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Written By: Gremlin
Royal Glen Golf Club
Hole 1: The first here at this fine old Scottish links has a very generous fairway and a 386 yard par 4. It's not too long either. A driver off the tee starting left of center should find its way into a good position from which to attack the pin. A short iron should be suitable to find the green but anything short will roll away to the right, leaving an awkward chip. The green has quite a slope and care is needed when putting.
The wind is very variable. If it has a steady direction it is usually from the tee to the green.
Hole 2: The 2nd is far from easy. This 224 yard par 3 really does demand a well hit fairway wood or long iron in order to reach the green. With 3 bunkers to the left, right and behind the green, accuracy is also very important. A par 3 will be hard earned on this hole.
The wind generally blows across the hole from the left.
Hole 3: This 525 yard par five provides a good opportunity for a birdie. The hole snakes downhill kinking sharply between 2 bunkers, then on to the green which is also protected by two bunkers. A tee shot that just misses the pine trees on the left should travel downhill into a good position if it manages to avoid the well placed bunker on the right hand side of the fairway. From this position a good wood should just reach the green but with bunkers at the front and back of it any misjudgment could be costly.
The wind on of this hole tends to blow from the tee to the green enhancing shot length.
Hole 4: The 4th is a 376 yard par 4. A good drive is essential to carry over a stream which meanders across the fairway and cuts back to become a hazard at the right hand side of the green. There is also a fairway bunker which collects anything hit too far left. A medium iron will be required to find the green avoiding the two greenside traps. This is not a long hole but is probably the most difficult par 4 on the front 9
The wind usually blows across the hole from the right and when strong can make a long drive a difficult choice.
Hole 5: The 5th is a tricky par 4. This hole is only 367 yards in length, but because of its vertical right angled dog leg the hole is fraught with danger. Trouble comes in the form of 3 well placed bunkers and also a group of pine trees right on the corner of the dog leg making it impossible to shorten the hole. A drive to the right hand side of the fairway is the best approach, leaving a long iron to the green. However any 2nd shot that goes left is in trouble so a good straight iron shot is required. Two more bunkers cover the corner before the green which stands on a plateau overlooking the stream.
The wind normally blows in the face of any player at the tee.
Hole 6: The 6th is a mentally challenging, 222 yard par 3. The main obstacle is a lake created by the natural widening of the stream which is the dominant feature of the hole. The tee shot requires a long iron or fairway wood and needs to be hit well. The green is on a slight plateau and any ball pitching short will roll down the slope and find a watery grave. With two shallow bunkers at the back of the green anything long leaves a horrid second shot back towards the lake. The green is very receptive and flat, so not a problem there, find the green and par should be easy.
The wind tends to blow along the stream and therefore across play from the right.
Hole 7: The 7th is a 412 yard par 4, with a stream running along side the right of the hole for its entire length. However there is plenty of room on what is a fairly generous fairway. The best place to approach the green is from the right side of the fairway. After a good drive the second shot is normally between 120 and 150 yards, so a birdie is quite possible. The green is one of the fastest on the course so a good position on the approach is vital.
Expect the wind to blow across the hole from the right.
Hole 8: The 8th is an exciting 407 yard par 4 hole. The fairway slopes from right to left and is divided into two by a natural ridge. This gives the hole a two tier effect, so the ball always runs with the slope. A smart play here is to hit the tee shot with a little fade to hold the ball into the slope and therefore make it finish on the left half of the fairway. This should avoid what is a very well placed fairway bunker. From the fairway a medium to short iron is all that is left. The green is also a two tiered affair with two bunkers protecting it, so again the club selection for the second shot is very important. Anything hit onto the lower level of the green leaves an awkward first putt.
Quite well sheltered from the elements, this hole at worst takes the occasional gust from the right.
Hole 9: This hole is a short dog leg 318 yard par 4 which gives players two options. The first and most sensible option is to drive between the two fairway bunkers, to the corner of the dog leg, and play the second from there. This is usually nothing more than a short iron. However the other option is more exciting. One can choose to take on the dog leg, hitting over a small bank or hill with gorse bushes and trees spread over it. If done successfully this leaves a short little pitch and a birdie seems very possible. But, if the tee shot is not hit perfectly on this line, bunkers, gorse bushes, trees and general trouble await. The green is quite flat and is a very good surface to putt on.
