Archives for the ‘Grand Canyon’ Category

Grand Canyon — Golden Tee 2012

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Here is a description of this new course for Golden Tee 2012: “Take a golfing journey from the top of the north rim all the way down to the bottom of the great chasm. While water is sparse through much of this 18-hole excursion, the streams and waterfalls you encounter will certainly impact your round. Tusayan, Arizona’s breathtaking cliffs, drops, and windy rock walls will make you stop and take in the surrounding scenery. As beautiful as the course is, however, seeing too much of the sights likely means you’ve lost track of the fairway.”

Here is the official preview of the Tusayan, Arizona course.  Also check out more pictures from the Golden Tee blog!  And finally, here is a great preview write-up of the course also from the GT blog.

This post is currently being updated with tips, tricks, and information related to the 2012 Golden Tee course Grand Canyon!  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!

Grand Canyon is voted by many to be the 3rd hardest course in 2012, although some rank it harder and some easier.  It has many eagle opportunities but also many potential blow-up holes and tough setups that can make for a rough round!

Most players use the Flares and Hurtles on this course, although the Hawks can benefit us amateur players more here.  You might save more strokes from the low-lofted hybrids than you’d gain from the one or two times you might need a 7-wood or 9-wood here, so see what works best for you!



GT Par Breakdown for Grand Canyon

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

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


Grand Canyon — Hole #1: Par 4

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This opening hole is drivable with a high tee from the front box — check out this nice little hop!  This hole-out didn’t even require a high tee because the look was so good — nice.

Here’s an amazing hole-out from the middle box with a huge A1 high-teed driver!  Here’s another amazing ace with a steeper angle.

Otherwise, it’s a standard, flat opening hole.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #2: Par 4

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Nothing special here either — just pick a spot and bring it in for birdie.  Here’s an example hole-out.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #3: Par 3

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This green is big and fairly flat, so don’t lose a stroke here trying to chase a pin tucked away to the edge.  Keep the pin between your ball and the rough, make your birdie, and move on.  Here’s an example hole-out.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #4: Par 5

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There’s never an issue taking it out to the right fairway.  Make sure you carry it far enough but not all the way through, as it slopes downward a bit.  Use a tee or backspin to stick the center of it.  Here’s an example hole-out from the right fairway.

There may be certain wind conditions or pin placements where an approach shot from the left is more favorable, so keep that in mind too.  Here’s an example hole-out from the left fairway.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #5: Par 4

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This hole tests your elevation control, as the wind will play a big part on the way down.  You shouldn’t need to apply any spin here unless you have a tailwind, in which case you should use bite or backspin.  You may also use bite if a side-wind is blowing away from the flag.  Here’s a nice 5-wood hole-out from up top.  And this driver was floated down perfectly.  And talk about the ultimate dunk!

There’s also a box down to the right that has become more common now — you shoot up at this green slightly, but you don’t really need to add much extra club for elevation — here’s a “hole-out” from there!  This 4-wood took a couple of crazy deflections and ended up in the hole!

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #6: Par 4

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Here’s another standard, flat par 4 where nothing but fairway or green should ever come into play.  Here’s an example hole-out.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #7: Par 3

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This par 3 is where things start to get slightly tricky.  This usually isn’t the place to go pin-hunting either — do what you can to stick the middle of the green and give yourself a putt.  Don’t bring any trouble into play by being too aggressive, because this front 9 is very manageable and you’ll want a good score heading into the back!  Here’s a hole-out to a front pin.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #8: Par 5

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I haven’t seen a need yet to even consider the right fairway.  The left fairway is always reachable, usually without a high tee, but you might want a high tee to be safe.  Line up with the fairway that juts towards you and hit it straight and hard.  This should leave you a nice approach shot for an excellent eagle opportunity.  Here’s an example hole-out from the left fairway.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #9: Par 4

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From almost every setup, a high-teed 9-wood can go straight at the green if you’ve got the distance.  Here’s a perfect example of where you’d play this shot to a back pin.  This one actually comes at it from the left — what a crazy shot!  And this one involves a bank, which is even crazier — wow.  Here’s another perfect bank at the end!

If you’re towards the right side of the box, a high-teed 7-wood can go right at the green, but if you’re towards the left, a high-teed 7-wood can curve safely around the mountain.  And here’s a great medium-teed B3 7-wood backspun into the cup!

If you need a longer shot, you can curve a high-teed 5-wood around too — here is a high-teed 5-wood around the corner for a dunk!  If you need backspin, you’re still fine if you play a big enough hook — here’s a great backspin hole-out.  There’s even a backstop rock if you need to get lucky!  This one also came in hot off the backstop.  And why not make the route even more scenic — crazy.

The key is to miss left if you miss at all — you can even hug the mountain on the way around, but don’t miss right!

With the stiff penalty for a miss, you may want to lay up out right sometimes — here’s a hole-out from the fairway.  And this shot is not recommended, but what an entertaining video it made!

