouring for YouTubes, but it’s worth the benefit of having examples sorted out for each hole!  It’s easiest if I focus on one course at a time and sort by Upload Date – then I can tell what I’ve already viewed and what’s new.  Eventually I can recognize from the thumbnail what hole the replay is for, so I can skim along a little more quickly looking for what you need ?.

I’m also checking the forums to see if there are discussions about specific holes that contain useful information.  If I have questions about how to play certain holes, this is probably the time I’ll post them hoping to get feedback from the better players.  This is also a good time to see what club/ball combos people prefer to use on each of the courses.

From this point forward, I work on refining my advice for each hole, especially after I learn new things from each round I play.  This helps build a nice little article on each hole with the strategies you should use along with an example of how to hit each shot!  At this point, I won’t scour for YouTubes anymore – this is where I rely on AK and the rest of the GT community to share their great shots with the rest of us, whether on Facebook or in any of the GT forums!

With all that said, here are some of my favorite (but mostly lucky!) YouTubes from the first couple weeks of GT 2011 that you may not have seen!













http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bTZ-imlN7o



















Golden Tees for Beginners

By • Category: 2010 - Golden Tee LIVE 2011, Driving • • Leave a Comment (0)

Thanks again to Juan Schwartz for the info!  Here’s a breakdown of how you should expect Golden Tees to work in Golden Tee 2011:

If you use a “high tee” your club will go one bigger club further, and one shorter club higher.   For example, A high-teed 3-wood will go as far as a driver, and as high as a 5-wood.  This will help when getting over trees and going a long way, such as hole #9 of Laurel Park.  CAUTION!!! A high tee will have backspin or topspin reduced to 5-10% of what you’d see with a normal tee.  Also, backspin still creates a bit more loft, and roll creates a bit less loft.

In reverse, a low tee will go one club shorter for length, and one club bigger for height.  For example, a low-teed 3-wood will have the distance of a 5-wood with the height of a driver.  This helps getting through the pyramid on Falcon Sands #14 (a 2-iron low tee topspin through the hole works often here).  Expect backspin and roll to be increased 20-25% from what you’d see with a normal tee.  Also, backspin still creates a bit more loft, and roll creates a bit less loft.

Go ahead and “waste” a tee off the first hole to get a feel of how much further a high tee will go. Then you’ll be ready when you need one .

Also, we recommend playing Hawks and Hurtles on ALL courses until you’re a 23 handicap or better consistently!



Grizzly Flats — Golden Tee 2011

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Here is a description of this new course for Golden Tee 2011: “This links-style course is not completely devoid of trees, but the rolling fairways and deep bunkers will have players thinking more of the Scottish moors than the foothills of the Colorado Rockies.”

Here is the official preview of the Redvale, Colorado course.

This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2011 Golden Tee course Grizzly Flats!  Check out the hole-by-hole breakdowns and example hole-outs as I partner up with the Golden Tee community to give you the edge you need to beat your friends!

For most players, you should be using the Hawks and Hurtles on this course.



GT Par Breakdown for Grizzly Flats

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The following grid breaks down the best and worst you should be able to shoot on Grizzly Flats relative to the possible setups you could get on each hole:

Hole Par GT Par Total
Min Max Min Max
1 4 3 3 -1 -1
2 4 2 3 -3 -2
3 3 2 2 -4 -3
4 5 3 3 -6 -5
5 4 2 2 -8 -7
6 3 2 2 -9 -8
7 4 2 3 -11 -9
8 5 3 3 -13 -11
9 4 2 2 -15 -13
10 4 3 3 -16 -14
11 5 3 3 -18 -16
12 3 2 2 -19 -17
13 4 2 2 -21 -19
14 4 2 3 -23 -20
15 4 3 3 -24 -21
16 3 2 2 -25 -22
17 5 3 3 -27 -24
18 4 2 2 -29 -26


Falcon Sands — Golden Tee 2011

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Here is a description of this new course for Golden Tee 2011: “Play golf among the ruins of ancient Egypt! The pyramids aren’t only there for decoration purposes – they’re part of the course itself! Besides the pyramids, Falcon Sands features monuments, statues, camels and, of course, the biggest sand trap in the history of Golden Tee!”

