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Bear Lodge — Golden Tee 2013

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Here is a description of this new course for Golden Tee 2013: “Nestled between some of Alaska’s tallest mountains, Hatcher Pass is the location of Bear Lodge, and one of the most breathtaking 18-hole adventures that nature has to offer. With the snow-covered mountain tops serving as a backdrop, a variety of traditional golf elements will greet you throughout your round. Strategically placed rivers and lakes will force you to take chances on drivable par-4s and par-5s. Do you play it safe or go for the gusto?”

Here is the official preview of the Hatcher Pass, Alaska course, and this article breaks down the course even further.

This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2013 Golden Tee course Bear Lodge! 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!

The Flares and Hurtles remain the most popular combo on this course, and I recommend that equipment for the time being.  The Hawks and Ballistas are also used by some.



GT Par Breakdown for Bear Lodge

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The following grid breaks down the best and worst you should be able to shoot on Bear Lodge 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  2  3  -4  -2
3  3  2  2  -5  -3
4  4  2  2  -7  -5
5  5  3  4  -9  -6
6  4  3  3  -10  -7
7  4  2  2  -12  -9
8  3  2  2  -13  -10
9  5  3  3  -15  -12
10  4  3  3  -16  -13
11  3  2  2  -17  -14
12  4  3  3  -18  -15
13  5  3  3  -20  -17
14  4  3  3  -21  -18
15  4  2  2  -23  -20
16  5  3  3  -25  -22
17  3  2  2  -26  -23
18  4  2  2  -28  -25


Bear Lodge — Hole #1: Par 4

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From the front boxes, this hole can be drivable!  Check out this medium-teed driver ace with roll from the front-right box.

This one found the green from the front-center box with a high tee.  And Mouth did find the cup with this huge effort!

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #2: Par 4

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With a good tee box and wind this hole can be drivable!  You may have a shot straight at it with a huge tail wind, but the safer play is to curve a big high-teed driver around the trees.  This long drive found the green.

Otherwise, lay up out in the fairway.  Here’s an example hole-out.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #3: Par 3

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Here’s an ace from the front box followed by one from the middle-right box.

This 3-wood found the cup from the back box.

There’s also another box across the way possibly only available in casual play — here’s an ace from there.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #4: Par 4

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Here’s a nice 3-wood ace from the left-center box followed by one floated in from the right-center box.

The hole gets long from the back boxes.  You can work a driver through the gap in the middle like this nice shot from the back right box, and this driver actually dunked from the back left box!  Or, you can high tee something like a 3-wood and go over the top instead, trying to settle on the green.  Long is okay, as you can still chip back on for birdie, but don’t kill your round early on by getting wet!

Finally, check out this amazing shot — driver around the left side, awesome bounce, and almost in!

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #5: Par 5

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You usually need to carry across if you want to reach the green in two — the first island fairway should be too far away.  However, if you find the very end of the fairway and are a big hitter, you may be able to still get there — check out this awesome hole-out.

Sometimes it will be very difficult to get across with a back tee and/or tough wind.  If the fairway is too tough to reach, you can potentially still reach the green from the left rough across the water, which is easier to reach off the tee.  So play whatever huge shot you have in your bag to try to get across somewhere to try to keep pace here.

Here’s a driver hole-out from the second fairway.

If it’s too daunting, go ahead and take your birdie by laying up in the first fairway.  Better to birdie than put a par on the scorecard trying to be a hero.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #6: Par 4

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As long as you get towards the farther half of the middle fairway, you should have an open approach.  Here’s a 5-wood dunk from there!

It is certainly possible at times to drive the far fairway, and you can go for it if you’re comfortable — here’s a hole-out from there.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #7: Par 4

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From the back left box, this one can be really tough.  The trees reach out and it almost looks undrivable, but it can be done — you’ll just need the right angle of pullback, and take it all the way out to 3 or past.  Here’s an excellent 3-wood ace from the back-left box.  You may also rotate right another click for more angle — this 4-wood with backspin got it done.

Another option is a low tee, where a 3-wood can potentially skip the water, or a low-teed driver to keep distance in check with more certainty of a skip if needed.  And this 3-wood just landed short and hopped the water altogether!  This 4-wood did the same thing, proving that this shot is possible to pull off if needed, although risky.  Finally, here’s that hop-shot with a low-teed driver!  No problem laying up in the fairway for birdie with a tough setup, though.

It’s always drivable from the other boxes.  This low-teed 3-wood curved around and hopped the water on its way to the hole.

Here’s a great 5-wood from the left-center box.  This 7-wood also played the wind perfectly to the cup.

Here’s a nice high-teed 5-wood from the back-right box.

Here’s a 5-wood ace straight at it from the front-right box.  Here’s another one from the closest box likely only seen in casual play.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #8: Par 3

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Here’s a 9-wood ace from the middle-left box followed by a shorter ace from the middle-right box.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #9: Par 5

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You can reach the green either from the narrow strip to the left or by blasting a long drive down the fairway.  If you can confidently hit towards the second half of the narrow strip given a good tee box, you’ll be rewarded with an easier approach shot — here’s a great 5-wood hole-out from there.