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #10: Par 4

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This hole looks harder than it actually plays.  Rotate right a couple clicks and play a C2.5-type shot with a hard cut around the mountain, usually with backspin.  This helps the ball come back left and gives you a better angle at the green.  No matter where you end up off the tee, you should have a look into this green, even if you clip the mountain on the left on your way around.

Try not to end up long in the sand — this creates the most trouble.  If you end up in the front left of the sand, though, you may still have a shot!

If the wind is in your face, it creates the toughest approach shot, but it also allows you to keep the ball well to the left with backspin as you curve it around the mountain, giving you a better angle.  Here’s a lofted hole-out to a back left pin, and here’s an impressive hole-out to a tough right pin!

And this was so horribly bad, it actually turned out good — worth a laugh!  Same thing here — terrible shot that got incredibly lucky!

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #11: Par 3

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Lots of tee boxes here create many different looks at this downhill par 3.  Account extra for the wind and recognize the presence of a big grassy hill on the right — it can help or hurt you depending on how you bring it into play.  Again, the best shot is to the center of the green so that if you’re off slightly in any direction, you still have a putt.

Here’s an example hole-out from the middle box.

Here’s a hole-out from the left box that used the hill on the right nicely!

This is a great 3-wood hole-out from the farthest tee box.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #12: Par 5

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The left or right fairway works here — it’s usually wind-specific.  To the right, you can hit it long and straight or curve a big A1-type shot over there, trying to get past the sand.  You don’t have to be dead accurate — it can bounce off the walls a bit and settle, still giving you a straight look at the green, or perhaps a small cut shot.  Here’s a hole-out after a long drive to the narrow right fairway.  Here’s a hole-out after a drive that got just past the sand on the right.  You probably don’t want to try this shot with the wind blowing left at all.

To the left, you’ll sometimes get a nice wind and be able to carry a high-teed driver over the sand to the next fairway.  Here’s a hole-out after a long drive to the far left fairway.  Otherwise, you’ll lay up in the fairway as close to the sand as you can get — here’s a hole-out after laying up short of the sand and curving it around.  Even if you play it really safe behind the sand on the left edge of the fairway, you can still curve a driver around!

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #13: Par 4

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This is the hole that seems to define your round.  The risk/reward is more evident here than anywhere.  It requires a precise A1-type curve around this mountain with exact distance to hold this green and give yourself an eagle putt.  If you miss in any direction, you risk the chance of a re-tee, which is devastating.  If you haven’t mastered your cut shots left, don’t let your round blow up here — just lay out left and come in for birdie.  Eagles are tough here, and bogey or worse is more common for most of us.

Here’s a 5-wood around the corner — dunk!  And this 5-wood came up a yard short of the green but still bounced up and curved in!  This 5-wood got a nice, gentle kick off the mountain back and in.  And this 4-wood found some rocks in the back but got a great kick.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #14: Par 4

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If you get the front left box, you can high-tee a 3-wood and play a small cut through the gap — here’s an ace from that box.

From the middle box, this hole may be drivable — check out this high-teed 3-wood that nearly went in!  It takes a precise shot through this gap, but it can be done from here.  This one caught a nice little deflection off the rock.  This one made it clean through for a dunk – awesome!  And this high-teed 4-wood had a perfect wind to aid this perfect shot.  This one is just fun to watch, haha.

Otherwise, rotate left to find a nice landing spot up in the rocks — a 3-wood or driver will settle nicely in there!  This gives you a little floater into the green instead of having to navigate the very tough fairway with a difficult approach shot.  And while you’re up there, take a listen for the Bradys yelling for Bobby and Cindy — hilarious!  You’ll hear that in various places on this course if you stray too far.

Some setups may make the fairway more attractive, and here’s a hole-out using the traditional route.

Finally, you CAN sometimes drive the green from the right box — you’ll just have a hard time sticking it!

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #15: Par 4

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Gauge the wind here to determine the tee shot that will give you the best approach into the green.  First, you can rotate left and play a drive straight over to the second fairway.  You may sometimes want a high tee to ensure your distance is enough.  This gives you a clear shot at the green for your approach.  Here’s a hole-out from there.  This one came up a bit short in the dust but still had enough of an angle to get it home!

You can drive along the right fairway too, which is just fine.  If you position your drive correctly, you can have a very short approach shot with little to no cut required.  To the contrary, this one had about as much cut as you can put on the ball for an amazing hole-out!

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #16: Par 5

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This hole presents all kinds of opportunities!  The green can be driven most of the time, but you’ll have to control a deflection off one of a couple rocks while choosing the right club depending on the wind.

If the wind is blowing between 3:00 and 6:00, play a high-teed 5-wood with backspin into the top of the obelisk straight ahead.  The harder the wind, the more you tee it to the left.  This creates a deflection towards the green, and the wind will push back against the ball at the same angle it’s shooting over, creating a soft landing.  Here is an example with this setup.

However, you may also be able to play a \ angled shot into the mountain with a high-teed 7-wood with backspin with these types of winds — this one was with a wind at 5:00 and still managed to climb over because it hit the rock at the correct spot!  And here’s another one that dropped in the cup for the super albatross!

