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Jackrabbit Junction — Golden Tee 2013

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Here is a description of this new course for Golden Tee 2013: “Situated directly under the sweltering sun, Jackrabbit Junction is an 18-hole trek well off the beaten path. Unlike most desert courses, this Gila Bend, Arizona creation is not jam-packed with sand, but instead spreads across the dry, sun-drenched earth that stopped growing grass long ago. Miss the green or stray from the fairway, and you’ll likely have to deal with the many cacti situated throughout. Be careful on that follow-through!”

Here is the official preview of the Gila Bend, Arizona course, and this article breaks down the course even further.

This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2013 Golden Tee course Jackrabbit Junction! 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 Ballistas are also used by some.



GT Par Breakdown for Jackrabbit Junction

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The following grid breaks down the best and worst you should be able to shoot on Jackrabbit Junction 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  3  3  -2  -2
3  3  2  2  -3  -3
4  5  3  3  -5  -5
5  4  2  2  -7  -7
6  4  3  3  -8  -8
7  3  2  2  -9  -9
8  4  2  2  -11  -11
9  5  3  3  -13  -13
10  4  2  2  -15  -15
11  3  2  2  -16  -16
12  5  2  3  -19  -18
13  4  2  2  -21  -20
14  4  3  3  -22  -21
15  3  2  2  -23  -22
16  4  3  3  -24  -23
17  4  2  3  -26  -24
18  5  3  3  -28  -26


Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #1: Par 4

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Never drivable, and with a narrow fairway, all you can do is put it out there and bring it in for birdie.  Here’s an example hole-out.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #2: Par 4

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Again, not much to do here but get it out to the bend in the fairway for your approach.  Don’t hang it out right or a little cactus might spoil your round early!  Here’s an example hole-out.

This hole can be drivable from the front boxes, some of which may only be available in casual play.  Here’s a driver ace right at it from the front box.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #3: Par 3

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Many different tee boxes here, but you’ll just be plopping your tee shot onto the green for a birdie putt.  Normally no danger in being a bit long, as you can bounce back off the hill.  So just worry about carrying the green, and don’t get crazy with backspin.

Here’s an ace from one of the middle boxes, followed by a dunk from the back box.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #4: Par 5

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If you can use a high tee and blast your drive out to the second fairway, it’s certainly best — here’s a wide-open 7-wood hole-out from there.  Even from the back box, a high-teed drive can many times carry over.  Staying to the left is a plus too, since a cactus guards the right side after you land.  If you barely clear, you may have to curve your approach shot around it.

Otherwise, you need to finesse a drive towards the end of the first fairway, leaving yourself room to hit through the cactus gap towards the green.  The less accurate your drive, the tougher your approach shot will be.  This drive ended up in a great spot for a 3-wood hole-out.  This driver shot came with some risk but was lined up perfectly to split the cacti and find the hole.

Finally, there’s another layup spot in this fairway before it juts left — this drive found it and had a nice 3-wood into the hole.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #5: Par 4

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This shot is easiest from the left-center box — normally a high tee right at the green, even though a high tee wouldn’t always be needed.  Here’s a high-teed 5-wood ace from there.

The same shot works from the right-center box where a high tee is most often needed.  Or you can work a shot around the left side of the cacti — here’s a great 3-wood that backspun into the hole.  This type of shot can be advantageous with a tailwind and a front pin, where you wouldn’t be able to stick a high-teed shot close.

From the back-left box, you can still clear the mess with a high-teed 3-wood — this one found the hole from there.  With some setups, you’ll need to hit a driver to have the required distance, and it doesn’t have the height (even with a high tee) to go right at it.  So, you’ll have to curve it in — this shot is challenging and makes for a tough eagle.  Here’s a driver that was coming in hot but caught the cup!

From the back-right box, the same rules apply.  This high-teed 3-wood went straight at it over the top of everything.  This tough pin called for backspin instead — great shot.  But again, sometimes you’ll have to execute the difficult driver curve shot around for a chance at an eagle putt.  As a rule of thumb, try to miss left if you miss at all — it’s easier to chip back for an eagle from there than if you’re short in the drop-off area.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #6: Par 4

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The only danger here would be an unforced error by placing your drive between fairways.  Don’t do it — just lay up towards the end of the first fairway.  Here’s a 5-wood hole-out from there.

There are some setups where you can clearly drive the second fairway, so that’s fine too — here’s a hole-out from there.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #7: Par 3

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This hole plays uphill, so you’ll usually need to play a little extra distance to stay pin-high.  But above all else here, keep your ball on the same tier as the pin!  It can be tempting to be aggressive, but you’ll likely cost yourself a stroke if you have to putt up or down a tier.  This putt up a tier was luckily able to recover!