Here is the official preview of the Dahshur, Egypt course.

This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2011 Golden Tee course Falcon Sands!  Check out the hole-by-hole breakdowns and example hole-outs as I partner up with the Golden Tee community to give you the edge you need to beat your friends!

For most players, you should be using the Hawks and Hurtles on this course.



GT Par Breakdown for Falcon Sands

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The following grid breaks down the best and worst you should be able to shoot on Falcon Sands relative to the possible setups you could get on each hole:

Hole Par GT Par Total
Min Max Min Max
1 4 3 3 -1 -1
2 4 2 2 -3 -3
3 3 2 2 -4 -4
4 5 3 3 -6 -6
5 4 3 3 -7 -7
6 4 2 3 -9 -8
7 4 2 2 -11 -10
8 3 2 2 -12 -11
9 5 3 3 -14 -13
10 4 3 3 -15 -14
11 3 2 2 -16 -15
12 4 3 3 -17 -16
13 5 3 3 -19 -18
14 4 2 2 -21 -20
15 4 3 3 -22 -21
16 5 3 3 -24 -23
17 3 2 2 -25 -24
18 4 2 2 -27 -26


Timber Bay — Golden Tee 2011

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Here is a description of this new course for Golden Tee 2011: “The Pacific Ocean is the backdrop for this amazing course set near the coastal cliffs of Cape Arago Oregon. The pines are thick and plentiful and the ocean views will have players coming back to this course over and over.”

Here is the official preview of the Cape Arago, Oregon course.

This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2011 Golden Tee course Timber Bay!  Check out the hole-by-hole breakdowns and example hole-outs as I partner up with the Golden Tee community to give you the edge you need to beat your friends!

For most players, you should be using the Hawks and Hurtles on this course.



GT Par Breakdown for Timber Bay

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The following grid breaks down the best and worst you should be able to shoot on Timber Bay relative to the possible setups you could get on each hole:

Hole Par GT Par Total
Min Max Min Max
1 4 3 3 -1 -1
2 4 2 3 -3 -2
3 4 2 2 -5 -4
4 3 2 2 -6 -5
5 5 3 3 -8 -7
6 4 2 2 -10 -9
7 5 3 3 -12 -11
8 3 2 2 -13 -12
9 5 3 3 -15 -14
10 4 2 3 -17 -15
11 4 2 2 -19 -17
12 3 2 2 -20 -18
13 5 3 3 -22 -20
14 4 2 3 -24 -21
15 4 2 3 -26 -22
16 3 2 2 -27 -23
17 5 3 3 -29 -25
18 4 2 2 -31 -27


Alpine Run — Golden Tee 2011

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Here is a description of this new course for Golden Tee 2011: “Set in the shadow of the Swiss Alps with the Matterhorn looming in the distance, Alpine Run features majestic mountain lakes, stunning waterfalls, towering trees and smushy snow. Breath taking elevation changes will make this course one that Golden Tee fans will never forget.”

Here is the official preview of the Zermatt, Switzerland course.

This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2011 Golden Tee course Alpine Run!  Check out the hole-by-hole breakdowns and example hole-outs as I partner up with the Golden Tee community to give you the edge you need to beat your friends!

For most players, you should be using the Hawks and Hurtles on this course.  Some players may prefer to use the Flares instead if you are comfortable with the lofted woods.



Statistical Breakdown for Alpine Run

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Click here to check out all the statistics for Alpine Run!



Laurel Park — Golden Tee 2011

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Here is a description of this new course for Golden Tee 2011: “Set in the Bois de Boulogne near the Eiffel Tower, no one has ever played golf in Paris like this! Players who attempt to shave strokes by navigating the many shortcuts of this challenging layout will encounter water hazards and intricately cut sand traps. A Golden Tee player’s dream course!”