If you are unsure about the left strip, tee it high and hit it as far as you can straight ahead, keeping to the left.  In most cases you’ll still have enough club to get there in two.  This driver one-hopped into the hole, and here’s a 4-wood hole-out from the front-left of the sand traps.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #10: Par 4

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Here’s an example hole-out after a long drive around the corner.

It works perfectly well to lay up straight ahead between the sand too — here’s a straight-in hole-out from there.  At worst you may have a small cut into a left pin.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #11: Par 3

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Here’s a nice 7-wood from the front-left box followed by a 5-wood ace from the back-right box.

Here’s a 3-wood from the back-left box.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #12: Par 4

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Here’s a great hole-out playing a small curve around the trees.

If you lay back farther left, you’ll have a better angle to the green — here’s a 5-wood dunk.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #13: Par 5

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Most of the time it’s just fine hitting straight out to the fairway — you may need just a small cut into the green.  Here’s a great 3-wood curved around and in.

The only time it may be rough is if the wind is blowing away from the green towards the water.  In this case, you may drive towards the far edge of the fairway and come in around the right side of the trees instead — check out this great shot!

Another option with a headwind is the layup island…it leaves a better approach shot, but of course it can be tough to stick.  It’s not flat; it slopes all towards the water, so sticking the middle of it is important.  Here’s a nice hole-out from there.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #14: Par 4

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Some guys have gotten close to driving the green here, at least getting close enough for a short chip shot.  Check out this insane long drive.  Don’t expect these results, but check out how this high-teed driver skipped the water with a tailwind!

It’s never a bad option to lay up behind the sand straight ahead — here’s a nice 3-wood hole-out from there.

If you do play the fairway farther down, you may have to curve a shot around the trees into the green, which this shot did nicely.  This one was far enough back, however, where a 9-wood went right over the top and found the hole.  And this one came up short but the hill pushed it forward into the hole!

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #15: Par 4

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Here’s a nice 5-wood ace around the left side from the back-right box.  Here’s another one over the top of the right side.  And check out the unbelievable deflection this one gets off the rock face!

This 5-wood dunked in the hole from the next box to the left.

Here’s a 3-wood one-hopper from the left-center box.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #16: Par 5

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Here’s a tough par 5 that can be really difficult to reach in two.  It often takes two great shots.  Here are your options off the tee:

1) If you have the distance, blast it straight ahead through the fairway into the rough by any means possible.  This gets you a pretty straight look into the green for your second shot.  Here’s a 4-wood hole-out from there, and here’s another one with the 5-wood.

2) Look to the right and find the hollowed-out path through the trees back into the fairway.  Line up your drive for a C2-3-type shot through here, picking the right distance to make and hold the fairway.  It’s not easy, but it gives you anywhere from a straight look to another C3-type shot back into the green.  A good shot ends up around here for a 3-wood into the green.  This great drive found the fairway for a much closer approach shot, and this shot also got through far enough to have plenty of distance from the rough and still an open look at the green.  Even if you get a bit too close to the tree on the other side of the fairway, you may be able to curve one around!

3) Lay up just behind and to the left of the sand.  From here, you’ll have a big A1-type shot with a driver or 3-wood around the trees, over the water and into the green.  Check out this amazing hole-out.  If the wind is blowing towards the green, you can even come up a bit short and still get away with the wind pushing a shot deflected off the front wall up and onto the green.

4) Play a high-teed 5-wood A2-type shot around the corner of the trees off the tee.  This can give you a shot at a C3 approach back into the green.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #17: Par 3

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Lots of tee boxes here, from the side to the back, will give you many challenging looks.  Here’s a 9-iron from the side that caught a nice bounce into the hole.  This one was well-played to a left-center pin.

This one was well-played from behind the hole, and so was this one.  And this shot found the cup from the back left box.

VIDEO DEMO



Bear Lodge — Hole #18: Par 4

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From the front-left box, a wood can easily clear the trees right at the green.  This high-teed 4-wood found the cup.  You don’t even need a tee if the distance works out for you and you need to retain backspin — this medium-teed driver went at it just fine.  If you are so inclined, here’s a driver around the side with backspin that caught the cup.

From the back-right box, a high-teed 3-wood can curve right over the top to the green.  A high-teed driver will find the leaves on the tallest parts of the trees, but this one curved left of them and found the hole!  You can also rotate right another click and play a high-teed C2-ish driver towards the green, especially with a headwind — it can still get there since it carries a bit downhill, and it will clear the two right-most trees in its path.  This medium-teed driver used backspin and some great bounces to find the hole for an amazing ace!

From the back-left box, this high-teed 3-wood was played beautifully and found the hole.  This medium-teed driver with backspin was also a gorgeous shot.  Sometimes from here with a bad wind, it could appear really difficult to drive, but it may still be the right move to try to drive it anyway — just miss short and right to give yourself a chip.  Or if you are not comfortable, the fairway is still there — here’s a hole-out from there.

VIDEO DEMO