Here’s a short ace to the top tier, followed by one to the middle tier.  And this one had some crazy english on it to keep hopping back towards the hole.

This ace to the bottom tier used the upward slope to back right in.

And check out this amazing putt down TWO tiers to the hole!  Nevermind how he got up there to begin with, just be glad there’s a video of the putt :).

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #8: Par 4

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You should always at least be attempting to drive this green, because there’s no danger around it.  Here’s a high-teed 3-wood with a small cut from the front box.  This 5-wood played a much bigger cut and found the hole.

The front box may also provide an option to shoot through a gap in the cacti instead.  Here’s a high-teed 4-wood through a cacti gap that found the cup.  This high-teed 5-wood split the cacti as well.  The advantage here is a straight shot at the green, but you’ve got to be sure you can split those gaps to pull it off!

Form the far-right box, you can usually play this one a bit straighter.  Here’s a high-teed 3-wood with just a small cut from there.

From the back-right box, this hole gets longer and more curve is needed, making eagle more challenging.  This driver used quite a bit of cut to find the cup.

Even the far left box should be drivable — here’s a great high-teed 3-wood that found the hole.

The left and back box also provide an opportunity to play something like a high-teed 4-wood around the left side with an A1-type shot instead.  Here’s a great ace from the left box using that shot which had enough elevation to clear the hill and find the hole.  Here’s another one from there that ended up just as well!  This one also found the cup taking a more straight-on approach at the green and throwing it out left.

From the back-center box, you can play this same shot with a high-teed 3-wood…this one found the hole.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #9: Par 5

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As long as you can pull back and hammer a solid drive, you should always be using a high tee to cut the corner of the fairway over the left side of the hill.  There are several gaps in the cacti, and it’s rare to actually catch one.  Even if you do, it’s also rare to be left without an approach from wherever your ball settles.  Here’s a 9-wood hole-out from the fairway there.  This one fell short but a 9-wood was still able to get up and in.

The alternative is to play the fairway straight ahead, possibly cutting the corner just slightly without risking missing the fairway.  A 3-wood is nice from here.  If you have to hit driver, make sure not to leave it short due to the slightly-elevated green.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #10: Par 4

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Your shot here depends on the pin location and the wind.  You’ll usually curve over or in with the direction of the wind.  The best setups allow you to use a medium-teed 9-wood so that you can use backspin to hold the green.  Another good setup allows you to high-tee a 9-wood into a headwind so that your ball will also settle.

Another good play is a 7-wood around the right side, where elevation isn’t as much of an issue, using backspin to hold.  If you have to play the 7-wood around the left side, you might have to luckily find some gaps in the cacti, since this is where elevation becomes an issue.  And never just thumb a shot on this hole, because that kills the elevation you need!  Pull back and hit it hard to keep it high.

All that being said, this firmly-hit medium-teed 7-wood went over the top of most all the mess from the far right box.  This 7-wood from a left box was short and right, but the backspin somehow kept it close and it snuck back in the cup!

Here’s a nice 9-wood over the left side that found the cup.  This firmly-hit 9-wood curved around the right side and in.

This 7-wood from the left box curved all the way around and found the hole.  And even a 5-wood can occasionally get it done with a right pin!

This poorly-hit 7-wood still managed to find its way down to the green…and into the hole!  This 9-wood was short as well but bounced its way down and in.  And this shot curved right into the cacti but caught an amazing deflection and also found the hole!

This tee shot ended up behind a rock, but check out the resourceful recovery!

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #11: Par 3

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This hole is tricky because it combines an elevated green with a likely gap in your club distances.  Many times you’ll want to change tee height to get the distance you want.  Be careful with the low-teed 9-iron, because elevation will be lower AND backspin is stronger!

Here’s an ace into a tough pin from the left box on this short par 3.  Here’s another ace from the next box over.  And here’s one from the right box.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #12: Par 5

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From the tee boxes closest to the green and a hard wind blowing at the green, this hole can be drivable!  From the front box, you can high-tee a driver and blast a shot straight at it.  From the next box, there is also the potential of aiming straight at it, although there’s risk of clipping the hill this way.  However, this one did carry over and found the cup for the ace — awesome!

Curving an A1 shot through the gap in the cacti over the hill, but of course it’s riskier — this one had a little deflection but almost buried in the hole!  A C3 shot from the right side won’t have enough elevation to clear the hill cleanly, but it can trickle over down to the bottom at least.

If you come up short and roll back down the hill, it looks daunting, but you can still get over by either hitting a 5-wood with roll, or by blasting a 9-wood that should also trickle over.  The safest option is probably to turn left a couple times for the 9-wood over the left end of the mountain, and then you’ll have an open wood shot into the green to save birdie.