Here is the official preview of the Paris, France course.

This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2011 Golden Tee course Laurel Park!  Check out the hole-by-hole breakdowns and example hole-outs as I partner up with the Golden Tee community to give you the edge you need to beat your friends!

For most players, you should be using the Hawks and Hurtles on this course.  Some players may prefer to use the Flares instead if you are comfortable with the lofted woods.



GT Par Breakdown for Laurel Park

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The following grid breaks down the best and worst you should be able to shoot on Laurel Park relative to the possible setups you could get on each hole:

Hole Par GT Par Total
Min Max Min Max
1 4 3 3 -1 -1
2 4 2 3 -3 -2
3 3 2 2 -4 -3
4 5 3 3 -6 -5
5 4 2 2 -8 -7
6 4 2 3 -10 -8
7 5 3 3 -12 -10
8 3 2 2 -13 -11
9 4 2 2 -15 -13
10 5 3 3 -17 -15
11 4 2 3 -19 -16
12 3 2 2 -20 -17
13 4 2 2 -22 -19
14 5 3 3 -24 -21
15 4 2 2 -26 -23
16 4 2 2 -28 -25
17 3 2 2 -29 -26
18 5 2 3 -32 -28


Timber Bay — Hole #1: Par 4

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tb_1 Handicap: 18th hardest hole
Category: Easy
Average Score: -0.97 / -1.00

Eagle+ 2%
Birdie 93%
Par 5%
Bogey
Double+

EXAMPLE HOLE-OUT



Timber Bay — Hole #2: Par 4

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Handicap: 17th hardest hole
Category: Moderate
Average Score: -0.92 / -1.00

Eagle+
Birdie 91%
Par 9%
Bogey
Double+

There are situations where this hole can be drivable, especially with the Air-Os, so don’t automatically lay up!



Timber Bay — Hole #3: Par 4

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Handicap: 12th hardest hole
Category: Moderate
Average Score: -1.43 / -2.00 


Eagle+ 60%
Birdie 24%
Par 15%
Bogey 1%
Double+

This hole is not as intimidating as it might look. Loft isn’t usually an issue — in fact, most of the time you should NOT use a high tee so that you can apply backspin effectively. It may take some practice to nail the distance. A medium-teed 3-wood will carry the green if you hit it hard, but a 5-wood can come up short if you baby it! Usually, a medium teed 5-wood is plenty to get there if hit hard, and sometimes you can high-tee the 5-wood for insurance. It’s also possible to be long if you really crush it, and then you’re looking at par as well.

Here’s an example dunk hole-out. Here’s another great hole-out, and here’s a third one with a tough pin.



Timber Bay — Hole #4: Par 3

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Handicap: 16th hardest hole
Category: Easy
Average Score: -0.82 / -1.00

Eagle+
Birdie 84%
Par 14%
Bogey 4%
Double+

HOLE-OUT FROM RIGHT BOX
HOLE-OUT FROM THE LEFT BOX



Timber Bay — Hole #5: Par 5

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Handicap: 11th hardest hole
Category: Moderate
Average Score: -1.33 / -2.00 


Eagle+ 40%
Birdie 53%
Par 7%
Bogey
Double+

What a cool hole this one is. You can go any of three ways off the tee, and you can reach the green in two from any of them if you place your drive well enough!

Most often, you’ll be going to the right, because that shot is always there — here’s a great tee shot to the right, setting up a nice approach. Here’s a hole-out from there.

This is not your typical approach from the right by any means, but it sure worked out this time!

If your drive is a bit off, don’t give up — you can still go around the left if needed!  Here’s another great shot taking advantage of a right-blowing wind.

If you have a good tee box and wind, you can take the middle fairway down — here’s an example tee shot, although you’d ideally be back a bit farther to create a better angle on the approach.

It’s rare, but sometimes you can drive the upper left fairway too — your reward is the easiest of all the approach shots. Here’s a high-teed driver from the front box with a small tailwind. Here’s a hole-out from the upper-left.