This hole is pretty exposed and the wind will mostly blow strongly from the left.
Hole 10: The 10th is a very good 199 yard par 3 hole. The tee is elevated and very exposed to the wind which normally comes across the hole from left to right. As a long iron is required this can make finding the green quite difficult. The green itself is set into a basin, surrounded by 3 large bunkers and banked by heavy woodland. It's quite an undulating green so once on the putting surface there is still a lot to do before making par.
This hole sometimes takes a battering from the wind coming in from the left.
Hole 11: From the tee this 509 yard par 5 turns half left so a drawn shot should be favored, whilst trying to avoid the two bunkers placed on the right and left of the fairway. The second shot is fairly blind, played over a rise with another two bunkers craftily placed ahead on the right. However after a good drive the one bunker green is reachable in two with a long iron or a fairway wood. As with most greens here at Royal Glen the borrows on the green are quite tricky to read.
In bad weather the wind blows down the hill towards the tee.
Hole 12: The twelfth is another dog leg hole and probably the best looking hole on the course. With tall scotch pines and flowering gorse bushes lining both sides of the fairway it's an absolute picture. However, playing the hole is a different matter. Two bunkers attract the attention from the tee and a further two await at greenside. Attempting to drive to the green will most certainly mean a sandy grave. The best policy is one of safety from the tee with a long iron or fairway wood positioning the ball between the fairway bunkers leaving a medium iron to the green. If the ball happens to go left and wide then getting the ball up and down from there is almost impossible.
The wind here can be quite changeable.
Hole 13: The 13th is 382 yards par 4 and is a hole that presents a great birdie chance provided that the fairway bunkers, placed on the left and right about 270 yards from the tee, are avoided. A shot of no more than 100 yards is left to a green which sits on a small copse.
The wind here generally blows from behind the player at the tee.
Hole 14: This hole is a very long 241 yard par 3 which sits in a depression where the valley opens out. With two large bunkers in front of the green and a small pot bunker at the rear, the green is probably the largest on the course but with the stream almost encircling the green the target can seem smaller than it actually is. Also with the depth of the green the club selection can vary from A 3 iron to a 3 wood.
What little wind exists at this hole is generally changeable.
Hole 15: The fifteenth is a 414 yard par 4 and has a slight dog leg from left to right. This hole sits on a wide plateau with the stream loosely center of the fairway being marked by two bunkers. A driver from the tee to an ideal position of left center of the fairway creates a good angle from which to approach the green. Two fairway bunkers can cause problems from the tee if the ball is hooked or sliced. The second shot is normally between 150 to 160 yards so a 6 or 7 iron will be needed to reach the putting surface which is guarded by another 3 bunkers.
The wind here may gust from the left and can prove hazardous on and around the green.
Hole 16: Is a 421 yard par 4 which is not difficult if the fairway can be found from the tee. Climbing gently out of the valley between two thick stands of trees, this hole narrows twice before reaching the wide green. A nasty pot bunker lurks on the left of the fairway and tall scotch pines line the right so a good tee shot essential. After the tee shot the rest of the hole should be quite benign with only a medium to short iron being left to the clover leaf shaped green.
Heavy winds affect play from this hole driving strongly from left to right.
Hole 17: The 17th is 154 yards long and is the shortest of the par 3's on this course. At first glance it appears to be a simple little hole, however the tee is elevated and is also quite exposed to the wind so club selection can often be difficult. The green slopes awkwardly from front to back and from left to right and gives the appearance of an upturned saucer. As a consequence many tee shots roll off the green into one of the 3 greenside bunkers. On most occasions a medium iron is usually sufficient to find the putting surface. Birdies can be made here but bogies are also quite common, occurrence.
This hole tends to be well sheltered from the wind, however the tee is quite exposed and can be buffeted from strong winds from the left.
Hole 18: The final hole here at this wonderful course is a gentle 511 yard par 5 that offers great reward if brave shots are attempted from the raised tee which surveys the rest of the hole. The hole is a dog leg with three fairway and three greenside bunkers. The tee shot is very important, the best line is to ignore the fairway which is to the right and drive over a little bank straight towards the green, this method will avoid two fairway bunkers leaving a long iron to the green. It's quite a large green and doesn't undulate too much so a birdie or even an eagle is a realistic possibility
The strong wind here blows with play and can be used to the players advantage
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