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Agave Ranch — Golden Tee 2019

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Here are some early screenshots of the course!  Here is the official preview of the new 2019 Scottsdale, Arizona course.

As the sun deliberately dips beyond the horizon, Agave Ranch comes to life. The lights above turn on as the temperatures dip, putting a spotlight on this 18-hole course smack-dab in Scottsdale, Arizona. But the desert has company. Amid the cacti, dust and occasional body of water, players will be surrounded by stands and even a stadium to celebrate competitive golf in a way Golden Tee has never known. And the illuminated sunset, when day and night meet, might just be the greatest backdrop the game has ever known.

Here is a 6-hole preview and discussion from the Golden Tee lounge!

GT Par is most commonly -28 here, although #1 and #2 are rarely there for a potential setup of -30.

This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2019 Golden Tee course Agave Ranch! 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 GTF club set of choice is below, with the preferred ball being Streaks for advanced players and Grabbers or Razors for casual players:

Check out this podcast (itunes) (anchor) which breaks down each hole on Agave Ranch offering advice to improve your game, but also know that I have listened and accounted for this advice in my hole write-ups already!



Agave Ranch — Hole #1: Par 4

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Rare setups make this hole drivable.  Also check out this ramp that was discovered by using a low-teed 8.5 driver with Razors that shot up straight ahead by the green!

Otherwise just choose a spot in the fairway to safely avoid the sand for your approach, which is slightly uphill.  After laying back in the fairway straight with the wind, here’s a hole-out to a front pin.  After a long drive, this wedge dunks for the ultra shot.

There’s a new box to the left but it still can be worth trying a C3 driver with roll just in case you catch a ramp and carry the green!



Agave Ranch — Hole #2: Par 4

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Rare setups make this hole drivable from the front box.

Some players can even reach from the middle box especially by using Streaks – check out this huge C3 that finds the hole!

After a drive down the fairway, here’s an example hole-out.



Agave Ranch — Hole #3: Par 3

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Here’s a 7-hybrid ace to a front pin.



Agave Ranch — Hole #4: Par 4/5

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First, look to see if you can carry your drive out to the second fairway with a big C3…this is rarely an option but offers the easiest approach.

The next two options often depend on the wind and pin placement for your approach.  A common option that many players like is to play out to the right end of the first fairway.  From here, it’s 250-290 yards into the green.

The other option is playing to the left end of the first fairway, where it starts to funnel down.  This is a trickier drive to stick because of the slope, so if you do this, make sure to use bite to get the ball to settle.  Your approach is slightly elevated from here but this is a good option for a 5W/6W depending on the wind or pin.  Here’s a 6W hole-out from there to a right pin.

There’s a new tee box here up left that makes this a drivable par 4 instead…here’s a 3-wood that finds the hole.



Agave Ranch — Hole #5: Par 4

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From the front-left box, the hill is not really in play…it’s the easiest look.  Just carry a wood over the edge of the hill into the green…here’s an ace with the 5-wood.

From the back-center box, you’ll high tee a 5W or 6W over the hill into the green…elevation usually isn’t an issue to clear the hill from here but it is possible to clip the hill if you’re not careful with that 5W, so always club down and hit as much as you can muster for that added height.

From the middle-right box, you have to be careful, as it’s not so easy to clear the hill.  Using a tee is great not just for added height but also to move back in the box to get farther away from it and give yourself more room to curve around.  Here’s a great 5-wood curved around the hill that finds the hole!

Finally, left of the green is not good because there’s mud, which is really difficult to get out of as it cuts about half the distance off your shot.

 



Agave Ranch — Hole #6: Par 3

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Three tee boxes here offer varying looks…one short-right, one medium-center and one back-left.

From the back box, this driver finds a back pin.

One new tee box is to the right from about 160 yards…here’s a nice 5-iron worked into a right pin.



Agave Ranch — Hole #7: Par 5

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Perhaps the best, most consistent look off the tee is to turn way right of the green and play out to the grassy area that is actually desert turf, which plays like the first cut of the fairway.  Playing out to the end here means a clearer approach shot into the green where you can take advantage of backspin if needed.

You can also blast over this turf into the sand for a level approach with a wood.

Another enticing option off the tee is to blast straight ahead into the sand between the hills, which leaves an open approach…here’s a driver hole-out from there.  However, sometimes you can hit little rocks or things there causing bad bounces.

Finally, from the front boxes, you can go the traditional route and play far down the left main fairway to have an open approach.



Agave Ranch — Hole #8: Par 4

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This hole is not too challenging other than the offset…it’s slightly uphill from the left boxes and slightly downhill from the far-right box.  It’s a pretty big green so just make sure to give yourself a putt!

From the back-right box, this driver finds a right pin.



Agave Ranch — Hole #9: Par 5

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Rare setups allow you to drive within about 25 yards of the green on this hole!  So if you see a favorable look, it might be good to attempt a big drive at it to see if you can make the chip…you’ll line up one click left of the hole and play a big A1 at it.

Most of the time, though, you’ll play between the two mountains straight ahead into the fairway for an open approach.

Another option is to play back to the left and behind the sand traps on the left side of the fairway.  It’s a nice clear wood approach from there.

Finally, clicking right about 5 times for a drive out there will leave you an iron second shot, but beware of some tall bushes that are not shown on the overhead!



Agave Ranch — Hole #10: Par 3

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This par 3 is a bit tricky to kick off the back 9…it plays uphill, so a 3-hybrid can get you in trouble if you’re short.  There are a couple different tee boxes too.  The 6-wood is a common club here too but there can be some gap in distance as it might set up a bit too long…you might have to knock it down or low tee it.  So then the next option is the 7W or 8W if that’s in your bag to float that in there.  Use bite/backspin as needed but don’t be too aggressive with that front pin!