Timber Bay — Hole #6: Par 4

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Handicap: 10th hardest hole
Category: Moderate
Average Score: -1.32 / -2.00


Eagle+ 52%
Birdie 31%
Par 15%
Bogey 1%
Double+

The left tee box gives the greatest chance at eagle on this hole — you’re just going over the top of the trees. Here’s a great ace with a 5-wood, and here’s another nice one with a 3-wood. And check out this crazy bounce with a driver!

The middle tee is a bit tougher because the green gets narrower, but you’ll still be hitting over the top through a nice gap — here’s a hole-out from the middle tee.

The right tee box is where it gets challenging, because the gap is very small. Here’s one example hole-out. You can also consider a low-teed driver here too, which can help keep the ball low and cut off distance — watch this one quick skip to a near hole-out!  And here’s a high-teed 2-hybrid that also got the job done.



Timber Bay — Hole #7: Par 5

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Handicap: 8th hardest hole
Category: Risk/Reward
Average Score: -1.08 / -2.00


Eagle+ 32%
Birdie 47%
Par 19%
Bogey 1%
Double+

For your tee shot, you can usually hit a high-teed 3-wood over the trees down to the landing area. Sometimes you’ll have to work it around the trees, but sometimes you can use a more lofted club to get down there too! It’s better to be short than long off the tee to the layup spot — short shots can bounce off the log and down to safety, where you can still work an approach shot around the side, but long shots eliminate your eagle chance. Here’s a hole-out from there. Here’s another great hole-out having to curve it around!

Feeling strong? With a good setup, you can even muscle up and carry your drive all the way across! Here’s one all the way to the fairway!



Timber Bay — Hole #8: Par 3

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Handicap: 13th hardest hole
Category: Easy
Average Score: -0.78 / -1.00

Eagle+
Birdie 84%
Par 10%
Bogey 6%
Double+

This hole has two greens, but neither is very challenging. One green has a bit of slope but is pretty big — here’s a hole-out there.

The other green has a trickier shape but is flat — here’s a hole-out there. Also, check out this bounce off the rock!



Timber Bay — Hole #9: Par 5

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Handicap: 14th hardest hole
Category: Easy
Average Score: -1.56 / -2.00

Eagle+ 66%
Birdie 36%
Par 4%
Bogey
Double+

The best option, if it’s there, is to blast it down the left side. There’s sand in the fairway to the left, but you don’t necessarily have to be to the right of it — you can still reach in two if you’re to the left of that sand. Here’s an example hole-out, and here’s another great bender from the left.

The next best thing to do here is to just tee it high and blast a long, straight drive over the trees and way out into the sand on the right. From here, you should have plenty of club to get there, like with this hole-out. This approach shot is easier if you have high-lofted clubs!

Finally, there’s a little outlet to the right that offers a clear approach shot if you can stick the drive there, but it’s tough to get the drive exactly where you want it. Here’s a hole-out from the right side.



Timber Bay — Hole #10: Par 4

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Handicap: 16th hardest hole
Category: Easy
Average Score: -0.81 / -1.00

Eagle+
Birdie 83%
Par 15%
Bogey 2%
Double+

If you get the “ladies tee box” up front and left, you can sometimes drive the green — check out this ace!

Otherwise, carry down to the second fairway if you can — here’s a hole-out from the lower fairway.

You can still lay back in the first fairway too — here’s a nice dunk from there. Here’s another fun hole-out off the rock!



Timber Bay — Hole #11: Par 4

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Handicap: 3rd hardest hole
Category: Professional
Average Score: -0.51 / -2.00


Eagle+ 13%
Birdie 46%
Par 28%
Bogey 8%
Double+ 5%

Here begins the toughest 8-hole stretch in Golden Tee 2011. If you’re fortunate to have the left tee box, then most of the time you can hit a 5-wood or a 3-wood over the trees.

