Archives for the ‘Southern Oaks’ Category

Southern Oaks — Golden Tee 2010

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This post contains tips, tricks, and information related to the 2010 Golden Tee course Southern Oaks, in Valdosta, Georgia, which is the consensus #1 hardest course in Golden Tee 2010.  The recommended equipment for this course is the X-22s with the distance balls, although others prefer the old birds or any other normal-lofted club set (such as the 2010 Callaway FtiQ Set), especially for tackling hole #16.  Read below for hole-by-hole breakdowns as I partner up with the Golden Tee community to give you the edge you need to beat your friends!

GT Par Breakdown for Southern Oaks

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The following grid breaks down the best and worst you should be able to shoot on Southern Oaks relative to the possible setups you could get on each hole:

Hole Par GT Par Total
Min Max Min Max
1 4 2 3 -2 -1
2 5 3 3 -4 -3
3 3 2 2 -5 -4
4 4 2 2 -7 -6
5 4 3 3 -8 -7
6 3 2 2 -9 -8
7 4 2 2 -11 -10
8 5 3 3 -13 -12
9 4 3 3 -14 -13
10 4 3 3 -15 -14
11 4 2 3 -17 -15
12 3 2 2 -18 -16
13 5 3 3 -20 -18
14 4 2 2 -22 -20
15 5 3 3 -24 -22
16 3 2 2 -25 -23
17 4 2 2 -27 -25
18 4 2 3 -29 -26

Southern Oaks — Hole #1: Par 4

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Some guys are driving this hole with a tailwind using a low-loft driver and the red D2 distance balls!

Southern Oaks — Hole #2: Par 5

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As long and as far left in the fairway as you can be — that should always be your mentality off the tee.  This usually leaves something like a 3-wood cut into the green.

There’s also a mini-shortcut through the trees after a pretty standard long drive.  After pounding your drive out there as best you can, you’ll usually still have to hit an A1 around the trees for your approach.  First, take a look at the trees in line with the green — there’s a gap that allows you to work a 5-wood, or even a 3-wood, through the middle instead.  Here’s one with the 5-wood, and here’s proof that a 3-wood even works!

Southern Oaks — Hole #3: Par 3

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Southern Oaks — Hole #4: Par 4

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From the far right box, you’ll have to hook it around the trees with backspin, possibly needing a water skip for the correct distance to hold the green.  A 5-wood A2-type shot with backspin can work too if you’re good at cutting back distance.  Or, you can use the hill as a backstop, as was the case with this 300-yard 3-wood holeout! If you’re really jammed back there, you may be 350 yards out, and it’s a tough driver shot from there because your ball can clip the trees as it’s curving around.  Here’s a nice driver skipped off the water, intercepted by the hole!  Either way, it’s a really tough shot from here, and you may want to lay up sometimes and hole-out from the fairway instead, like this!

The tee box on the left is only available in casual play.

Southern Oaks — Hole #5: Par 4

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Just lay up long next to the water to bring in your approach shot — make sure you’re far enough out there to have a straight shot in, and the farther left you are, the less club you’ll need.  Make sure you carry the green on the fly, because there are some weird bounces if you hit the fringe.  Here’s an example hole-out.

Southern Oaks — Hole #6: Par 3

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This is a really tough par 3 that requires a very precise tee shot to have a birdie putt.  You’ll often be working the ball right-to-left to hold the green.  From the front box, hit 3-wood or a 5-wood, like this.

From the middle box, hit 3-wood or driver.  Here’s a hole-out with the driver.

From the back box, you’ll need a driver, or sometimes a 3-wood.  Here’s a nice hole-out with the 3-wood.

Southern Oaks — Hole #7: Par 4

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Here you’ll almost always be hitting a straight-180 shot, usually with backspin (unless there’s a strong headwind), aimed at the rough between the green and the hill to the right of it.  Use as much loft as you can while still giving you the distance you need.  A 5-wood has the perfect loft, a 4-wood still works and clears the trees, but a 3-wood can sometimes clip the trees on the way down if you don’t aim right far enough.  Still, you should have a short eagle chip at worst.  Here’s a hole-out from the BACK box with a 5-wood pounded almost straight over the tree, where the slope pulls the ball down towards the hole!  Also, here’s a 3-wood from the right side of the back box that’s also pretty much straight over the last tree on the right!  Here’s another huge 3-wood that dives through the last bit of leaves before making its way into the hole!

You can also hit a c2-type shot with backspin, but with the downhill shot towards the green sloping towards the water, you want to take off a bit of distance.  If you’re a bit short, you still can get help with a hop over the hill.  Here’s an awesome low-loft driver c3 backy shot!  Here’s a driver from the front box that catches just a bit of the trees, enough to guide it into the cup!  And here’s a fantastic 5-wood from the middle box that backspins into the hole.

