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Sandhill Woods — Golden Tee 2019

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Here are some early screenshots of the course!  Here is the official preview of the new 2019 Pinebluff, North Carolina course.

It’ll require back roads and a map to get there—your GPS will do you no good here—but Sandhill Woods offers golfers something they treasure—spectacular, immaculate tranquility. Although the town of Pinebluff, North Carolina is only 2.4 square miles and home to a thousand or so good natured residents, this is now one of the prestigious homes in Golden Tee. The pine trees are tall, as the town’s name would indicate, and the pine straw will provide an atypical surface you’ll learn to hit from. And the closing hole here might just be the most fascinating, curse-word-inducing design in all of 2019.

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

GT Par is most commonly -29 to -31 here, with the dependent setups on #1 and #15.

This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2019 Golden Tee course Sandhill Woods! 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…it’s worth noting that the 2-iron super spinny club is specific to playing with the Streaks, so if you play another ball, you can substitute that club for a 2-hybrid:

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

Sandhill Woods — Hole #1: Par 4

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As tough as this course can play sometimes, you’ll appreciate looks where the first hole is drivable — you might only have 370 or so from the front box, allowing you to take a high-teed driver right at the green.  Here’s an ace right at it.  Here’s another one from 400+ at a different angle but again right at it.

Some players can get close from the middle box too, especially if you use Streaks…a C3 can leave you with a short chip and also a chance at eagle.

Sandhill Woods — Hole #2: Par 4

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A 0-hybrid is a fantastic club to have here…from longer looks, you can hit medium tee or low tee and curve it around the trees with something like a B3 with backspin for an eagle putt.  It’s definitely one where you improve with practice but you gain more control by not having the ball in the air as long or having to play as extreme an angle.

From the back-right, here’s a great 0-hybrid curved around for the ace.

And of course there’s enough room around the right side to hit any club (3W or 5W low-teed can work)…here’s a 5W with backspin that finds the hole.

From the front boxes, the same type of shot can be applied with a 2-hybrid.  A 1-hybrid is also great and can be used from either box.

Finally, from the back third of the box, a new option opens up…you can play around the left side with a high-teed 3/4/5W if desired.  Here’s a high 5W floated around the left side that finds a back pin!

Sandhill Woods — Hole #3: Par 5

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There are many different ways to play this one depending on the tee box.  From the front-right box, it’s often a great play to the sand straight ahead…there’s a large opening between two bunches of trees allowing a clear shot into the green from there.  You can also play across the water into the second fairway, but you might have to curve in your approach from there depending on the wind and your driving distance.

From the front-left box, the sand ahead to the right is a great option again.  Check out this 0-hybrid thumber with release that skips the water and finds the hole!  Playing to the left-edge of the first fairway is also an option for you to work in your approach shot over the water, but it requires two skilled shots in a row to pull off.

From the back-left box, I’m always playing around the left side of the trees with a big A1 drive to place me in the left half of the second fairway with an open approach shot.  Here’s an 8W dunk from there.

Sandhill Woods — Hole #4: Par 3

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From the back box, this high-teed 5-wood thumber dunks for the ultra-shot ace!

From the middle box, this 9-wood also dunks to a back pin.

Sandhill Woods — Hole #5: Par 4

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This is perhaps the toughest eagle in GT 2019 and one where I’m often satisfied with just birdie.  If the distance is right, a high-teed 6W straight at it can clear the valley of trees and make it all the way over to the green.  It’s possible but a high 5W too but riskier – if you clip the top branches, you’ll fall into the water.

From the front box, this high 6W didn’t quite make it over the trees, but a tailwind helped push it forward onto the green and into the hole!  So keep the wind in mind if you try that high-teed shot over the top…it could make the difference between water and green if you clip the trees.

From the back box, this was a perfect setup and a great shot…high 5W over the ideal gap in the trees to a front pin.

Another traditional option is to click one right and curve around a high 3/4/5W from right to left.  This is also challenging with anything but a left-blowing wind because the trees can still catch your drive on its way into the green and knock it down – it takes a fairly precise angle to land the green this way.  The sand on the right is not a bad miss for an eagle chip!

What I see many players trying (me included) is to take straight aim at the green over the lowest point in the valley of the trees.  Use a high 3W or 10.5 driver and this allows you to clear the first set of trees.  You’ll hit the second set of trees, but there’s a chance you’ll have enough velocity to carry through onto the green.  Unfortunately, there are also a lot of thick branches in those trees that can still knock you backwards or into the water; it’s hard to know where a safe line is.  But if you really want that eagle and want to take a chance, this certainly works out at times.


Sandhill Woods — Hole #6: Par 4

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Here’s another tough hole where the shot you choose will vary widely based on the conditions…you’ll play high/low tees, and maybe even a low 0H skip shot if you have that in your bag.