If the wind is blowing between 12:00 and 3:00, play the same type of shot with a high-teed 7-wood with backspin.  The ball won’t deflect with as much velocity to the left, but that’s where the wind kicks in and keeps pushing it forward a bit, but also back right to slow it down.  Here is an example with this setup.  Here’s another one played with a C3 that just barely caught the obelisk rock and deflected over.

If the wind is blowing straight out, you’ll want to shoot over the wall to the left of the obelisk.  The 7-wood can have a tough time holding the green, so use a high tee, move left, and play a spinny C3 9-wood into this wall.  It should grab the wall and barely climb over, dropping forward onto the green.  This 9-wood almost went in!

If the wind is blowing hard to the left, play a high-teed 9-wood or 7-wood (backspin) with the same C3-type shot, giving the ball room to carry down to the left as it drops towards the green.  A straight shot can also work.  Here’s a high-teed 9-wood that took advantage of this hard left wind to drop on!  Use the 9-wood whenever possible with this shot because the 7-wood can hit the face of the rock and come straight back.

The only setup that it consistently difficult to land the green is when the wind is blowing between 6:00 and 9:00.  It’s hard to carry the high-lofted club over, and the 5-wood deflection shot will continue left and likely find water, similar to what happened on this attempt.  However, this high-teed 9-wood had a slight head-wind but made its way over for the SUPER ALBATROSS!

And here are some shots that are not recommended but worked out in this case!  If you hit a 3-wood here with a strong left wind, you may also make it there — incredible!  This one got it done too — left rock, right rock, over to the green.  And this 4-wood shot up off this rock and carried over the top, settling on the fringe!

For tee shots where you don’t go for the green, there is a layup spot straight ahead through a crack in the mountains — it should be a 5-wood or high-teed 7-wood, and if it settles correctly, you’ll have a little wedge punch-shot onto the green for an eagle putt.  If you happen to miss too far, consider banking it back off the rock, like this resourceful effort!

Another shot you can try off the tee is a driver cut shot into the mountain straight ahead at the corner of the fairway.  It’s a C2-3 thumb driver shot.  The cliff is facing towards the left fairway, and it should give you a deflection and bounce off left into that fairway, giving you a clear approach shot for eagle!  To make it simpler, you can use a low tee, move it to the front right of the box, and thumb it just a hair right of 2 into this cliff — this should work pretty consistently.  If you notice an X in the cliff straight ahead, you can aim just left of here to find the right spot.

The “standard” option is to curve something like a 7 or 8-iron around the corner, using the slope of the fairway to carry it down left.  If it carries down far enough, you can curve your next shot around the mountain into the green.  This is especially a good option with a wind blowing right, because it helps to stop your tee shot and then to help it on the curve around to the green.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #17: Par 3

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In beta, this hole did NOT have a sand trap in front.  If you played the Flares and had a strong wind in your face, you didn’t have much option other than stroke limit, so be thankful you now have somewhat of a bail-out spot!

This hole alone makes me want to use Hawks to have a 2-hybrid for that headwind, because then you can actually hit that club pretty full with no spin and stick the green.  Here’s one high-teed with a bounce off the wall — a nicely-played hole-out.  Otherwise, if the wind is really in your face and you have to hit a wood, you should probably be aiming for the green in front of the sand and letting the ball roll back into the sand for a chip.  That is, unless, you have perfect 5-wood distance control.

Or, you know, you can just put it up here and watch the show — this is just one of the best hole-outs ever.  Here’s another roller coaster-type shot that’s just about as entertaining.  When you try this, just hope you don’t have this happen!

Another note about the sand — the lip is VERY STEEP on the right side!  You may not be able to get your lob wedge over the top to a right pin.  If that’s the case, rotate left and punch it out so you at least have a putt at par.  Yeah, this hole is a beast with a headwind.

Here’s a 7-wood that played the side-wind perfectly.

VIDEO DEMO



Grand Canyon — Hole #18: Par 4

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Here you’ll be aiming straight through the small gap straight ahead, to the left of the green.  It’s too risk to try to cut it left to right — instead, shoot straight through and use the hill to the back left of the green to deflect back down onto the green.  There is water left here, but your ideal shot is to carry the top of the hill to the right of this water (or even the base of this mountain backstop) so that you get a small deflection back down the hill towards the green.  If you hit too hard or get a bad bounce, you can deflect all the way past the green into the water as well.

That being said, here’s a perfect shot with a 7-wood — clean through the gap, gentle roll down the hill and in!  Here’s another high-teed 7-wood with just a small cut right through the gap, using the hill at the back.  This high-teed 9-wood was also clean and bounced down perfectly off the hill.

This high-teed 4-wood was played high off the back mountain but came back perfectly to the cup.  This high-teed 5-wood came off the mountain hot but caught the cup!

Here’s an incredible 5-wood double-bank and then a little kiss off the bottom!  And here’s another double-banker for an ace.  This deflection and camera angle are amazing, in addition to the results!

You can carry around the right side too, but it’s really challenging and requires a great setup.  Check out this amazing 5-wood off the back hill!  This one got caught out right on the rock, but check out this amazing recovery for eagle!

VIDEO DEMO