Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Great Par 5’s within the World of Troon
Posted on May 5, 2021
Feliz cinco de mayo!
The celebration of Cinco de Mayo always encourages people to get outside, celebrate and being around friends and family! Sounds a lot like what makes the game of golf so great as well! In the spirit of CINCO de Mayo, here are some Par Cinco Memorables (memorable and best Par 5’s) in the world of Troon!
This hole starts with a beautiful view of the entire valley to distract you from what’s to come. Teeing off, you’re facing a blind tee shot that must carry as much as 240 yards just to get to the front edge of the fairway. If you are lucky enough to carry your drive to the fairway, a long downhill second shot awaits you. If everything has gone well so far, the player is left with a short iron approach to a very wide, but shallow green, only 15 yards deep and ringed by severe sand bunkers, thick rough and cactus.
An incredible setting. The Par 5 15th sees the wall of trees open up with a view of the majestic Lake of the Ozarks. With an elevated tee, watch that center-cut drive to the fairway sail with an incredible backdrop. The drive is forgiving but watch out for the bunkers strategically placed on the left and right side of the fairway. The second shot isn’t easy either. For one, the view can be distracting as you hit toward the lake and the majestic toll bridge. Hit your approach shot short or right and there are tons of bunkers getting in your way. Hit it long, your golf ball will enjoy the fun the boats have in the lake! The 15th is truly a one of a kind experience and one of the finest golf holes in Missouri.
The 16th hole on the Conquistador Course is the signature hole. Players drive from an elevated tee box to a generous landing area while soaking in dramatic views of Pusch Ridge and the Santa Catalina Mountain Range in the distance. A risk-reward par 5 which is guarded by 16 bunkers from tee to green.
The 14th at Indian Wells Golf Resort Celebrity Course is one of the most memorable par fives in the California “Desert”…if not the country. It has a combination of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty in that the golf hole is a visual kaleidoscope for golfers… with vibrant flowers, mountain views, perfectly manicured emerald turf, shimmering water features, and as architect Clive Clark states “babbling brooks”. That is the beauty. The same water features, native areas and strategically placed bunkers make it a Beast. One has to navigate a perfect tee shot, well placed second (or go for broke shot) and hit a well protected green to post a great shot. Either way this golf hole is stunning (and demanding)
The first week of the calendar year is when we all tune into the winners on the PGA TOUR take on Kapalua’s Plantation Course in prime time. We get wow’d by the striking visuals from the ocean views, whales jumping and other islands in the distance…to the drastically slopped fairways that heave towards the water. All of which occurs on Kapalua’s dramatic downhill par 5. Memories are made on this hole from Tiger forcing a playoff with Ernie in 2000 to Bubba hitting driver off the deck, to Team Troon’s Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele playing 18 three times and finishing at dusk with Thomas victorious. Now where can you feel more like a tour pro as you hit the same tee shot and try to run one up to the green…all while taking in those amazing Kapalua views.
On more than one occasion we’ve heard golfers say that our 6th hole is the hardest par 5 they’ve ever played. Whether you call it our signature hole, or just the most talked about, you definitely won’t forget hole 6. The back tee sits about 20 feet above the fairway; but the fun ends there. In that twenty foot drop to the fairway the golfer must carry two hundred yards of trees and brush. You may wipe the sweat from your brow if the ball makes it to the fairway, but be prepared to sweat your next shot as well. The narrow fairway is lined on the right with a creek and out of bounds. Trees and brush line the hill that runs the left side of the hole. So you’ve successfully navigated 2-3 shots down the fairway and are ready for your approach shot? It’s no easy task with a creek and several large bunkers that protect the large, three-tiered green. Walking off the green with a par is quite an accomplishment. But plenty of golfers are just as happy to walk away with a bogey.
This straight away par 5 starts with an elevated tee shot over a 200 yard ravine to a fairway where a majestic giant oak marks the right side. Aim for the oak and then pour all you’ve got into your second shot on this long finishing hole. The green is situated in front of the Maderas clubhouse, which has the look of an Italian villa. You can putt out and then retire to the patio and enjoy a great view of the hole you just played.
One of the best par 5’s in the golf rich Coachella Valley; hole #11 “AFRIKAAN” embodies course designer Gary Player’s desire to test all facets of the game. The tee shot requires strategic placement demanding the golf to shape their tee shot to the left side of the fairway. A set of deep grass bunkers and pot bunkers line the left side of the fairway with a long expansive lake that runs the entire length of the fairway to the green on the right. A true “3 shot” par 5, the golfer is faced with placing their second shot into a narrow sliver of fairway setting up to their favorite yardage. A third shot directly over water to a small multi-tier green leaves the golfer with dialing in to the correct tier or face a severely sloped putt for birdie. All of this under the beautiful backdrop of the nearby San Jacinto mountain range.
