blue_monster_hole_18

 

The Blue Monster measures 7,288 yards as a par 72.  It’s got a lot of water and creative bunkerage, but it’s pretty boring until you get to 18.  So instead of talking about the rest of the holes (here you go…they’re all long and straight), I’m just going to focus on 18.

 

18 is a true risk/reward hole.  With water all along the left side and trees on the right, accuracy as at a premium, and each shot requires integrity.  While the hole is a long par 4 regardless, when the wind is blowing into you, it plays almost like a short par 5, and makes it a real beast to make up ground on.

 

This is a hole for long hitters, so I’m sorry Zach Johnson.  The drive requires a 300 yard carry to the widest part of the fairway, and if you can’t carry it over the water, then your forced to drive into a 15 yard wide bottleneck that leaves you no room for error.  The approach shot is a long iron for the shorter hitters and a mid iron for the longer guys, but if the wind is blowing into you, you might consider laying up as Tiger did in 2006.

 

The green is protected by bunkers and water, and even if you get on there, it’s heavily undulating and has the typically, heavily grained Bermuda greens that require experience to get through.  This is a beast of a hole, and, in my opinion, is one of the better finishing holes on the PGA Tour rota. 

 

While the rest of the course is your typical Florida resort course, the 18th makes for a true championship test.  Sure, the Blue Monster isn’t Bay Hill or Seminole, but it’s still a fantastic course that’s infinitely better than that dog track they played the Honda on last week.  Plus, while it may be a little boring, it always produces a rollercoaster ride, and the golf is usually as fun as it gets.  We’re probably in for a shootout, and I can’t wait.

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