Otherwise, you’ll want to lay out towards the right edge of the fairway, ideally in the little section that juts out right.  This is much more important if the wind will be in your face on the approach.  And the farther out you get, the straighter your approach can be.  This driver curved around the cacti nicely and found the hole.  This one was more in the middle of the fairway but had a tailwind, so here’s a nice one-hop driver right at it.

Even if you fall off into the dusty rough to the right, it’s generous enough that you can still get there — so aim long and right to get a straighter shot in to the hole!

Finally, especially with a headwind, there’s a little shortcut patch down to the right where you can lay up.  From here, you can take something like a 5-wood over the top through the cacti at the green.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #13: Par 4

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Three different fairway approaches to the hole create variety on this short par 4, which is all about distance control.  You need to clear the hill in front while trying not to fall off the slope on the back.  Here’s an ace from the front box down the middle fairway.

Here’s an ace coming down the right fairway, where the angled green makes the shot slightly more difficult.

Here’s a 5-wood ace down the left fairway.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #14: Par 4

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Lots of little fairway patches to choose from off the tee — pick one you are comfortable with, or if you are confident, pick the one that gives you the best approach shot given the wind and pin.  The fairway to the right is the safest, and here’s a 4-wood hole-out from the left edge over there.

Here’s a 9-wood hole-out from one of the middle patches.

You may even be fine if you miss a patch — a good strategy can be to shoot for one that doesn’t have obstacles in your way on the approach.  This errant tee shot was wide open from the dirt on the approach.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #15: Par 3

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Many different tee boxes here give you different slopes to deal with, but all are challenging.  With a wind blowing to the right, you’ll have to cut a shot into the wind and slope to hold the green.  Favor over-cutting it here — the hill can still project your ball back onto the green, but if you don’t cut enough and miss right, you’ll fall off the edge.  Here’s an ace from one of the middle boxes.

Here’s a 3-wood ace from the left box.  An example of counteracting the slope with the hill — this one was played nicely!

This driver from a right box got a bit lucky that the hole got in the way.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #16: Par 4

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Most of the time it’s best to lay up at the end of the first fairway — here’s a nice 3-wood hole-out from there.

It’s sometimes fine to shoot for the second fairway if you’re comfortable as well.  Here’s a hole-out from well out into that fairway.  Even if you miss, you may still have a shot — here’s a great recovery with the 7-wood for a hole-out.

However, the trouble here arises if you get too close to the cacti guarding the approach.  You’ll likely have to work your iron shot around or through a gap in the mess to find the green.  Or check out this professionally-played 9-wood worked around the right side!  Since a long drive can mean a difficult approach shot, it’s often best to lay back and bring a long wood into the green instead.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #17: Par 4

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With a high teed driver, a good wind and a little luck, you can play a huge C3 shot and drive this green!  Here’s an example of how that worked out.  Here’s another one that found the green.  You’ll have to dodge a few obstacles, but the right setup gives you a chance!

From the middle-left box, this big A1 driver with roll also almost climbed up on there, leading you to believe it’s possible to drive around the left side too!

Otherwise, it’s usually best to cut the corner over the left edge of the hill into the fairway.  This can either be a straight shot or an A1-type shot with backspin, taking care not to go long.  There are a couple small obstacles in the way on that hill, but it’s mostly open and rare to find trouble taking that route.  From here, play your approach up high on the green, or cut into the wind if you need to counteract the slope.  Here’s a nice use of bite with the 9-wood.

Straight out to the left end of the fairway can be fine too for an approach shot with a wood.

VIDEO DEMO



Jackrabbit Junction — Hole #18: Par 5

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The best setups allow you to blast a straight high-teed driver over the cacti to the right edge of the second fairway.  If the wind is more challenging, you can rotate left and play a big A1 drive through the gap into that second fairway instead.  Here’s a nice backspin one-hop hole-out with the 7-wood.  This 9-wood went right over the top and dunked in the hole.  And this 9-wood played the wind nicely angling into the cup.

Even if you end up in the rough on either side, you can still have a shot depending on the cacti.  This one looked dreary but actually found its way to recovery!  This 5-wood still found its way over the corner but then got an amazing bounce back off the cactus into the cup!  And I’ve seen guys play the side of a hill before, but this one is way up there — it still finds the hole! And here’s one more crazy deflection off a rock that finds the cup.

Finally, some setups just look too daunting to be able to get over to that spot.  You can also lay up towards the left edge of the first fairway, which may allow you to hit a 5-wood around and over the left edge of that hill instead to reach the green.

VIDEO DEMO