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Moose Landing — Golden Tee 2007

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This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2007 Golden Tee course Moose Landing, in Acadia, Maine.

Moose Landing — Hole #1: Par 4

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The starting hole at Moose Landing is a non-drivable par 4 with a wavy, straight-ahead fairway leading up to a large, flat green. This one’s a gimme. Just land your drive in the fairway, hit the green and sink your birdie putt – done! It’s always important to get off to a good start since Moose Landing is the most challenging of the five courses this year in my opinion.

Ah, the old “exclamation point” hole layout – a Jim Zielinski classic on course openers! Yes, it is simple, but be cognizant of the wavy fairway. Catch a bad bounce and you just may be lying in the rough with a tough approach shot. I try and stick to the right side since it’s a bit more flat.

Here’s an example hole-out.

Moose Landing — Hole #2: Par 4

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There’s no “easy button” for this one! #2 is a tough, drivable par 4 that doglegs sharply to the left. The key here is to cut the corner while avoiding the tall, ball-snagging tree that resides at the apex. With most winds, stay aimed in the fairway and approach from this angle. Only when the wind is at your back is it favorable to play straight off the tee towards the green. There are bunkers all around the front of the green and water comes into play on the left side. Some key things to remember – 1) This hole tends to hang to the right, so apply a little more hook than you’d think. 2) Depending on the wind and the amount of cut applied to your tee shot, it may be wise to aim for the rough next to the green and let it bounce on. Landing directly on the green with backspin can often cause your ball to spin through the green and into the water. Practice makes perfect here…

With all of the obstacles to consider here I usually go for the green with a safe 5-wood off the tee. I like a short, high club since it can almost guarantee that I won’t go long. My theory is that it’s better to chip from the sand for an eagle rather than drive into the water and putt for par. Then again, I suck!

Here is a perfect 5-wood from the front box!

Moose Landing — Hole #3: Par 3

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A simple par 3 over water, Moose’s #3 is as easy as it gets. The only challenge presented here is a question of club/distance to reach the big, slightly elevated green. Two bunkers protect the front while the left side is blanketed by a sloping grass hill. Unless the pin is on the left side the hill should never come into play. Just don’t come up short and you’re golden.

#3 three is a DDADD hole – Don’t Do Anything Dumb, Duffer!

Here’s an ace from the short front tee.

Moose Landing — Hole #4: Par 4

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#4 is a non-drivable par 4 with a hilly fairway that doglegs left. Bunkers can be found all around the green but the small one on the front-right side is all that you have to worry about. The green is huge and has a friendly down 4° slope. Don’t do anything stupid and you’ll make birdie at least. This is a good opportunity for a hole-out!

This hole is great practice for the duffers of the world. While your natural instinct is to whack one off of the tee here, #4 requires a bit more accuracy and less brute force. Stop and take a look at where the pin is located before you tee off. Leave your ball with a nice, clean angle for success. The subtle slope of this green could be the difference between a birdie and a par if you’re left with a long putt.

Here’s an example hole-out.

Moose Landing — Hole #5: Par 4

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#5 is a drivable par 4 that plays over water to a medium-sized green. The trouble lies near the front-left side of the putting surface that is heavily guarded by a tall grass hill that a 3 or 5-wood clears easily. A driver can bounce off the top of the hill and land on the green but there’s not much room for error. Pot bunkers behind the green and in line with the hill make the approach more difficult when the pin is located on the left. Water surrounds most of the entire green so there’s a chance a bad shot will be wet. Shots tend to “get up” more on this hole than others so I generally refrain from hitting driver. Oh yeah, backspin is usually necessary.

This can be a tough little par 4 to eagle. What Sobe doesn’t mention is that the down 6° slope of the green will come into play with long putts. This is no gimme! With that said, even a duffer would be silly to not go for it – laying up is simply not an option. For the most accuracy off the tee, try to use a 5-wood. Its higher loft will make it easier to control the ball and clear the hill.

Here is a nice 3-wood hole-out.  And here is an unbelievable bunker deflection you’ve got to see!

Moose Landing — Hole #6: Par 4

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#6 is a drastically uphill par 4 with a long, elevated green. A stream runs along the winding fairway and you’ll notice a waterfall/ramp on the right side that could propel a tee shot onto the green. It can, but I warn you that the results are very inconsistent and it may not be worth the risk. The best bet is to hit a 5-wood near the end of the fairway so you can combat the green’s elevation by hitting a short iron on your approach. Whatever you do, do not end up short in the stream.

A ramp?! What are you, nuts? Why don’t you tell them about the giant wall in front of the ramp that stops the shot 99% the time? A ramp… What are you doing to these people, Sobe?

Here’s an example ramp shot with a driver that didn’t quite work out!

Here’s a hole-out from the fairway after laying up.

Moose Landing — Hole #7: Par 3

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Another easy par 3 like hole #3 that plays straight forward to a down 6° green. A large bunker blankets the front of the green along with two smaller hazards. #7 plays a bit downhill so ease off your tee shot. Backspin is often used if the pin is near the bottom and wind is in your face, play aggressive by letting your ball roll.