From the front-right box, you might be able to get a high-teed 9W over the top straight at the green, but that’s not a club that many of us will have in our bag on this course.  A high 8W does not clear the trees.  However, you can cut the corner a bit with a high 8W around the left side and finesse one into the green…here’s a nice ace to a front pin.

Also, check out this driver thumb shot through the trees with the right distance to settle on the green.  Here’s another one with the 3-wood that backspins into the cup!

The center boxes are often a 5/6W where you tee up or down accordingly and work your way past the trees on the left and around the trees on the right into the green.  High-teed 8/9-woods are options here too, especially with a tailwind, to go right over the top!

From the left-center box, here’s a 6-wood thumbed at it with a cross-wind helping push it in the hole.  Check out this low-teed 0-hybrid that skips the water and finds the hole!  And finally, here’s an amazing high-teed 6W that goes over and around the right side of the trees for the dunk!

And from the right-center box, this 6-wood curls around and spins back to a front pin.

It doesn’t appear as if the back-left box is in play yet.

Sandhill Woods — Hole #7: Par 5

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Three or four layup spots here for consideration.  First, if you’re concerned about your accuracy off the tee, there’s no need to stick any fairway island…you can play straight ahead to the end of the first fairway.  From here it’s 300-320 so a hard 3W or moderate 10.5 driver is a nice 2nd shot.

If you prefer to be closer, play out to the longer right island…it’s fairly flat (slopes downhill slightly) so be careful not to carry too far down the center of the landing area.  Same approach shot works from here but it’s slightly closer.  You can also skip the 0-hybrid here up onto the green…check out this hole-out!

The long-left island is the third option but carries the most risk of a miss.  Landing here offers a more lofted wood, which is nice but not really necessary.

Finally, it might be an option off the tee to play a high-teed C3 or A1 driver to carry the water into the rough, but you’ve got to be certain you can make it.

The approach to the green here can be tricky!  It’s uphill so I see a lot of players come up short, especially with a headwind.  A tailwind you can play like normal, but make sure to hit it firm with other winds to carry up and on…short shots bounce back in the water!

Sandhill Woods — Hole #8: Par 3

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Sandhill Woods — Hole #9: Par 5

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Another well-designed hole with many options depending on the setup!  Let’s start with the front-right box…first, there are rare setups where you may be able to drive the green — check out this massive C3 that somehow gets there!  If that’s not your game, there are two good options depending on wind and pin – first is the small middle fairway between the bunches of trees…this is a good option if you can drive far enough for a clear second shot.  Next is the sand to the right over the water – you can plop a drive in here and have plenty of distance to reach the green in two.

From the front-left box, the best option always seems to be playing to the left fairway, where you can drive far enough for a clear second shot into the green.

The back box can be a brutal setup, especially with a wind in your face.  Often the best option here is playing out to the rough/sand on the right again, but it’s two tough shots.  Your drive is key because you need to clear as much water as possible, landing as close to the green as possible, with a high-teed driver.  Assuming you pull that off, you’ll still have a long shot into the green where you need a solid hit, sometimes again with driver, to clear the water into the green.  Here’s a nice approach shot from that area.

The alternative is the narrow fairway to the left, but that approach shot is really intimidating too – you have to curve a perfect A1 over water and try to stick the green, which might not be worth the risk.  Don’t get wet; take your birdie if you need to!

Sandhill Woods — Hole #10: Par 4

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The shot here is clear; you’ll be wrapping around the trees into the green.  Most of the time you hit around the right side, although some setups favor the left.  Pin placement can matter too, as you prefer to have some landing area on the green on the way to the stick.  Obviously long is the bail out spot as you can’t be short, or even off center with water on the sides!

From the front box, here’s an easy 5W with bite around the right side.

Sandhill Woods — Hole #11: Par 3

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From the shorter tee box out left, here’s an 8-iron spun back into a front cup.

There are also two more tee boxes where you play over the water into this green, making it slightly more challenging.

Sandhill Woods — Hole #12: Par 5

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From the front box, you’ll have enough to carry out into the second fairway, aiming to be clear of the tree lines for an open shot at the green.

From the middle box, you can usually clear to the second fairway also by blasting a high tee.  You should aim just over the water to the closest spot to you from that second fairway.

If that’s uncomfortable, you can lay up at the end of the first fairway.  From here, you can still curve around into the green with a 3W or driver; it’s just a tougher shot.  And there’s water short and right guarding your approach, which has you tend to club up and backspin in from the back of the green.  This 3-wood sneaks around the right side to a right pin.  And this 0-bird gets a friendly water skip to find the cup!

From the back box, the second fairway is still the best choice, and the end of the first is still an option.  But there are other risk/reward candidates as well.  If you aim at the green, you’ll see a line of trees short right and another one longer left.  Each of these has a strip of rough by the water that, if landed, present an open approach into the green.  They’re just really hard to hit!  The pin placement can also determine if it’s worth it.  With a right pin, the first fairway is still the better option.  But with a left pin, that’s where the straight approach in from the left can be handy.

