Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Course Tour - Hole #8

Hole #8 description on Kingsley Club web site is here.

Can't get enough of the 8th hole - "Spoiler"
Here is my commentary from A Fan's Photo Tribute on

The 8th hole is a par 4
365 from the gold tee
349 from the blue tee

The 8th is a short par 4 with a stand-out green complex (on a course full of them.)  The tee shot can be blind, but only if you choose to make it so.  The left side of the fairway is fully visible from the tee and offers plenty of room to hit a safe shot out there.  The problem the golfer faces is the giant bunkering in the middle of the fairway at about the point most of us would like to hit our driver.  This is a hole where most of us will choose to club down on the tee.

The right side of the fairway is blind, and no wider if you choose the driver.  If you opt for less club, there is plenty of room to the right.  One simply needs to muster up the courage to trust the landing area since it can't be seen.  All that is seen of the right side is a large peak of the rolling terrain, and it is filled with bunkers and rough.  Still, a confidently struck shot will have no trouble clearing this visual distraction.

The reason for opting for the right side, even though it is blind and does not offer any more width, is to improve the angle to the green.  From the right side, the golfer can eliminate the greenside bunker from the equation (in most cases.)  From the left side, the approach must attack this bunker, which is not one from which you wish to play.  Although one can skip the bunker challenge approaching from the right side, it is crucial not to stray too far right.  The right side of the green can deflect wayward shots further right, creating a difficult recovery chip or pitch.

Just behind the green is an abrupt incline that makes it very tempting as an aiming spot for rear pin positions.  Distance control is important as too much and the ball will wind up in the rough.  Spin control is necessary as well as one could easily spin a wedge shot back a long way from that hill when the surface is running quickly.  

I love the green setting of this hole.  Viewed from behind, the green location is probably one of my two favorites on the course, along with the 12th.  It just seems to fit the surroundings.  This hole is just one of many excellent short par 4s on the course.
From the tee
The 8th fairway, viewed from well behind the desired landing area
Another look at the fairway from the knob on the right
Looking back from the right side of the fairway
The approach from the right side
A view from the greenside bunker to help explain the importance of not being in it
Another view of the same bunker
The green from behind
The 8th from above and behind - one of my favorite looks on the course
Another view of the fairway and splendid green complex from one of the 9th tees
Special thanks to John Mayhugh, who demonstrated a unique knack for capturing approach shots, unbeknownst to me, that led to birdies on more than one occasion in 2008
 Comments on hole #8 from Mike DeVries:

"Hole #8 – Spoiler - The 8th is a great short four and has multiple options, each of which have varying degrees of accuracy required, either for the shot at hand or the next one.  The drive has been talked about by others, with the safe left side open from the tee but with the large bunker to contend with on the approach.  This side is good for pins in the middle and back of the green and for those who are confident with their club distance, as the shot has to clear the edge of the bunker to be safe.  A drive over the “3 Amigos” leaves a more open approach but accuracy is still required to get it close to the hole.  Driver is not required on this short four and definitely a risk, even for regular hitters, as the central bunker starts 260 yards from the tee (remember there is quite a bit of run on the turf here) and sprawls for 30-40 yards past that point – control is the better option here.

The green complex is open but very demanding on the approach.  If you find the putting surface, you have a chance at par or birdie.  If you find the correct plateau, middle or back, you have a good chance at birdie.  I especially like the false side on the right that complicates recovery shots from right of the green, with options to putt, pitch, flop, run-up, etc. the ball to the hole, depending on the golfer’s tendencies.

The name “Spoiler” comes from the hole’s ability to spoil your round with a high number and from a personal story when the owner came over the 3 Amigos’ ridge in construction, along a path strewn with stumps and debris, and the front spoiler piece on his Suburban caught a small, yet still intact, stump and was ripped off the frame.  I took half of the broken plastic and plunged it in the green site for a reference point and sight-line visualization in the dirt – it worked great and the name stuck!"


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