If you get stuck to the right, then things get difficult. You’ll probably have to work a 3-wood through the gap like this great shot from the back box. Here’s another 5-wood with fantastic pin action! Finally, check out this jacked up 9-wood!

From the middle box, a well-placed low-iron can sometimes do the trick — check out this 2-iron that stayed below the trees! I can’t recommend trying this shot, but a driver knocked down by leaves and a fortunate deflection gives an amazing hole-out!  Here’s one that’s definitely cleaner, though!

Eagle is very tough here; par or worse is far more likely. Be smart and save a stroke while you can!



Timber Bay — Hole #12: Par 3

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Handicap: 2nd hardest hole
Category: Difficult
Average Score: -0.25 / -1.00 


Eagle+
Birdie 39%
Par 49%
Bogey 10%
Double+ 2%

The challenge here lies in the slope of the green, because it’s hard to sustain a cut shot into that slope when you’re shooting downhill. Be happy just to stick this green for a birdie putt!  This hole plays very tough, so don’t be frustrated with par here — just play smart so you don’t lose another stroke here!

Here’s a hole-out from the back box.
Here’s a hole-out from the middle box.
Here’s a hole-out from the front box.



Timber Bay — Hole #13: Par 5

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Handicap: 9th hardest hole
Category: Difficult
Average Score: -1.22 / -2.00 


Eagle+ 47%
Birdie 31%
Par 19%
Bogey 3%
Double+

You’ll be cutting around the corner with an A1-type shot, but accuracy is more important than distance here. A left-blowing wind makes this tee shot very difficult, so you may want low loft so you can still cut around and through the wind. You might club down to a 3-wood, or even a 2-hybrid, with backspin to ensure you avoid the trees on your way around and land safely in the fairway. Here’s an example hole-out from a good drive around the corner, and here’s another one from laying back a ways.

If you are going to miss the fairway, though, miss long, because if you still have an open look from the rough, you’re fine! You can’t count on getting a lucky break like this!

If you do fall off the edge, there’s a chance you can still save birdie with a great A1 shot.  Or just hole-out for eagle!

Some guys have experimented with ramping it straight ahead off the hill, but no one’s succeeded in carrying to the green as far as I know — here’s an example attempt that worked out okay, but the risk just isn’t worth the reward.



Timber Bay — Hole #14: Par 4

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Handicap: 4th hardest hole
Category: Difficult
Average Score: -0.26 / -1.00


Eagle+
Birdie 50%
Par 27%
Bogey 22%
Double+ 1%

This is a difficult hole that forces you to make 2 great shots for birdie.  If you can get far enough down the fairway, you take the trees out of play — here’s an example hole-out.

Or, you can try to line yourself up with the gap go through it. Short of the sand is the place to be, so don’t drive it too far, since the fairway slopes down into that sand to gobble up careless tee shots!

Finally, there’s a shortcut area out to the left that can be considered. If you can stick a good spot there, you’ll also have an open approach shot, like this!

This hole can rarely set up to be drivable with the Air-Os, but you’ll probably need to get there with a 3-wood since the driver doesn’t get high enough from the normal front box.

Also, from the far front box (which you may never get), you can high tee a 3-wood to give yourself a chance to drive the green too! The driver may still clip the trees, so muscle up with the 3W if you get a look. This driver cleared safely! Here’s a high-teed 3W that found the cup!



Timber Bay — Hole #15: Par 4

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Handicap: 5th hardest hole
Category: Difficult
Average Score: -0.28 / -1.00 


Eagle+
Birdie 46%
Par 41%
Bogey 11%
Double+ 12%

Check out the wind and tee position, because you may be able to drive this hole! If you’ve got a big tailwind, consider teeing high a driver, which can carry 380 to the green if you hit it well. You may not even need the Air-Os — here’s an incredible ace with Hurtles!

You also need to be very careful when laying up on the second fairway with a tailwind. It slopes way down, and your ball can bounce all the way down into the water, even with backspin. Here’s a hole-out from there, and here’s a hole-out from laying back, which is just fine too!