The better strip to be is the one longer left.  You can get there with a high-teed 290 driver.  From there, here’s a nice hole-out for double eagle.

Sandhill Woods — Hole #13: Par 3

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From the front box, here’s a well-played 7-iron for the dunk!

And from the back box, this 5-hybrid also dunks for the ultra shot!

Sandhill Woods — Hole #14: Par 4

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Here’s another hole where the low-lofted clubs come in so handy; there’s always a shot under/through the trees with them.  Just know that you really need to use a low tee to better ensure a skip off the water if needed.

From the front box, a low 2H is a good option (or low spinny 2-iron).  This medium-teed 2-iron carries through and finds a left pin.  And this low-teed 3H barely clears and hops up to find the cup!

From the center box, here’s a low-teed 3W thumbed through that finds the hole.  The 0-hybrid or 1H is great from this box too, especially low-teed if needed to skip the water.

From the back box, it’s often a low-teed driver (a lower lofted one if you have it)…this can either skip or carry the green.  Here’s a low-teed driver that carries and one-hops into a back pin.

There are other setups where the wind is blowing to the right where it might be worth it to float a wood around the left side of the trees into the green…this is not a bad option, and the club depends on the box.

Sandhill Woods — Hole #15: Par 4

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From the left box, you should only consider trying to drive the green with a strong outwind towards it…with that, a high-teed driver can carry almost all the way up, but might get a friendly bounce up and on for an eagle putt.  Check out this high-teed driver carry to the hill, bouncing up and in!

With other winds, just lay up.  Here’s a hole-out from the fairway.

From the center box, there are more options, again dependent on a nice helping wind.  Here’s an amazing high-teed driver around the left that hits short and pops up into the cup!  Using the right side, here’s a huge driver that finds a back-right pin.  Here’s another one with extreme cut through the trees to a left pin!  And you can even take straight aim at the green if you look for a dip in the top of the trees, as a high 290 driver can clear certain spots.

From the far-right box, you’re cutting right-to-left through a gap in the trees at the green.  Here’s an incredible low-teed driver cut through the woods that curves back in the hole!  Here’s another medium-teed with roll that bounces up and in.  If you have an 8.5 driver, you can high tee that one for extra distance to carry up to the green.  Safest play is a medium tee perhaps with roll to help try to get up the hill onto the green, although you might have enough club with some looks to carry and use backspin instead!

Sandhill Woods — Hole #16: Par 5

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You can play this one a couple different ways off the tee depending on the best approach shot, given the wind and pin placement.  The most obvious option is to blast it down into the second half of the fairway, either straight B2 or cutting an A1 or C3 high-teed drive into the wind past the sand.  The farther left, the better.  From there you’ll curve your approach around the left of the trees into the green.  It’s great when you’re left with more lofted clubs like an 8W for the approach since you have to clear a walled tier into the green.

After a long drive, here’s an 8-wood hole-out.  And here’s a spinny 3-iron into a back-right pin.

Another option, which is harder to line up, is to hit it short of the bunker on the right for a straight second shot with a 3-wood or driver through the gap in the trees in front of the green.

Sandhill Woods — Hole #17: Par 3

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From the back-center box, this hole plays easiest into an up 10 green.  Yeah it can be hard into a headwind, but it’s hole #17 on a tough course, so just aim high on the green if that’s the case with lower loft.  This 5-wood carries into a back-right pin for the dunk!

From the front-right box, this hole plays more like a 9-iron where you’re managing the left 10 side slope of the green.  This can be a nasty shot where short is water and long might not even mean a clear putt at the pin…but with a front pin, here’s a perfect 9-iron with bite to find the hole.

From the back-right box, also a left 10 slope, the bigger challenge lies in the uphill elevation – many will leave shots short here by not compensating enough.  It’s usually a 7-hybrid or 6-iron…here’s a great 6-iron cut into a right pin.

Sandhill Woods — Hole #18: Par 4

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A really tough finishing hole for a really tough course.  The easiest box here is the front-right one which at least allows a straight shot into the green, although you still have to manage the wind and avoid the water.  Shot-making can get very creative here; sometimes you want low-loft and sometimes you need to float one in.  With woods it’s best to club up with backspin and take a bit off to avoid coming up short.

From that front-right box, check out this 2-hybrid that plays the grassy area in front of the green to hop up on and into the cup!  The spinny 2-iron is a great club to have here too if you’re using Streaks.  There’s also ample opportunity to loft one in there…this 7-wood just makes it!

From the left-center box, you’re tucked away and need to work a shot into the green.  Here’s a great 5-wood curved around with backspin for the ace.  Low hybrids work well here too to play the grassy rough to the left and bounce up and on.

From the back box, here’s a fantastic 3-wood with backspin that finds the cup.  Low-lofted clubs like 0-hybrids can be great to skip the water into this green, and playing the left rough area is still a good option to stay dry…check out this 0H with a small cut that skips up and into a front pin!