Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hole-by-Hole Descriptions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hole-by-Hole Descriptions

Article excerpt

No. 1, 420 yards, Par 4

The opening hole at Bellerive might best typify architect Robert Trent Jones' description of a great golf hole as a "difficult par, but a comfortable bogey." The crowned fairway may be the most elusive of all to find with the tee shot, so the longer hitters may choose a 3-wood to begin their round, as the bunkers squeeze the landing area. Most players will hit a mid-to-short iron to this wide green. The player hitting his shot from the rough will have a hard time holding the green when the hole is located on the left.

No. 2, 375 yards, Par 4

The second hole was probably the most dramatic hole in the renovation of '06. It used to be a really tough dogleg-left par 4 where you couldn't see the green from the tee. One of the main issues in the redesign was drainage. The existing creek was transformed into a lake, which shortened the hole by 20 yards. If the player gets the ball in the fairway off the tee, he will be able to aggressively attack any hole location. If not, the player will have to play safe from a lie in the rough.

No. 3, 149 yards, Par 3

An enticing par 3, this hole should offer several birdie opportunities, but beware the poorly struck iron shot. Water semi- surrounds the green, making the right side and back hole locations dangerous to access. If the cup is cut over the left ridge, there will be a good chance to see a hole-in-one that day.

No. 4, 522 yards, Par 5

The players will try and drive the tee shot over the left fairway bunker, keeping the ball inside the opposite bunker to get a shot at this well-protected green in two. At 522 yards, this par 5 may give up a few eagles during the week, making it an exciting hole to watch. Tee shots finding the rough or bunkers will have to lay up to the 80- to 100-yard range, short of the treacherous bunkers just on the right side of the fairway. Players would like to make birdie here before going on to the next two difficult holes.

No. 5, 468 yards, Par 4

This is one of the classic Trent Jones par 4's. Any kind of par will be much appreciated here, with the rare birdie chance coming when the hole is cut on the left side of the massive green. All tee shots kick to the right, toward an always thick and healthy rough. Unfortunately, the left rough is even harder to negotiate. My advice is to get the ball in the fairway under any circumstances.

No. 6, 209 yards, Par 3

This is the signature par 3 at Bellerive. In the 1965 U.S. Open, this hole played to an incredible 4.03 stroke average! The green has even shrunk a bit since the renovation, making the front of the green just as tough as the back-right shelf. This would definitely be a hole worth watching as a spectator. Hole locations cut in the middle swale could provide some excitement with tee shots feeding towards the cup. But still, plan on seeing a few "train wrecks" at No. 6.

No. 7, 373 yards, Par 4

This is the easiest par 4 on the front nine. The right tee shot puts a wedge in the player's hands, allowing a welcomed scoring opportunity. However, the green is well guarded and undulating, making it difficult to control approach shots coming from outside the fairway.

No. 8, 555 yards, Par 5

This hole has just undergone a slight change to the landing area off the tee. The left fairway bunker, which guarded the dogleg, has been removed. This allows the players to take an aggressive line that potentially gives them an opportunity to get home

in two. Still, at 555 yards, it will take two good strikes to reach the green. The creek that hugs the right side of the fairway is now exposed, making golfers think twice when laying up for their second shot. This green offers a wide, but shallow target. Any hole cut on the left is protected by two deep bunkers.

No. 9, 435 yards, Par 4

You can take your pick between hole Nos. 5, 10 and 15 as the toughest of the par 4's at Bellerive, but this hole may yield as many bogeys as the big boys. …

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