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Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why
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TOPIC: Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why

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mlslaw
Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why
Member Since:
    November 6, 2004


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Saturday April 22, 2017 7:28 PM
My nomination is Moorpark's Tierra Rejada's par 5 opener. Very tough from whatever tees. A slice or fade puts you on a hillside or worse, on the wrong upper fairway of no. 9. A veer too far left and you reach the driving range fence.

Assuming your drive is actually in position, the second shot is very exacting with water running down the left side as well as a ravine fall off and hazardous brush on the right side hill adding up to a very narrow target, requiring a very accurate fairway metal on the very second shot of the round.

Playing conservative with a shorter 2d shot will leave you with an uneven lie facing a longer, more difficult 3d shot carry into a green well guarded by water on the left. A tad short and left will get you wet.

The green is no picnic either. Undulated and tricky to figure the right speed to get close. This is a far cry from a nice, inviting opening "warm up" hole (like Rustic, e.g.). This opener is an attention getter that can make -- or break -- a round.
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 Message #83419
abbacat
RE: Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

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Saturday April 22, 2017 8:20 PM
I remember that one...it was my first ever 5 par birdie. So I happily have a different opinion of it . My vote for toughest opening hole is #1 at Desert Dunes. A par five with a very narrow fairway with bunkers on the left, a ditch on the right the full length of the hole. It narrows down to a very tight dogleg about 50 yds from the slick, slopey green. I'm always happy enough to start a round there with a double!
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 Message #83421 - This was a reply to message #83419
golferic420
RE: Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why
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    July 25, 2016


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Saturday April 22, 2017 8:47 PM
Anaheim Hills #1 with that dang tree comes to mind.
Rio Hondo also has a tough opening hole.
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 Message #83422 - This was a reply to message #83419
Itslikeimsayin
RE: Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

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    July 21, 2003


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Saturday April 22, 2017 9:43 PM
I agree with Tierra Rejada being a really tough opener. I'd add Shorecliffs as well, where tricky angles on the second shot bring all kinds of trouble into play, and the entire giant dogleg left par 5 has OB right and lateral left.

Semi-related, I find the opening tee shot at Dos Lagos very intimidating. Bunkers, lake, OB and a fairway that looks like it narrows considerably in the landing area.
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 Message #83423 - This was a reply to message #83422
sixpez
RE: Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why
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sixpez: sixpez - Golf Normad GK Event: Played in a GK Event GK Cup: Past & Current Champions of The GK Cup

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    October 16, 2003


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Sunday April 23, 2017 7:45 AM
Surprised Itslikeimsayin didn't say Industry Hills (Zaharias)! Sorry to bring it up Mark, but I can't resist : )

I've never had a problem with Tierra Rejada. The approach is a little intimidating over the water on the first hole, but I've always scored well there. For me, any par-5 starter is a friendly gesture. Of course, I am not going for any greens in two, so a three-shot hole is usually a gentler way to ease into a round for me personally.

I will submit one that is tough in relation to the course it is on. Costa Mesa CC (Mesa Linda). I definitely DON'T think it's the toughest opener around because it's actually a fairly straightforward hole, but its length doesn't fit the character of the rest of the course. This is a short target course and that's all of the fun in playing it. However, that first hole is either 440 from the blues or 431 from the whites as a par-4 (and always into the wind if playing in the afternoon). That is almost as long as some of the par-5s on this course, so it has always stuck out to me as an odd opener for this particular course.

I always contended they should swap the first holes on the two courses. That would give Mesa an easier par-5 to open and also would get rid of the dumb back-to-back par-5s to start Lagos. Both courses would change to par-71. Geographically, it would also be a fairly easy switcheroo.

Otherwise, I must mention La Cañada Flintridge CC and it's evil par-3 opening hole!!!

