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!

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is a Golden Tee addict from Chicago, IL, thirsty for tips and tricks!
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3 Responses »

  1. As you already posted, this hole is definitely not reachable in one. Please link Adam’s writeup on this hole.

    Those “hio’s” you have linked are clearly fabrications from some meddling kids.

  2. every time i have gone long other wise in the mud or water till my friend showed me a lay up shot
    hit a short shot just to right edge of the fair way and your second shot will be an easy 7 or 9 wood over the trees and on the green for bird or big bird

  3. This tip comes from Scott (Satan) to give you a good chance at birdie every time!

    I wanted to offer my newest tip for southern oaks, hole number 18. I’ve been playing this hole a few ways. But the most consistent way I’ve found to hit the green for birdie is this: Off the tee, hit straight ahead, and lay up just short of the water and the mud pits that are to the right. I next turn left until I am aimed at the pin and then I choose a club that’s either exact distance or a bit longer. I then turn 2 clicks to the right and hit a C2 shot. Knowing when to use roll or backspin takes practice.

    Also, if the wind is heavy against the balls flight, then I choose a club that is 15 to 20 yards longer. With practice, you can hit the green every time and have a good chance at birdie.

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