The opening hole at NorthRiver Yacht Club is a 533 yard par 5 with a OB left and right. It is a hole that can yield an opening eagle or double bogey. With an uphill tee sheet then a downhill second shot it requires two accurate shots to get your round going. However, if you miss one of those shots it can leave you scrambling to save par.
Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, Hole 15, 543 Yards (Tips)
The 15th hole on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course is as unique as it is challenging. With a slight elevation gain from tee to green, and a winding fairway moving towards the Cascade Mountain range; it makes for a striking but visually intimidating hole. Carrying the tee ball over the small natural slopes reveals a much larger landing zone than what is visible from the tee. Located in the perfect lay up zone in the middle of the fairway is a small bunker surrounded by a large island of native desert landscape and ancient lava rock. Laying up short of this island provides a third shot of around 100 yards into the two tiered green. The bold can attempt to carry this island and go for the green in two, but face a narrow landing zone and trouble on both sides of the green. The best view on this beautiful par 5, is from the green looking back towards the tee with a stunning view of the winding fairway and amazing natural landscape.
Hole #3 is a beautiful, picturesque Par 5 with a risk/reward opportunity. You are angled to the right on the tee sheet with a hole that moves continuously to the left throughout the hole. You can risk hitting your tee shot down the left side to have a chance to go for it in two. In addition, the hole slopes severely to the left and a tee shot that misses the fairway left could end up in the hazard. The safe shot is aiming down the right side and laying up to a comfortable yardage to the green. The green presents a challenge with two tiers guarded by steep bunkers and water on the left. Par is a great score and birdie would be a bonus to build confidence early in the round.
A double dogleg that is just plain fun. So many choices. You can go with a driver off the tee, and maybe put the ball in position to get home in two, but you risk going through the fairway left, leaving a lie in the rough and a line blocked by trees, or you risk not carrying the trees on the right and ending up with a blocked second shot or maybe even in the hazard – excuse me, penalty area. Or you can play conservatively with a long iron off the tee, taking long left out of play and leaving yourself a clean line for the second shot.
The second shot is a question of what angle around the second dogleg do you have and how much do you want to bite off. Left is shorter to the green but trees come into play. Right is guarded by fairway bunkers. Staying short of the bunkers leaves a longer third shot, but an accurate second shot can leave a short wedge into a guarded green giving the player a real shot at birdie. If you hit the good driver and are going for the green in two, the second shot needs to be accurate to find its way between the bunkers guarding the green left and right.
The green is deceptively sloped. There’s more break than you think there is, but hit good 3 shots and par – or even birdie – is there for the taking.
A blind tee shot requires your full attention on this long par five. Once in the fairway, longer hitters can go for the green in two. Shorter hitters will be required to hit a hybrid to long iron for their second. A wedge will be all you have left to reach this green in regulation. The smartest play is to hit the center of the green. If you’re feeling lucky and want to fire at the hole, miss, and you’ll wish you hadn’t.
The Par 5 18th at Sterling Grove is a true risk reward par 5. An aggressive drive, close to the centerline bunkers, gives you a shot at getting home in two. However, the second shot with a long iron or fairway metal will be all carry over water and sand to a very narrow green from front to back. Over the green will keep you dry but will give you tough up and down pitching downhill back toward the water and sand. Precision is key. Good Luck!
This par five is so epic the entire course is named after it. Specifically after the multi ton boulder in the middle of the fairway that makes a great aiming point off the tee…ie Monument Rock. One can take am at the boulder and try to carve a gentle fade to the right of it. A successful drive puts you in the “go zone” to go for the green in too. An errant one may result in a wayward shot into the Sonoran Desert…or worse, stymie you behind Monument Rock
The hole (and the Rock) was also the subject of the very first episode of popular golf show, Breaking Par. In that episode, Blair ONeal was tasked with hitting the boulder, then try to make par or better following the shot (seen above).
Hole 10 at Yocha Dehe Golf Club is both challenging, and aesthetically pleasing. With water right and native grass left, a well-placed tee shot is paramount in order to score good on this hole. The last 150 yards of this hole gradually climbs up a hill to a green surrounded by bunkers and a false front. With a view overlooking the entire back nine, the last putt on this hole will leave a memory for years to come! Par is a great score here, but long hitters can go for it in two and walk away with a well-earned eagle!