Spyglass Hill #4 (Blind Pew)

370 • 358 • 345 • 299 // Par 4

The fourth at Spyglass has one of the most photographed greens anywhere but, as is so often the case, pictures don’t fully do it justice and they certainly don’t tell the story of how the green affects the hole.

The drive is slightly downhill to a fairway that is very wide at first but that narrows consistently the farther you play. But for most hole locations you would like to get your drive as far down the fairway as possible to set up a view down the length of the green for your second shot.

The green is no more than 12 paces deep and set between dunes. If you lay back to the wide part of the fairway (it’s as wide as 50 yards at one point!), you’ll have no view of the green surface and be aiming at an incredibly shallow target. But if you take on more risk with the tee shot and hit it into the narrower fairway (it shrinks down to about 19 yards wide), you open up the angle to where you can play down the length of the green and use the dunes on either side as sideboards. Of course, you have to find the fairway, rather than the thick Spyglass rough or the trees to the right or the dunes to the left.

There’s a tongue of green short that’s just as narrow but is set on a different angle and doesn’t require quite such a long tee shot. It’s easy enough to check the hole location from the second tee to see where the hole is the day you play. If the hole is in front you can get a good angle without playing as far down the fairway. However, the whole green runs away from the player and it’s very hard to stop even a wedge or short iron on the front part of the green. As it tuns out, the best way to get a ball to stop near a front hole location is to get your tee shot well down the fairway so you can play a short shot into the side slope of the green and let it feed back.

Photo credit: USGA/Kirk H. Owens