Holes 12-16 at Walton Heath are perhaps the toughest stretch of par 4 holes I’ve ever played. If you don’t keep it out of the Heather, you are pretty much looking at a bogey or worse. When I came over here I really didn’t know what HEATHER was until I got a good look at it up close and personal.
Heather is actually a thick and nasty bush that will snag your ball, leaving you little option but to chip out sideways. When Calcavecchia leading by three shot hit it in the left heather on #13, he attempted to reach the green with a 7 or 6 iron. The result was a pulled shot left into a bigger bush that ended in a triple bogey and the loss of his lead.
Even when it’s tempting to go for it out of the heather it’s not worth the risk, unless you have wedge or sand wedge out.
Hole #13 is 465 yards long and has been back into the wind. The tee shot needs to be played short of a cross bunker with heavy heather around it that’s 285 off the tee. I’ve yet to hit this fairway in 3 attempts, and hope to notch a fairway here today. The room off the tee is actually more left, but it’s hard to see off the tee. The second shot is into a wide and deep green that has a steep ridge towards the back. This green has a lot of undulation making this a very tough hole. A solid par here is the goal.
The 14th hole is a 470 yard par four that requires a solid drive somewhere in the fairway. There is a fairway bunker out about 310 yards down the right center which is a good driving line. A HUGE heather bush will swallow any drives hit left, and going right is no bargain either. In round three I ripped a drive short of the 310 bunker and then fired a 200 yard 5 iron to 20 feet and made that putt. This was redemption after the double I made the day before. The second shot is into a generous green in the front, that gets smaller towards the back. I am guessing we may see a tough back pin today in the last round.
15th hole is a 408 yard par 4 hole that again requires a tee shot in the fairway with heavy heather left and bunkers and heather down the right. A driver is not necessary here, but a ball in the fairway here gives the player a birdie chance to a green that is deep and has some significant slope from left to right.
#16 the475 yard par 4 is the toughest hole on the course and toughest fairway to hit. There is a bunker 318 yards on the right center which is the line. A tee shot must avoid the heavy heather left and right off this tee (day 1 and 2 I was in the right heather) the second shot is a long uphill shot to a wide green well guarded by a huge deep bunker on the right. The green is very big and is fairly flat for the most part. This hole has played the most over par all week, and will be tough on Sunday. I hit 3 metal 4 iron on Sat and will probably hit the 3 metal again today.
#17 is a good par three hole from 208 yards out with a helping wind that makes this a 5 or 6 iron. I’ve missed this green all three rounds, but with the Terry Rowles chipping and bunker method I’ve made two pars, and on Sat missed a 4 footer for par after a great chip (Thanks Terry)
The 18th hole gives the player a chance at a finishing birdie if the fairway or light rough is found down the right side. The shot is three metal or driver. There a deep bunkers down the left at 240 and 285 so caution is advised. The green slopes from back to front and gets narrow towards the back. I expect a back pin today on #18 that I hope to birdie for the first time.
Stay tuned for final results