Thousand Hills Golf Resort’s third hole has been labeled as one of the toughest par 4 in Missouri. There are many more ways not to play the ninth hole than there are to play the hole. A good tee shot in the fairway does not mean that you are left with an iron into the green, a two putt and score a par. If you are in the fairway off the tee that just leaves you with a lot of options. Let’s examine this a little closer.
Tale of the tape:
Yardage; 460/417 Blue 417/380 White 350 Red
Characteristics; severe elevation changes and trouble all around
Off of the tee Thousand Hills Golf Resort’s ninth hole starts out as deceiving. Looking down the fairway it looks like the optimal shot is straight away but it is actually about twenty yards to the left for a clean shot to the green. Too far left and you’ll be facing a long rough shot: too far right and you might find a lie in the rough at best or put one in Wildwood creek at worst; being in the fairway isn’t necessarily a picnic if you don’t get far enough to land on the flat part of the fairway, you very well could end up with a downhill lie shooting to an elevated green.
The second shot is where all the options start. If the hole is playing to 460 yards this could very well be a lay up shot to get close enough to be able to stick it on the green. If you have not hit the ball to the flat you are going to be on a downhill lie with a long to mid length iron in your hand shooting to a green that is elevated 30 feet above the approach. The roundish green: is sloped to the front and guarded by bunkers on the right and left sides; has a thirty foot cliff in front with very little room between it and the edge of the green; has a fifteen foot cliff in the back, with very little room between it and the green; and Wildwood creek runs directly in front of green. That’s a whole lot of hazard in one area.
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The green poses its own set of problems. Although it is not one of the larger greens, so putts won’t tend to be extremely long, it is definitely one of the more sloped greens. It slopes to the front with varying degrees of severity making close placement a must. Make sure you are below the pin as speed judgment and break can change considerably throughout the day.
Good luck on this monster, quite frequently a bogey is a good score.
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