Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Great American Golf Holes

Most of the most famous holes in golf are to be found on American golf courses. Three of golf’s four Majors are played in the United States, and so you can be sure to find some great golf holes on American courses. America’s most famous championship golf courses include the likes of the Augusta National, Pebble Beach and the Stadium Course in Florida. Golf courses such as these have famous golf holes, and there are plenty of other great golf holes on US golf courses that have not played host to one of the Majors or other PGA Tour championships. These are a few of the great American golf holes.

18th Hole at Pebble Beach:

The 18th hole at Pebble Beach is widely considered to be the best finishing hole in golf. That’s in golf, and not just the United States. This hole is a par 5 hole that extends some 543 yards from tee to the flag. Pebble Beach is a golf course located on the Monterey Coast and has a Pacific coastline which runs alongside the 18th hole. As such, the Pacific Ocean dominates the right side of the fairway from the tee up to the green. The green itself is also surrounded by bunkers for any balls that do not land on the green. As the finishing hole of the Pebble Beach course it has also been a great championship hole for the numerous US Opens that have been played on the course. This hole is therefore included in the book 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes as the best 18th hole, and also as one of the great ocean holes.

12th Hole at Augusta:

The 12th hole at Augusta is another of America’s famous championship golf holes. The Masters is the annual golf championship that is played at the Augusta golf course, and one of the course’s highlights is that of the 12th Golden Bell hole. This hole is a 155 yard par 3 that is dominated by the water of Rae’s Creek. As such, this creek has to be cleared first before the players can cross the famous Ben Hogan Bridge that links the tee to the green across the water. The green itself is close to the water-side, and so any ball that lands on grass around it can potentially end up back in the water if the ball rolls the wrong way upon landing. As such, the Golden Bell is one of the key holes in the Masters where golfers can potentially add numbers to their scorecards if their ball lands in the water. It is perhaps the most famous championship golf hole.

17th Hole at the Stadium Course:

The Players’ Championship is one of the flagship events of the PGA Tour. It is not counted as one of the four Majors, but many consider the Players’ Championship to be a fifth Major that has always been among the highlights of the PGA Tour calendar. This golf championship is played at the Stadium Course, and the signature hole of this course is the 17th hole. The 17th hole is a short 132 yard par 3 that, to a greater extent than the Golden Bell at Augusta, is dominated by water. In fact, with the exception of the green the hole pretty much is water as it is located in a lake and the hole is called the Island Green. This ensures that the hole is one of the most exciting on the PGA Tour, and you can be sure that there are a lot of golf balls at the bottom of the surrounding lake!

These are three great American golf holes. The 18th at Pebble Beach, the 12th at Augusta and 16th at the TPC Scottsdale are all renowned golf holes at courses such as Pebble Beach, Augusta and Stadium Course.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Golf Poll Update

There is just now six days left to vote in the Amateur Golfer poll: Which is the best European Golf Destination? At the moment the United Kingdom has the most votes, but this can change with a few more votes for another country. So, please add your vote to the golf poll.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Ideal Half-Set of Golf Clubs

While you can take 14 golf clubs onto a golf course, in truth a half-set can be fine for a round of golf. However, you need to consider which golf clubs the half-set will include. As such, these are the seven good clubs to make up an ideal half-set.

The Putter:

To begin with the most obvious, as you probably will not putt so well with the iron golf clubs! As such, your putter is the most essential golf club of the half-set. Note that the putter can also be used off the green as well as a Texas Wedge.

Sand Wedge:

After the putter, you will need to take at least one wedge onto the course with you. For this the sand wedge is probably the best option as the club is specifically for bunker play. It can also be a good club for shorter distance chipping and pitching around the green.

The Irons:

You will need to take three irons onto the golf course. A longer distance, mid-distance and shorter distance iron should be included in the golf bag. In this respect, a 5-iron, 7-iron and 9-iron should be suitable iron clubs for a half-set.

The Woods:

Then a couple of woods can be taken out onto the course as well. A shorter distance and longer distance wood for the longer holes should therefore be included. 7-woods are good clubs that can be suitable for both the tees and the fairways, and even if you land in longer rough grass around the fairway. Take one of these onto the course, as well as a long wood of your choosing; anything from a 4-wood to the longest drivers depending on preference.