This green is easy to hit but hard to stay on. All I can say is that you better be a confident putter because it’s usually not easy to get close to the pin here. If all else fails, try and play the bounce-shot off the cabin door. Go ahead, try it and let me know how it goes!

Here’s an example hole-out.

Moose Landing — Hole #8: Par 4

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Hole #8 is one of my favorites! It’s a drivable, dogleg-left par 4 that I consider a classic risk vs. reward. Near the dogleg, there’s a visible gap between the trees. Hitting through the gap is my first option since it lessens the angle to approach the green. It’s not easy, but it works. A safer play is to aim towards the fairway and attempt a C-3 type of shot. Again, it works but it’s much harder to control. The green is surrounded by water on the left and pot bunkers on the right, so if you’re going to miss, miss right! Sand is always better than water. #8 is another “hanger” so be sure to apply a bit more hook on your backswing than normal. Never hit the green on the fly with backspin or you’ll likely end up in the water. I usually try to bounce on from the rough. Again – practice, practice and more practice makes perfect.

One of your favorites? Sobe, you’re sadistic! I dread this hole and have a better success rate picking up blindfolded 7-10 splits on Silver Strike Bowling! Duffers, try to picture a line through the gap in the trees. Think of a ball perfectly soaring through the woods, landing on the green and backing up right next to the pin. Take a deep breath, swing and yell “MIND OVER MATTER” on the top of your lungs. Works for me every time…

Here is a beautiful 5-wood hole-out from the front box.

Moose Landing — Hole #9: Par 5

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The last hole before the turn, #9 is a fun and challenging layout leaving you with several options. The first thing I ask myself is, “can I clear the water to the second fairway?” If the answer is “yes”– go for it! From the second fairway you’ll be able to clear the mound to the green with a 5-wood or bounce a low iron off its top. If the answer is “no”, you’ll have to lie back on to the shelf of the first fairway. From here, a wood will usually clear the troublesome mound that is protecting the green. Here’s a tip – if the pin is on the right side of the green, an approach shot can actually bounce between the trees that reside on top of the mound. I told you it was fun.

Sobe really asks himself very constructive questions. I usually think things like “how am I going to screw up this one?” or “how did Sobe do that?” Anyway, bravo, champ. That’s good advice! But I have learned to come to grips with the “shelf shot” and once you do, it’s really not so bad. Learning shot placement is a critical fundamental that many duffers lack. In this case, I suggest thumbing a driver with backspin – it’ll get you close enough.

Here is a great driver over the top from the end of the first fairway.

A 9-wood makes this approach easier if you have a close tee box and position your drive correctly — here’s one up and over.  Here’s another great hole-out off the hill after a monster drive!

Moose Landing — Hole #10: Par 5

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The back nine leads off with an undulating, double-dogleg par 5 that runs downhill, turns sharply left, rises and turns back right towards the green. Most often, a driver can be hit straight over the gully to the top portion of the fairway. Another method to consider is a C-3 type of shot from one turn right in the tee box. But if you determine that making the top fairway is impossible, there’s another option. Straight away from the tee box, you’ll see a peninsula at about 260 yards with a shelf on it to land. Use the top down pointer on the left of the screen to help determine what club to hit to land on it. From there, you should have no problem reaching the square-shaped green. But take note that that the green is severely uphill, so a little more club is needed.

Similar to the last hole, another duffer-friendly shot to consider if you can’t get over the gully is to lay-up on the flat mound directly in front of the tee box (right of the fairway). It’s a predictable shot every time and the mound is high enough for a clean approach to the green. You’ll sacrifice some spin since it is rough but the shot is doable.

Here’s a hole-out from the fairway after a nice drive.  And check out the backspin on this one!

Moose Landing — Hole #11: Par 5

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Another par 5! It’s not often that Jim Z. goes back-to-back! The most common method to attack #11 is to turn right 4 or 5 times and aim for the land near the base of the mountainside. From there, you can play a 5-wood slice shot that maneuvers between the canyon walls to the green. The only other option I consider off of the tee requires a double-digit wind at about three o’clock. With this perfect scenario, you can hit an A-1 to get around the corner of the dogleg, but you must stay out of the deep rough. Even a good drive will leave you with a long way to the pin (330+ yards) but it’s reachable. Stick with my first option – a mistake will usually leave you with a favorable drop. Might as well try since the percentage of making eagle from the fairway is low anyways.

I hate to be the messenger of bad duffer news, but the shortcut approach is the only way to play #11. Aim your tee shot carefully but keep in mind that the drop spot is very forgiving. Even after a water ball you can still birdie this par 5.

Here is a hole-out shortcut-style, and here is a hole-out from the fairway after laying up.

Moose Landing — Hole #12: Par 4

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#12 is a long par 4 that looks more like a par 3. It plays slightly downhill to a wide green that is guarded heavily in the front by pot bunkers and water behind. The green slopes severely downhill 7° so backspin is usually needed. You should have no problem hitting this one, just make sure it doesn’t land in the drink. Even Duffer should eagle this one…

Like many other holes on this @#$%@& course, #12 is easy to hit but hard to stick. Yes, I should eagle this hole but there have been times that I haven’t because my putt was long and tough. The 7° slope is nasty – fear it! Stupid Moose Landing…

Here’s an incredible 3-wood dunk!

