Grand Canyon — Hole #16: Par 5

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This hole presents all kinds of opportunities!  The green can be driven most of the time, but you’ll have to control a deflection off one of a couple rocks while choosing the right club depending on the wind.

If the wind is blowing between 3:00 and 6:00, play a high-teed 5-wood with backspin into the top of the obelisk straight ahead.  The harder the wind, the more you tee it to the left.  This creates a deflection towards the green, and the wind will push back against the ball at the same angle it’s shooting over, creating a soft landing.  Here is an example with this setup.

However, you may also be able to play a \ angled shot into the mountain with a high-teed 7-wood with backspin with these types of winds — this one was with a wind at 5:00 and still managed to climb over because it hit the rock at the correct spot!  And here’s another one that dropped in the cup for the super albatross!

If the wind is blowing between 12:00 and 3:00, play the same type of shot with a high-teed 7-wood with backspin.  The ball won’t deflect with as much velocity to the left, but that’s where the wind kicks in and keeps pushing it forward a bit, but also back right to slow it down.  Here is an example with this setup.  Here’s another one played with a C3 that just barely caught the obelisk rock and deflected over.

If the wind is blowing straight out, you’ll want to shoot over the wall to the left of the obelisk.  The 7-wood can have a tough time holding the green, so use a high tee, move left, and play a spinny C3 9-wood into this wall.  It should grab the wall and barely climb over, dropping forward onto the green.  This 9-wood almost went in!

If the wind is blowing hard to the left, play a high-teed 9-wood or 7-wood (backspin) with the same C3-type shot, giving the ball room to carry down to the left as it drops towards the green.  A straight shot can also work.  Here’s a high-teed 9-wood that took advantage of this hard left wind to drop on!  Use the 9-wood whenever possible with this shot because the 7-wood can hit the face of the rock and come straight back.

The only setup that it consistently difficult to land the green is when the wind is blowing between 6:00 and 9:00.  It’s hard to carry the high-lofted club over, and the 5-wood deflection shot will continue left and likely find water, similar to what happened on this attempt.  However, this high-teed 9-wood had a slight head-wind but made its way over for the SUPER ALBATROSS!

And here are some shots that are not recommended but worked out in this case!  If you hit a 3-wood here with a strong left wind, you may also make it there — incredible!  This one got it done too — left rock, right rock, over to the green.  And this 4-wood shot up off this rock and carried over the top, settling on the fringe!

For tee shots where you don’t go for the green, there is a layup spot straight ahead through a crack in the mountains — it should be a 5-wood or high-teed 7-wood, and if it settles correctly, you’ll have a little wedge punch-shot onto the green for an eagle putt.  If you happen to miss too far, consider banking it back off the rock, like this resourceful effort!

Another shot you can try off the tee is a driver cut shot into the mountain straight ahead at the corner of the fairway.  It’s a C2-3 thumb driver shot.  The cliff is facing towards the left fairway, and it should give you a deflection and bounce off left into that fairway, giving you a clear approach shot for eagle!  To make it simpler, you can use a low tee, move it to the front right of the box, and thumb it just a hair right of 2 into this cliff — this should work pretty consistently.  If you notice an X in the cliff straight ahead, you can aim just left of here to find the right spot.

The “standard” option is to curve something like a 7 or 8-iron around the corner, using the slope of the fairway to carry it down left.  If it carries down far enough, you can curve your next shot around the mountain into the green.  This is especially a good option with a wind blowing right, because it helps to stop your tee shot and then to help it on the curve around to the green.


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