From the left box, here’s a great 6W cut into a left pin for the ace.

From the right box, this 6-wood spins back into a front pin and finds the hole.



Agave Ranch — Hole #11: Par 4

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From the right box it’s usually best to play a high tee…you’ll notice shots coming up short here at times so I tend to hit a bit harder to urge the ball into those back pins.  Here’s a high-teed 4W floated into a back pin.

From the left box, you’ll have a straighter look at it and can play a medium tee into the green.  Here’s a 3-wood that played a small cut to spin back into the hole.



Agave Ranch — Hole #12: Par 4

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Just throw your drive out in the fairway (avoid the dirt with the right-sloping fairway, though!), but you might want to consider leaving yourself between a 3W-5W approach…those clubs give you flexibility to fight any wind with enough elevation to easily reach the green on this uphill shot, but also without much gap in distance.  The closer you get, the more chance there’s a gap in your set for the approach.

Contrary to that advice, here’s a nice 8-wood hole-out cut into a back-right pin.



Agave Ranch — Hole #13: Par 3

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Three tee boxes here with two different angles, and with both, this can be a tough hole, especially with the pin on the bottom tier and a cross-wind.  A setup like that really challenges your ability just to stick that small area of the green.  The shorter distance also brings into potential a gap in your clubs to deal with.  Escaping with birdie here is great.

From the left box, here’s a smooth hybrid with bite that settles into a bottom cup.

From the closer-front box, here’s a nice 8-iron dunk!

From the farther head-on box, this 5H with bite settles into a front pin.

There’s a new box from the other side into a down 7 slope instead…this 8-iron trickles down into the bottom slope to a back pin.

Another new box has you hitting a short shot into a left 7 slope from about 60 yards…here’s an ace from there.



Agave Ranch — Hole #14: Par 4

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From the right box, you can either use a tee to hit over the cactii (clubbing down and hitting hard is always good to maximize elevation and minimize chance of hitting anything), or you can club up a bit and play a small hook around the right side of the cactii into the green, like this great driver with bite to a left pin.

The left tee box offers a straighter look into the green where you can hit a medium tee and just worry about trying to get it close to the hole!  Here’s a 4-wood punched straight ahead to a right pin.  With some looks where the wind is blowing left or the pin is on the right, you still might want to high tee to play out right a bit over the cactii.

There’s a new tee box front-center of the original ones where you need to curve around the right side with something like an 8-wood — check out this great hole-in-one.



Agave Ranch — Hole #15: Par 5

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With a huge wind, you might consider taking a shot at the green with a huge C3, as this one can be drivable…this one almost got there!  Even an A1 can be an option to try, but there’s more trouble on that side if you don’t have a lob wedge or something to flop over the hill if you fall off the right.

With the new tee box, this one is slightly more drivable with a great wind…check out this high-teed 10.5 driver that finds the hole!

Usually you’re hitting a big A1 off the tee curving back into the fairway (or even just a straight B2) to leave yourself around 200 or so into the green…the farther you hit, the less hill you’ll have in the way.  Here’s a hole-out from the fairway.



Agave Ranch — Hole #16: Par 3

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This is perhaps the toughest hole this year, where birdie is outstanding and par can be just fine…it’s so difficult to avoid the water with some looks.  You have an awkward green with water everywhere and rocks to deflect errant shots into said water.  Loft is key to clear everything, and accuracy is key to stick the tough green.

There may be situations where you are happy just to bail out to a fat part of the green, even if it means you don’t have a clear line at a putt…this can happen with a front pin and a nasty cross-wind, where playing the higher half is easier and safer to land.  At least when your ball comes back there, you have a rock backstop!

From the back-left box, this 3-wood narrowly avoided all those problems to find a back cup!

The far left, shorter tee box is a bit easier because the angle allows you more flexibility to work a shot in with bite to an up 7, right 7 green, but it doesn’t show up often.  Here’s a 4-wood ace from there.

There’s a new tee box here in the front-right from about 150 yards — here’s an ace from that setup.



Agave Ranch — Hole #17: Par 4

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Several options here with different woods and tee heights, so you’ll adjust and play the wind and pin as needed.  With a pin tucked front right, you can also trickle down off the hill to the right of the green.

From the front box, here’s a 9-wood that is short but catches some incredible bounces to get over and into the cup!  This 6-wood flies straight over and finds the hole.

From the back box, here’s an impressive 5-wood cut into a right cup.  And this 3-wood punches over to a back-left pin.

One new tee box is back-right from about 300 yards…here’s a driver ace from there.



Agave Ranch — Hole #18: Par 4/5

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Sometimes this hole can set up pretty darn tough, but often it’s not too bad for an 18th hole.  You’ll size up the wind and pin placement and then see if you’re able to drive out to the second fairway, from where you’ll be shooting downhill into this down-sloped green.  A 3-hybrid is often a good club from there to minimize loft and control the wind.  But loft be damned, check out this 8-wood cut right into the hole!

You don’t always want or need to be up there, though, because there’s something to be said for shooting into a straight down-10 green instead of like a left 8, down 7 green from the upper-left fairway.  So at the end of the first fairway, it’s usually a 3-wood with backspin that will carry the wall in front of the green and stick for an eagle putt.

Here’s a 4-wood that dunks in the hole for the ultra shot!

It can be hard to get close to the pin here, which leaves you with a very challenging putt to finish off your round!

There’s a new tee box in the front left that makes this a drivable par 4 instead — check out this ace!