I'm sure I'll think of others, but that's what comes to mind right now.
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 Message #83424 - This was a reply to message #83423
bsparks1961
RE: Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why

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Sunday April 23, 2017 8:15 AM
the hole that "historically" has given me the biggest # has been at Hidden Valley....seems like it should play to an easy Par, but i have never done better than bogie and have had triple or worse more times than i care to remember.
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 Message #83425 - This was a reply to message #83424
Rat-Patrol
RE: Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

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    April 20, 2013


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Sunday April 23, 2017 8:45 AM
Either opening hole at Torrey Pines is rather difficult. South around 440 straight into the wind or North around 400+ into a cross breeze, both with thick, sticky rough, deep bunkers and hard fast greens awaiting you. It was a bit easier start before they switched the nines on the North course, before warming up with a par 5, short par 4 then a par 3. Now you are thrown right into the fire with a tough par 4.
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 Message #83426 - This was a reply to message #83424
weber
RE: Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why
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    December 4, 2002


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Sunday April 23, 2017 10:05 AM
I have always found #1 at Knollwood to be a very difficult starting hole. At 429 yards, plying uphill, with OB on the righat, trees and downhill/sidehill if you miss left to a green which has some subtle breaks. Tough start. However, which I suspect the majority of people have not played it, the first on the North course at Coto de Caza is brutal. Even from the shorter blue tees at 540, it takes a drive of at least 240 - straight - just to make it to the dogleg. From the gold at 585 and black at 601, you have to add 40/60 yards to that, just to have a clear second shot. Anything to the right side is either gone, or blocked by the trees, and if you favor the left side, the ball runs away downhill causing even a longer distance with now a blind second shot.

If somehow you find the fairway, out far enough, there is trouble all down the right side, and a series of bunkers down the left. When you finally reach the green, lots of subtle breaks. Many a round has been destroyed before you even get to #2. Great hole, but does NOT belong as number 1
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 Message #83427 - This was a reply to message #83426
Itslikeimsayin
RE: Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

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    July 21, 2003


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Sunday April 23, 2017 10:21 AM
QUOTED  Surprised Itslikeimsayin didn't say Industry Hills (Zaharias)! Sorry to bring it up Mark, but I can't resist : )


Oh, you're thinking of "Highest Number of Embarrassing Bad Shots on a SoCal Opening Hole," which is a different topic.
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 Message #83428 - This was a reply to message #83424
Nickesquire
RE: Toughest opening hole in So Cal and why
GK Event: Played in a GK Event

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Sunday April 23, 2017 10:25 AM
#1 @ Knollwood is a very tough opening par 4. There is OB right with the driving range and trees/homes left off the tee. The par 4 measures 429 from the Blues, and with the 2nd shot severely uphill, it plays 440+. I remember we had a GK Event there years ago where no one in the entire field made par.

Agree #1 @ TR is a tough opener for all the reasons stated. #1 @ Champions Club is both a poorly designed AND a hard golf hole, especially to start a round on. Depending on how much grass there is on the fairway, a medium to long iron is all you can hit off the tee on a par 5 to lay up as close as you can to the ravine. At that point, you can either hit a short to medium iron over the ravine to a small, sloping fairway to set up a short iron approach. Or you can try and pound a longer club toward a very wide, but not overly deep tiered green well protected by bunkers. Anything short is in a bunker, rolls back down the hill or you have a pitch overt junk from an up/side hill lie. The green is very severe.

Starting from the tee, you go radically downhill, radically downhill, then radically uphill if you play this as a 3 shot hole. Probably more elevation change both up/down in the same golf hole as any hole I have ever played.

From a design perspective, the only thing missing is the clown's legs to putt through once you finally reach the green. From a difficulty perspective, I made 7 the one time I successfully went for and hit the green in 2. I hardly ever hit the small, sloping fairway attempting to play smart with a layup 2nd shot. Even assuming you accomplish smart tee and lay-up shots, hitting the green that is straight up the hill is not a given with a short iron from usually tight, hardpan fairways. The few times I parred this hole I felt like I made birdie.

[[Edited by Nickesquire on Wednesday April 26, 2017 8:50 AM]]
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The goal is long and straight! But on the many times I cannot seem to hit them straight, I at least want to hit them long!
 Message #83429 - This was a reply to message #83426

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