Southern Oaks — Hole #8: Par 5

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From the back box, lay up in the fairway as long and left as you can.  From here, you can bring an A1-type approach shot into the green, usually with no backspin, as shown here.  It’s better to be left than long, because even if you don’t tee off long, you could still have a pretty straight B2 driver into the green from the left edge of the fairway.  If the pin is on the right side or the wind is blowing left, then backspin may be the smart move — here’s a driver hole-out with backspin. Finally, there’s a spot that allows you a pretty straight approach shot if the pin is on the left — check out this nice poke through a little tree gap at the end of the fairway!

Remember to leave your approach shot left, if anything, because the hill can still help the ball come back to the green.  If you miss right, you’re in the sand and have probably lost your eagle opportunity!

Southern Oaks — Hole #9: Par 4

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Don’t just blindly blast a drive as far as you can here — the better play is to hit something like a 5-wood off the tee, close to the water.  This gives you another lofted 5-wood to work with on the approach, where you can float it over the trees instead of having to curve it around them  — here’s an example. A 7-wood also comes in handy for a flop shot over the top.

If you do play a long C3 off the tee, you want to clear as many of the trees blocking your approach as possible.  You’ll have anywhere from a straight shot to an A1-type shot on your approach, depending on how well-off your tee shot leaves you.  Here’s a hole-out from 170 yards, but the pin saved it from the water!

Southern Oaks — Hole #10: Par 4

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There’s no big advantage here to carry the water around the corner off the tee, so just lay back for an approach shot that’s not much more difficult.  Here’s a holeout from the middle fairway, well behind the winding river.  The green is pretty long, so if the pin is in the back, lay off the backspin and let the ball roll back towards the pin.

Southern Oaks — Hole #11: Par 4

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The best play off the tee is to aim out left, giving you a clean look into the green with a 5-wood or 3-wood.  Here’s a 3-wood knocked down perfectly by the tree guarding the green, and here’s another one that lands cleanly and finds the hole.  If you do stay to the right, a 5-wood can still work but is much riskier — here’s a very aggressive 5-wood over all of them!  There’s also a left tee box (only available in casual play) that can make this hole driveable with a favorable wind.

Or, you know, disregard the drive, curve it around the corner at light speed, bank it off the tree and ram it home.

I haven’t seen an example, but some pros are driving this hole under optimal conditions.  It appears that a huge A1 off the tee can curl all the way over the water, around the trees, and onto the green!

Southern Oaks — Hole #12: Par 3

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This shot can be a little intimidating with some cross wind, but don’t panic.  In the case of a cross-wind, play a very small cut shot into the wind to keep your ball straight through the gap.  If you don’t play cut shots very often, be careful to only pull very slightly to the left or right of straight back, with the same concept going forward.  It’s better to be on the green but far from the pin than to clip a leaf with an errant tee shot!


Southern Oaks — Hole #13: Par 5

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This one is tough to reach in 2.  The fairway sand is strategically-placed to envelop a tee shot that’s too aggressive, and then you’d have to lay up.  Similarly, if you’re not aggressive enough and leave your tee shot too far to the left, you can’t make it in 2 either.  However, a 9-wood can offer an advantage on the approach if you do leave your tee shot left of the sand, as it can cut up and over the trees on the approach.  A combination of skill and some luck might be necessary to leave an approach for eagle.  Be careful on the approach shot here with the green sloping towards the water!

Here’s a straight hole-out from an outstanding tee shot, well past the sand in the fairway.  And here’s another great hole-out applying some cut and backspin.  Here’s an incredible 5-wood from the left side of the fairway!  Finally, check out this amazing, aggressive driver shot that really pays off!

There’s also a closer tee box (only available during casual play) allowing you to clear the sand in the fairway for a short 2nd approach shot — here’s a hole-out from there.

Southern Oaks — Hole #14: Par 4

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You’ll almost always be hitting over the trees, pretty straight at the green.  However, club selection is very important!  A 5-wood can usually clear the trees no problem, a 4-wood clears all but the highest spots of tree, and a 3-wood needs to be over the gap in the middle or around the upper sides of the trees.  Backspin or not depends almost entirely on the wind.

From the front of the front tee box, an option is to poke a 3/4-strength driver under the gap in the 2 trees into the green.  This can also be done with a 1-iron, as evidenced by this great shot!  Another option is to take your shot around with a C3 backspin to hold the green.  If you’re on the right and so is the pin, you can take a 5-wood right over the corner!

From the back of the front tee box, a 5-wood clears the gap over the 2 trees as shown here. You can also cut a 5-wood around the side of the tree, as we see here. Also check out this 5-wood and how it runs down the flagstick — amazing! Finally, you can really curve it around with a 3-wood, like this great shot!

From the back tees, a C3 3-wood with backspin works, but so does a pretty straight 3-wood over the corner!  Or, you could still try to poke a driver under the gap in the 2 trees, like this!! Finally, if you have the distance, a 5-wood can still be hit over the left side of the trees.

Southern Oaks — Hole #15: Par 5

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Get your drive past the sand down the fairway to leave yourself with a tough A1-type approach into the green.  As with many holes in Golden Tee 2010, don’t leave yourself on the wrong side of the green where you don’t have a clear putt at the hole!  Here’s a great cut-shot after a long drive.  And here’s a drive that was long enough to allow an open look at the pin, followed by a nice bounce with the low-lofter!  Also be careful not to go long in the water on your approach, because it is a ways downhill — you may want to take one less club.  On the other hand, if you’re even a yard short, your approach will not hop up onto the green, which must be carried!

