Golf 2010

Robert Gilbert



Hole of the Week — Staying honest at Verdae Greens

Posted 11/30/2010 12:05:00 PM

From the moment you step on the 4th tee at Verdae Greens in Greenville, you know you are in for a challenge. It’s bad enough that this monster par-4 measures 415 yards from the blue tees (for those daring enough to play the tips, it stretches to nearly 450 yards,) but with trouble on both sides of the fairway, there is truly no room for error on this scenic hole.

Although after looking at the yardage your inclination might be to grab the driver and let it rip, you’ll most likely want to rethink that strategy after taking a closer look at the fairway. A drastic upslope leading to thick trees line the right side, while the left side of the fairway slopes toward a string of mounds covered in thick rough. For someone like me who hits just about everything with a draw (or a hook, depending on the day), this spells trouble.

Trying to play it right to left is not really an option. Assuming you don’t play it too far right and end up in the trees, the rough on the hills will grab the ball and prevent it from filtering down to the fairway. That means your best bet is to aim down the center of the fairway and hope it doesn’t leak too far left and end up in the rough. Ultimately, anything but a perfectly straight shot off the tee is going to leave you attempting a 175-yard approach from the rough.

Once again, though, thanks to water hazard guarding the front of the green, hitting anything but a perfect approach shot is going to get you in trouble. Speaking from experience, if you find yourself in the rough off either side of the fairway, the smart play is to simply swallow your pride, lay-up to an easy wedge shot over the water, and promise you’ll finally learn to hit that driver straight.