Moose Landing — Hole #13: Par 3

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Here’s a very short par 3 that plays roughly at 74 yards. Sounds easy, right? No dice! #13 can jump up and bite if you try for the pin every time. The difficulty of this hole lies in its green and pin placement. While it may be large, the green has a wicked 8° uphill slope and water lines the front and right sides. I do not recommend backspin unless you have a wind at your back. Play this one smart or it could be a round killer.

Hole? What hole? All I see is a fountain…

Here’s a nice near-ace.

Moose Landing — Hole #14: Par 4

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#14 is a non-drivable par 4 that doglegs sharply to the right around a body of water. The tee shot is key to success and luckily you have two options – cut the corner of the dogleg or lay back. To cut the corner, stay lined up straight and hit an A-1 with backspin. The backspin will help keep your ball from going too far into the fairway and will leave you with a clear shot to the green. To lay back, aim your tee shot straight ahead to land just beyond the corner of the dogleg, past the tree that is positioned along the right side. The fairway feeds down towards the water there, so leave some room to trickle down without getting wet. This option leaves you with a longer approach but it’s still reachable.

Once you get used to #14 it’s really not so bad. While I normally don’t advocate unnecessary shot-shaping for duffers, you’re going to need the extra zip to get off the tee and around the bend here. Listen to Sobe – execute a nice A-1 tee shot and your second shot should be a real piece of cake!

Here’s an example hole-out after a nice drive.  You don’t necessarily need to cut the corner — here’s a driver hole-out after a straight drive.

Moose Landing — Hole #15: Par 4

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Here’s one of the toughest holes of the year! #15 is a nasty, drivable par 4 that requires great speed control and touch. The fairway lies straight ahead with trees along its left side and the green is precariously positioned off to the left with a stream protecting it. The keys to #15 are avoiding the last tree near the end of the fairway and dealing with the annoying nuances of the green. You have to swing out to 3 to land on the green but everything else really depends on the wind. For the most part it’s tough to just hit the putting surface, don’t be a hero here! Like I said, speed control is a must. It’s a fine line between short and long.

I have no meaningful advice for this challenging hole, but I do have one statement to make – if your score is bad enough by now, you’ll get a great drop spot!

Here’s an ace that used the hill as a backstop.  Even a driver can get around the corner, although this one got lucky too!

Moose Landing — Hole #16: Par 5

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Here’s a downhill 600-yard par 5 that is as straight as it gets. The key to success here is controlling the distance of your tee shot. You’ll notice that the fairway is split into two by a river – you can’t drive over the water, so forget it. You’ll also notice that the fairway is elevated towards the end, with a flat shelf at its peak. Try to land on the shelf for the perfect approach shot, it’s relatively easy to do. If you hit over the shelf, the ball can trickle down to the river, or it could stop in a precarious gulley that is tough to get out of. Simply put, don’t over hit your drive! As for the approach shot from the shelf, it’s straight ahead to a tiny, round green surrounded by a bunch of small water hazards. Use backspin and aim precisely.

I think the tee shot on this hole is tougher than the approach! Similar to #9, get used to hitting your drive with accuracy and confidence. Thumbs with backspin is usually the most effective for me. As for the approach, its bark is louder than its bite. Jim Z. put all those tiny water hazards in there to scare you! Just aim for the green stuff, my friend. The pain that is Moose Landing is almost complete.

Here is a driver hole-out from the first fairway.

Moose Landing — Hole #17: Par 3

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The final par 3 at Moose Landing plays at approx. 155-yards and has a cool, shapely green with a gnarly down 10° slope. Almost a dozen pot bunkers guard the green’s front while water lies directly behind it. Unfortunately, there’s not much to tell you other than don’t end up in a bunker! You woud be better off in the water most of the time than in one of those deep sand pits. Don’t forget to use backspin.

Come on, Sobe. You birdie this hole ten times to my one and you have nothing to tell us? Fine. I have some advice – hit the options button, select “player quit” and tell your friends that you shot a –30.

Here’s a nice hole-out.  Check out the amazing deflection on this 9-wood hole-out!

Moose Landing — Hole #18: Par 4

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#18 at Moose Landing is my favorite finishing hole of the year! It’s a drivable par 4 to an elevated green that is carved into a mountainside. A vertical and shapely rock face guards the entire right side of the green, while three pot bunkers protect the left. Beyond the bunkers to the left, a vertical cliff falls sharply down to – you guessed it – water! The most important aspect to consider here is the slope of the green since at left 9° it can be tough to stick! To make it happen you must play a shot that moves from left to right. This will alter the approach angle of your shot and ultimately lessen the effect of the green’s nasty break. Backspin is optional but I use it much more often than not. Good luck, everyone and I’ll see you back on for Golden Tee LIVE 2008!

A fitting end to an insanely tough round. No offense to Jim Z., but I hate Moose Landing. Let us never speak of it again.

Here’s a great hole-out from the front box!  A perfect shot here — bank and in.  This shot is just unbelievable.