These seven golf clubs are a good selection of clubs for a half-set. One putter, three irons, a wedge and a couple of woods. If you must take one more eighth club onto the course then an additional longer distance wedge may be handy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

50 Posts on Amateur Golfer!

Well actually, it’s now 51 blog posts on Amateur Golfer with this blog post included. Still, it’s great to make it up to and over the 50 blog post mark. You can browse through the 50 blog posts included on this blog with the blog archive below the Helium article links. Or alternatively, note The Best of this Blog post which includes links to some of the best blog posts on Amateur Golfer. And of course there will be plenty more posts on AG.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Ryder Cup of Amateur Golf

The Ryder Cup was the Olympics of golf before golf was announced as an Olympic sport. Undoubtedly, alongside the Majors it is one of the great golf championships which includes most of golf’s top ranked players on the EU and US teams. In the amateur game there is also an equivalent of this great golf championship: the Walker Cup.

The Walker Cup is a match-play team based golf championship just like the Ryder Cup, however it is an amateur golf championship played between the US and Great Britain & Ireland teams. As such, it includes top amateur players from these countries.

Like the Ryder Cup in recent decades the Walker Cup has been much more competitive. However, it did not require an EU team to make the difference, perhaps highlighting a notable improvement in British golf. Although, it is the US team that are defending the Walker Cup in 2011.

The Walker Cup is currently taking place at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. The latest score-line is 7 – 5 to Great Britain and Ireland after the first day’s play. Of course, this can still change, but if this score is anything to go by then British golf could have more to celebrate in 2011! For further details on the Walker Cup visit the Walker Cup website.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Golf Poll

Some may have noticed the golf poll at the top right of this blog, the first poll ever included on Amateur Golfer. This golf poll asks: which is the best European golf destination? I have included eleven of Europe’s bigger golfing destinations to vote for.

At the moment only one vote has been made on this golf poll. I voted for Spain as this is a great golfing destination that has a number of PGA Tour venues and golf resorts, as found at the Costa del Sol. The Costa del Sol includes the famous golf course Valderrama which has been a venue for the Ryder Cup. Further to this, the Costa Brava, Balearic Islands and the Andalusia also have some notable golf courses. So, for me this is Europe’s best golfing destination.

However, there are ten other potential alternative golfing destinations that you can vote for. So, please vote in the golf poll. The closing date of this poll is the 1st October, and I will post again proclaiming the winner of the best European golf destination poll.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Golf Course I Play At

The Golf Course that I play at is Westridge Golf Course. It’s a short 9 hole golf course that could almost be a par 3 golf course were it not for a couple of 300 yard plus holes. It has no par five holes. As such, it’s a great course for a quick round. Here’s a brief run-down of its holes.

Hole One: 176 Yard Par 3

The first hole is a fairly average straight par 3 hole, which includes a fairway running up to the green. So, you do not have to make it onto the green. You cannot really lose your ball on this one, but the green has bunkers on the left and right side.

Hole Two: 315 Yard Par 4

One of the longest holes on the course is the 2nd par 4 hole. It’s also one of the hardest on the golf course as is surrounded by trees and bushes so you can certainly lose balls on this one. The hole includes a sharp turn after about 200 yards, with another 100 yards leading up the green. As such, a 200 yard tee-shot is required to give you a clear shot to the green.

Hole Three: 232 Yard Par 3

This long par three is another hole surrounded by bushes and hedges, and requires a tee-shot over bushes to make it onto the fairway or green. On the score card it has a stroke index of one, so it is the course’s signature hole. As such, you can lose balls on this one as well.

Hole Four: 235 Yard Par 4

After those holes the bushes begin to disperse. However, this short par 4 still has bushes along the left side of the fairway.

Hole Five: 342 Yard Par 4

This is the longest hole on the golf course. A good one hundred yards is required to make it onto the fairway, and it also includes fairway bunkers. The green has two bunkers on its left and right side.

Hole Six: 240 Yard Par 4

After the longest hole on the course comes this short par 4. In fact, it was originally a long par 3. As a par 4 it’s one of the easier holes on the golf course with at least one hundred yards of fairway to aim for.

Hole Seven: 101 Yard Par 3

The shortest hole on the golf course is this 101 yard par 3. So, this has the highest stroke index of the course’s holes. However, some may over-hit on this hole even with a nine iron, so wedges can be an alternative. Two bunkers are also located in front of the green if your ball ends up falling short.

Hole Eight: 209 Yard Par 3

This hole is a longer distance par three that also includes the course's only water hazard. Two small lakes are located approximately half-way up this hole, so you require about 125 yard to make the fairway beyond these. The hole also has a sloped fairway which runs slightly up-hill towards the green.

Hole Nine: 130 Yard Par 3

The final hole is a much shorter par 3 that also includes a fairway. As such, a six or seven iron is usually a suitable club for this hole. Although the hole has a ropey sloped green which makes three putts more likely.

As such, with these holes the course is a par 32, and 64 over 18. Although, the course will get much bigger as a further nine holes are scheduled to be added to it which will extend it to an 18 hole golf course.