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Sparkling Waters — Golden Tee 2015

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sparkling waters

Here is a description of this new course for Golden Tee 2015:
“Deep in the wooded wilderness, settled between tall, thick pines, glass-surfaced ponds, streams and the occasional wayward black bear is Sparkling Waters, the place where treasured camping trip meets Golden Tee. Ely, Minnesota isn’t just the home of iron ore mines; it also houses a golf course that embraces the joy nature brings. As soothing and quiet as the scene might seem, the layout will test every aspect of your game. Park the RV, pitch a tent and light a fire; stay a while.”

Here is the official preview of the new 2015 Ely, Minnesota course, and this article breaks down the course even further.

Here is a playlist with YouTube demo videos of all 18 holes from the beta version!

This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2015 Golden Tee course Sparkling Waters! 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 most popular club/ball combo on this course, as with all 2015 courses, is Vultures/Grabbers.

Sparkling Waters will also be home to Bear Valley, the 2015 Design-a-Hole winner.

Here are some additional screenshots.

 

 



Sparkling Waters — Hole #1: Par 4

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Hole 1 is a long par 4 that will give you a chance at some extra GSPs if you can stick it close.  Here’s an example hole-out.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #2: Par 4

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Here’s a driver ace around the left side from the back right box.

From the left box, this 3-wood curved over the trees on the left to carry the green and find the hole.  And this high-teed 5-wood went right over the top into a headwind for the dunk!

And if you venture off the green a ways here, you’ll find Hoffa!
hoffa sparkling 2

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #3: Par 3

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Slightly downhill, but otherwise very straightforward par 3 early in the round — here’s an example ace.

VIDEO DEMO

 



Sparkling Waters — Hole #4: Par 5

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First, look to see if you can get the ball to the grassy rough island straight ahead; you’ll have plenty of distance to get there in two from here.  A high-teed 3-wood straight at that island is good if you have the distance (the trees on the left are a little lower to help you clear); otherwise turn left and play a high-teed driver A1-type shot to the island instead (this can also be a medium tee if you need to curb distance…it will curl in around the trees to the rough patch).  The closer to the pin, the better, but you can get there from anywhere on here — this holeout was from the back-left of the rough.  Here’s a 3-wood that bounced up and in from the muck behind the rough.  This one was also in that stuff and had enough to get up and in.

Not all of us will be able to get there in all setups, and you’ll actually have a better look from the next option with a left pin, which is the fairway island short and right of the first option.  It’s easier to land here with the front box; you’ll need a 3/4W curved into there from the back box.  Here’s a driver holeout from there.

You cannot get there in two from either of the back boxes by playing the main fairway.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #5: Par 4

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From the back tee, here’s a driver with backspin around the right side.  Here’s another incredible driver ace from that box.  And this high-teed driver went around the left side to a left pin.  So did this one, barely missing danger!

From the middle tee, you can go around either side depending on the pin placement.  Here’s a high-teed 5-wood around the left side that settled into a front pin.  Here’s a high-teed 3-wood around the right side that found a back-right pin.

From the front box, this 3-wood cut around the left to a left pin.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #6: Par 5

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The best approach shot comes from the upper left fairway, which may require as much as a high-teed C3 drive out to the left side.  If you can get up there, go for it — here’s a 5-wood holeout.

If you can’t make it to the upper left fairway, you can still drive long and right to give yourself a chance — here’s a driver holeout from there.  You may also find an opening in the trees — this one went through and found the hole.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #7: Par 3

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Here’s a 5-wood dunk to a back pin.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #8: Par 4

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To eagle this tough par 4, you’ll have to curve around the trees to the right and try to tuck into a green with trouble on all sides.  You can either take straight aim and play a B3-type shot (check out this nice 5-wood ace, and also this great driver ace), or turn right and play more of a C2-type shot.  From the back-right of the box, here’s a 3-wood with bite around the right side.  And with more of an angle, here’s another nice ace to a front-left pin.

