'Featured Holes of the week', are from the remodeled Torrey Pines South golf
course host to the 2008 United States Open golf championship. In 2001 Rees Jones was
called in for a major redesign of the South course in order to attract a
Major Championship with many holes lengthened,
all the greens completely rebuilt and changed to bent grass, and newly
constructed green side and fairway bunkers added creating one of the
most brilliant, and complete 'makeovers', of a quality golf course to
one of true major championship caliber. This was accomplished to
the tune of $3,000,000.00 and completed in a 90 day span in 2000.
The USGA liked the redesign but added one big change after a poor experiment to have bent grass on the newly
redesigned South Course they are back to native Californian coastal Poa
Annua! A great move and made it a great test with Tiger winning in
the 2008 U.S. Open.
Our CaddyBytes.com tour begins with the still reachable 542 yard uphill par five
13th hole. (Pic's left) Here is a picture of the green from behind the hole looking
back to the second and third shot landing areas and the tee box (off far in the
distance). There are actually two tees on this hole, one right and and
another to the left, presenting different angles to the fairway which is now
protected, like all the holes on this redesign, with newly modernized fairway
bunkering, and all in play for the pro tee shots.
The new bunkering is stepped into the hillside in the front of the green here.
And makes the hole look 'old timey' like some of the great old 'masterpieces'
of golf course design like Oak Hill, the Olympic Club, or Winged Foot back
You can see where the green is widened on both sides and protected in front, on
the corners and back, with new tiering, new and deep bunkering, with the
green almost always sloping away from those wrong side misses, making the
recovery from mistakes more than difficult.
a look of the second shot view into the 432 yard Par 4, 14th hole.
The old green used to sit over more to the right where the tent is
in the picture -off in the distance. (Pic's
This new green has been moved further back (lengthening the hole)
and more to the left, now bringing the canyon just behind the green
as hazard and into play there.
These two bunkers and canyon all down the left side, protect a
narrow landing area which also slopes towards them. It's 274
and 285 yards respectively bringing both of these bunkers into play
off the tee shot.
Jone's repositioning and elevation of many of the new greens, as
evidenced in this second shot view here, often now position them
against a visual backdrop of green, sea, and sky. This
'silhouetting' affects your
depth perception and hit it long and you're in big trouble
a view from the right side of the 14th green (Pic's
left). Again you can see
the great expanse and contouring along with the many new pin positions that
Rees Jone's has created here.|
Now you've got a fairly tight tee shot with a medium to short iron
(possibly), into a narrow green that sits 'catty corner' to the second shot.
This hole as well as the upcoming 15th hole often have the wind blowing at
the players back (off the ocean) making balance an issue for the right
handed player off both tees.
This pix (left) also gives you a good look back at this hole with the canyon
down the left side and in play. (in the right side of pix left) You
can also see how narrow the tee shot landing area and fairway are from this
In the next pix you'll see how the redesign has brought the canyon into play
over the green, where in fact it 'does' drop 'off the world' there!
this picture (right) -imagine that your drive is in the rough with a dry
'flyer' lie and you have to play into a back left pin position. You now have
to 'guard' against hitting it over here!|
There's almost no grass on that hillside sloping over the left side there, and
any ball that goes over rolls into the hazard (denoted by the red hazard line
Imagine how tough this baby might play in dry conditions, (unlike this week),
say about U.S. Open time in June and maybe with some wind added to dry out
this elevated and exposed green!
They've definitely added some tremendous shot value, beauty, and some teeth to
this one making it a great and potentially dangerous golf hole!
left) is the second shot view from the left side of the newly
renovated and lengthened 478 yard par 4 15th hole. They've really
added some length to this one!
As you can see, should you hit it down the left side trying to really
'catch' a big drive here, you will have to 'work' your next shot from right
to left into this newly redesigned green.
These are mature old eucalyptus trees on the left whose branches are very
thick and rebel against the '90% of all trees as air' theory. You'll have to
go under, over, or around them to manage your golf ball into the narrow
opening in the front left of this new green here.
a look back from behind the green back down the fifteenth fairway. (Pic's
right) You can see how this long par four hole bends around to the left
around those trees in the last pix.|
Again here, Rees has redone and elevated this green, with an entry way run up
possible in the front left, but with a waste area below and left of that
should you miss it there.
There are many possible pin positions on this green as well, protected by the
bunkering and the reality is that it's a midiron into this one now!
There is also a large portion of the 15 th green not visible to the left (back
right of the new green) in this photo, which is protected on a corner by that
bunker in the foreground left, to an elevated, ample and tiered, back right
Pix of the lengthened 223 yard par three 16th hole (Pic's
left) is from behind
the green looking back at the tee off in the distance.|
Again, this green has been recon toured, modernized, and widened with a larger
and new back left corner pin position protected by the newly styled bunkering
It's a long iron into a golf hole that was already pretty good before and is
even more so now. The wind is often playing in from the right off this
tee at the time that the Buick is played as it is here during the winter
That just makes the hole play that much longer and tougher. The front tee box
is more likely to be used with the back left pin position and with the new
'shot values' added by the Rees Jone's design change here as well.
this (Pic's right) is a view of the new and narrower 442 yard Par 4, 17th
hole from the green looking back. The tee shot has been tightened up
quite a bit in the new redesign, with a bunker on the right side in play off
the tee at 280 yards and 'protected' left as well, by rough and canyon.|
If you try to play short of the bunker now with a three wood, you'll leave
yourself with too long an uphill second shot into this new green.
You can get an idea of the contouring and widening ( as in all the pix of the
these renovated greens) with the accompanying new bunkering protecting the pro
pin positions that have been created by the redesign.
Again, the pins can be tucked and made as difficult as they want, so you want
the shortest uphill second shot possible into this green.
final view is from behind the lengthened 570 yard par five finishing hole at
Torrey Pines South. (Pic's
There are a new series of bunkers off the tee beginning at 290 yards on the
left and 310 yards on the right side (not in pix). This now leaves a
long second shot into what used to be a very reachable par five hole here.
Not any more though. You'll really have to catch a good one -long and
straight, to have a good enough chance of carrying the pond in the front of
this green and get home in two.
A lay-up third shot is more likely the play now to a protected, widened and
tiered green, with new pins on the front and back corners.
Which hole will be the most pivotal in this weeks tournament?
We don't know yet but you can certainly see the potential that these last six
holes may present to the golf professional and his caddy here this week.
And the potential for some great finishing drama here as well at this
weeks Buick Open Golf Classic. See our Exclusive Slide Show of back nine
holes of the:
tournament golf course! Click
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