Blackstone #14

524 • 499 • 460 • 409 // Par 5

A very reachable par 5, but I wonder if a strategic layup isn’t a smart play in many cases.

It is very difficult to hold the green with a second shot here. Not only is the green extremely narrow, it is blind and set below the level of the desert, so any shot landing on the bank between the desert and the green is going to kick hard and likely go over the green. Any shot landing on the green is also likely to run through. Your best best to hold the green with a second shot is to hit your drive as close to the right side of the fairway as possible, which is more dangerous, of course, but makes the green play longer rather than shallow.

The other clever feature of the hole, which doesn’t come through well in the aerial but can be somewhat seen in the drone view below, is that Engh built a number of humps and bumps through this fairway, so flat lies are not guaranteed, which can add a whole other consideration to the mix when trying to decide how to approach the hole.

And if you go for it and miss, the variety of potential outcomes is appealingly varied. Long or right in the fairway is not bad at all, it leaves a fairly simple chip uphill. But you could find the pot bunker, could go long into the desert, or could come up short in the desert all of which are far less appealing.

Very much a hole where eagle and double are both readily in play and, even better, the best way to make double is to try to make eagle.

From behind the green looking back toward the fairway (Credit: Blackstone CC)