First Hole: A downwind, short par four, many players will look at the scorecard and think this is a pushover. The trick is to find a way to hold the green, which sits atop a low ridge. Some players will want to drive left and cut their second shot down the length of the green; others may have more luck driving out to the right and running the ball up the bank in front, perhaps even using their putters from well out in the fairway. Still other players might want to lay back off the tee, so they can put maximum spin on the approach. The right option is not the same for everyone: it will depend on the strengths and weaknesses of each player’s game, and may change with the location of the flag and the wind conditions of the moment.
Second Hole: A short par five which many players will be able to reach in two shots. The best drive is straight over the peak of the fairway bunkers, requiring a 230-yard carry from the back tee; a safer drive to the left won’t get as much roll. The green is narrow and guarded by hollows to both sides, so the straighter the approach, the better the chance of making a four.
Third Hole: The shortest hole on the course, but the prevailing southerly wind will make a mockery of the yardage. A long iron will often be required to reach the green, which sits atop a high ridge fully exposed to the wind. The bunkers across the front of the green are some of the deepest on the golf course, but recovery from the back bunker is even tougher, because of the slope of the green and the wind behind.
Fourth Hole: A classic dogleg to the left. Few players will be able to carry the bunkers in the corner of the dogleg, but the more one plays away from them, the more the prevailing wind pushes the drive out to the right. If you can keep your line to the left, your approach will not have to carry the deep bunker at the right front of the green.
Fifth Hole: A slight dogleg left through a stand of pecan trees. It is best to land the approach short and left of the green, as the putting surface falls away at the back toward a deep hollow and you don’t want to run through it with your downwind approach.
Sixth Hole: A dramatic par three with bunkers both sides of the approach and green surface. The prevailing left-to-right crosswind will force many players to aim out over the deep hollow to the left and hope for the ball to blow back toward the green, giving the golfer who can hit a controlled draw a distinct advantage.
Seventh Hole: One of our favorite holes, this short par four requires a different strategy depending on the hole location. With the flag on the right wing of the green, players will want to hug the left side of the fairway or even attempt to carry the big bunker on the left for the best angle home. With the flag to the left, you’re better off playing well out to the right (even over the top of the deep fairway bunkers) so that the contours on the left of the green will hold your shot instead of kicking it away to the right.
Eighth Hole: One of the most difficult holes we’ve ever designed. When the southerly wind is blowing, most players should be content to play it as a three-shot hole, keeping their seconds safely out to the right of the green. Good players will be tempted to try and play a low second shot which feeds to the left, but in doing so they risk going down into the hollow on the left, nearly twenty feet below the green, with bunkers stair-stepped up the bank to the green’s edge.
Ninth Hole: A short par five, but usually difficult to reach in two with the prevailing wind in your face. Still, it’s still important to hit two solid shots, because the green is the smallest on the course and you‘d rather play a little approach which you can keep out of the wind.
Tenth Hole: This par-3 is modeled after the famous "Eden" or 11th on the Old Course at St. Andrews, one of the world’s great short holes. The wings of the green are guarded by deep bunkers, and with the southerly wind at your back it will be next to impossible to carry the bunkers and stay on the green, forcing most players to thread their tee shot through the narrow entrance to the green. With its strategic position just outside the clubhouse, we think this hole will be one of the focal points of the course.
Eleventh Hole: A short downwind par four like the first hole, but here the fairway is much narrower with bunkers eating in from the left-hand side. The bunker at the right front of the green will make it difficult to hold the green, so many players will want to squeeze their tee shots as far down the left side as possible.
Twelfth Hole: This is bound to be one of the more controversial holes on the course, because a thoughtless tee shot will kick down to the left of the fairway, leaving a blind second shot over a small hill to the green. On the other hand, a long tee shot down the right side opens a view to the green through a gap in the ridge.
Thirteenth Hole: The first of back-to-back long par fours directly into the south wind, this hole features an enormously wide fairway with a single, nasty bunker just left of center. The green is set in a small punchbowl, giving you the choice between playing close past the deep bunkers on the right, or aiming for the hillside on the left and hoping for a good bounce back down to the green.
Fourteenth Hole: A fairly wide open par four, but one of the most difficult holes because of its green. A low ridge at the front of the putting surface may stop many long approach shots dead in their tracks, but a low second shot which lands short of the ridge may scoot right up the slope and finish close.
Fifteenth Hole: A difficult dogleg right. There is a series of difficult fairway bunkers set into the crest of the hill on the right; if you play around them, you have to be careful not to go through the fairway on the left into a bunker on the outside of the dogleg. The green tilts from right to left and favors an approach from the left.
Sixteenth Hole: The longest par three hole on the course. The prevailing wind is from the right, and the best approach a long iron or wood which starts to the right and lets the wind bring the ball back to the green, avoiding the bunkers along the left side.
Seventeenth Hole: The first of back-to-back par fives to conclude the round, this one is normally downwind and should play easier than the eighteenth, despite being fifty yards longer. The most difficult shot is the second, with trouble lurking to both sides and a bit of carry to be made. A ridge through the green makes hole locations in the back half very difficult; you really must land the ball on the front part of the green and roll over the ridge, because shots which carry the ridge are unlikely to hold.
Eighteenth Hole: A short par five which is much more difficult on the ground than on the scorecard. To get home in two, you must flirt with a narrow gully on the left side of the fairway, and then fire your second shot across the edge of the lake to a narrow target with bunkers beyond. Playing the hole conservatively still requires a carry across the lake on the second shot and a narrow third with trouble to both sides. It could be the scene of heroic tournament finishes, but for most players a five will be reason to celebrate at the nineteenth hole.