A 7-wood makes this hole a bit easier, as you can lay back and go right over the top, like this!

Southern Oaks — Hole #16: Par 3

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This is a really tough par 3 that most of us aren’t going to be able to birdie on a regular basis.  You have to have a low-lofted club, and you usually have to cut into the slope of the green, or else you’re going to be wet.  In fact, if it weren’t for this hole, a lot more people would be playing the club set with a 7-wood and 9-wood!  Most of the time, you’ll want a small A1-type cut shot with backspin, so that the backspin helps the ball up away from the water.  Here’s a great shot from the middle box following this lead.

There are exceptions, depending on wind, rain, and pin placement, so study the setup.  For example, here’s a great hole-out from the back box with backspin, shot right at the hole, that settles perfectly in the hole because of how the rain kills the roll in 2010.  And here’s a hole-out from the front box that worked with the pin on the back left, where the ball worked its way towards the flag.  Finally, here’s a hole-out from the middle box, where the wind blowing to the right helped keep the ball on the right side of the green.

If you’re stucking playing a 7-wood into this green because you don’t have low-lofted clubs, then you might have to get creative.  Clubbing up to a 5-wood and playing a 3/4 cut shot into the green is one option.  Another is to try to settle in the bunker closest to the pin with the intent of chipping on and putting for par.  Neither of these options is easy, and it’s still hard to keep a chip shot from rolling into the water.  This hole is most devastating with a big right-to-left wind, which makes it incredibly difficult to hold the green either off the tee or with your chip!

Here’s another tip offered up by Hotrod:  “If you have a strong wind blowing left and the distance has you at a wood, turn right one from the pin. Pull straight back to B, maybe a little left, then throw it out to the 1 with backspin. It will talke a few tries to figure out the distance but it will work great. The way you are throwing it with backspin will make the ball spin up the break of the green.”

Southern Oaks — Hole #17: Par 4

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This shot just demands that you nail the right distance with backspin.  It’s downhill, so don’t get crazy and blast your drive in the water, especially if you have a tailwind.  Again, the green is separated by a gap, so try not to leave yourself without a clear putt at the pin.  Here’s a crazy 3-wood dunk from the front box! Here’s another nice hole-out from the front box, and here’s a great 3-wood from the back box. Finally, here’s a crazy skip-dunk!

Southern Oaks — Hole #18: Par 4

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This hole can be devastating.  As if #16 weren’t enough to ruin your round, now you have to deal with this monster.  Not only that, but it’s a very tough tee shot, and a very tough approach shot, and a very tough putt!  You’ve got dangerous water off the tee on the left, which the fairway slopes towards, but you also have mud pods on the right that prevent you from laying up too far that way.  And, if you lay up too short, you have a really tough approach shot in which you’ll have to cut a C3 in towards the green.

Believe it or not, the best shot off the tee is usually an attempt at the green.  Using at most a 3-wood (the more loft, the better), get yourself amped up to crank out the biggest C2-type shot you can!  Here are some holeouts to examine for inspiration:

If you have the front tee box and the wind is blowing towards the hole, you can hit a 5-wood C2-type shot onto the green!  Actually, the green is also driveable from the back box with a huge C3 3-wood, rotated once right of the hole, as long as the wind isn’t blowing dead right.  Here is a holeout with a 5-wood, C2 cut shot, with the wind 13MPH at 1:00.  Here’s one with a 4-wood with a 13MPH wind at 11:00.  Awesome!

And here’s one more that really does find a gap in the trees.  The setup was 11 mph wind at about 7:30, hit with a 4W, full C and just a hair right of 2 with roll, with freaks.  So it works with wind in the face too!  Finally, you can do it with a 3-wood with backspin too — check out this brilliant shot.

Now, if your drive comes up short of the green, which will be most of the time, and the trees are really blocking your approach shot, you can still hit a 7/8-iron right through the trees onto the green!  As long as you find a path where tree trunks aren’t in the way, you should still be able to blast one of these clubs right through and it’ll settle onto the green — practice a couple times to see which club works for you.  Usually, if you club up about 3 times, you’ll be in the ballpark for distance and should have a birdie putt — it just depends on how many sets of tree leaves you need to get through.

If C2-power shots aren’t your thing, then try to read the wind for your best course of action off the tee.  If you have a headwind, you can lay up shorter than normal, because the wind will help your approach shot back towards the green.  With a tailwind, you need more distance off the tee to have a successful approach shot, but you’ll have to avoid the hazards off the tee!

Now, if your drive comes up short and the trees are really blocking your approach shot, you can still hit a 4/5-iron right through the trees onto the green — just take aim at the green and ram it through!  This approach is easier than trying to curve a lofted iron around the trees.  Again, start with a baseline of clubbing up about 3 times, give it some practice, and see what works best for you!