Another option is to play some loft around the left side — this high-teed 6-wood played a small curve around the left to find the hole.  This high-teed 5-wood took a similar route and found the cup.  And while those shots cut over the top of the trees on the left, this shot went around them almost completely to a left pin.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #9: Par 5

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There are a few options off the tee here.  The easiest setup from the right side of the box lets you drive straight ahead or with just a small curve, to set you up with an approach around the right side.  Here’s an example 6-wood hole-out.

To get to the left side of the fairway, you can take a high-teed 3/4/5-wood through/over the trees where there’s an opening.  You can also use a C2-type driver with backspin around the trees to settle left.  From here, you can approach through the trees around the left side into the green.  This may set up better depending on the pin placement and/or wind — here is a 3-wood hole-out taking that path.  Here’s another example from that spot with the 5-wood.  And this approach with the driver was a smart play to a left pin.

Another option is to lay up before the neck of the fairway, on the right side, which will expose a fairly open path to the green with a driver.  Here’s a long hole-out from there.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #10: Par 3

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Different looks here provide some variety — from the left box, here’s an ace to a back left pin.

From the back center box, here’s a 5-wood to a back-right pin.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #11: Par 4

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Nothing special here; from either tee box location, just put it in the fairway for an open shot at the green.  Here’s an example hole-out.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #12: Par 4

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No tricks here; just punch it out in the second fairway to leave an open approach — here’s a driver hole-out.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #13: Par 3

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This par 3 can be tough — you’ll have to shoot through a narrow row of trees that extend all the way up to the green, and then you’ll hope to have a clear putt at the pin with the irregular shape of the green and often tough pin placements.  Bunkers will catch any errant shots that the trees don’t deflect.

From the back box, check out this 5W dunk to a back-center pin!

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #14: Par 4

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Most often you will be curving it right-to-left into the green, but you have to be careful to control the backspin, as it may be coming hard towards the water.  Here’s a nice 3-wood through the gap from the back left box that backspun into the hole.  Here’s another example with a 4-wood, coming in hot!

From the left side of the back box, especially with the wind blowing right, you can also come around the left side of those trees into the green.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #15: Par 5

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Some setups allow you to play something like a high-teed 3-wood to curve around to the upper fairway, giving yourself a short approach shot for eagle.  Here’s a holeout from there.  A high-teed driver has enough loft to get over the corner as well.

Especially with a wind blowing away from the green, you can also lay up at the end of the lower fairway and curve a wood up and around into the green — check out this great 4-wood hole-out.  Here’s another one with the 3-wood.

Finally, you can lay up even shorter in the main fairway to the left edge, in line with the center of the pine needle patch, to give yourself a driver straight into the green.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #16: Par 3

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From the center box, here’s a nice 5-wood ace.

From the right box, here’s a 4-wood ace to a back-right pin.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #17: Par 5

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You can reach the green in two from the main fairway or from either of the layup spots left and right.  Try to play the spot that offers you the best approach based on the wind and pin placement.

Here’s a 3-wood hole-out from the layup fairway island to the right, which offers a nice angle into the green.

Here’s another 3-wood hole-out from the left island, which also had a nice look to the green.

VIDEO DEMO



Sparkling Waters — Hole #18: Par 4

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Just requires a bit of loft and backspin to hold the green.  Don’t clip the rock or you’ll ricochet into the water as well.  The green is as bad as it gets in terms of slope, so don’t be too frustrated if you two-putt.  You can also try to prevent a downhill rollover by sticking the far side of the green for an uphill putt.  By playing safe, you should come away with a birdie at worst here!

From the back box, this 3-wood carried the hill, stopped with spin, and settled into a right pin.  And this 5-wood one-hopped off the rock into a right pin!  This 3-wood with bite settled nicely into a back-left pin, for a pretty decent score.  And check out the great cut on this 4-wood to settle into a right pin.

Check out this 5-wood that came up short, barely held up on the rock because of the tailwind, and crept back down into the hole!  Here’s another 3-wood that was short but bounced up and shot down into the cup.

VIDEO DEMO