Hole No. 15 at Brasada Canyons GC - Most Interesting Holes Series
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Seventeenth in our OGA series about the Most Interesting Holes is the 15th hole at Brasada Canyons.
Brasada Canyon’s 15th hole is a par 4 with tees at 377, 333, 292 and 260. Take a moment to breath in the beautiful view, and then get to work.
If I was ever asked to define the term “risk/reward” I might put up a picture of this golf hole. Each tee has its own set of challenges. Golfers could choose to lay up to nice wide fairway landing zones or hit long shots over the native areas, known as ‘extreme rough’ in the USGA Course Rating System. The areas of extreme rough could either result in a lost ball or cause difficult recovery getting the ball back to the fairway. Long hitters can take the dogleg out of play, but that would require a perfect shot carrying over an extreme length of rough as well as bunkers, but they need to be aware of traveling too far and going through the far side of the fairway.
The bunkers that pepper both sides of the fairway are carved into fairly severe puzzle shapes. Between the shape, number and depth of the bunkers, they earn an additional difficulty factor of Extreme. Golfers whose landing zone is right at the pivot point of the dogleg have a narrow landing zone with bunkers on both sides creating a natural Squeeze where bunkers are within 15 yards of the center of the fairway on both sides.
The green is over twice as long as it is wide. Depending on the angle that the golfer is approaching, it could be a nice opening for a long roll out and putt, or carry over a bunker to a very narrow landing area where if the shot is too long it could be either in yet another bunker or in some gnarly extreme rough.
Thinking of this hole and basic principles of Course Rating, the team of trained volunteers needs to remember that we are tasked to rate the course as if the golfer is playing a straight shot to the center of the fairway and green. We have set shot lengths that we have to use for Scratch and Bogey, Male and Female golfer. Since Brasada is located at between 3200 and 3500 feet of elevation, we also add yardage to those shot lengths. For instance, the golfer who would hit 250 yards at sea-level is now hitting 261.
These shot lengths are very important. To carry any hazard, in this case the combination of extreme rough and bunkers, the golfer needs to carry to a safe landing zone at least 10 yards beyond the edge of the trouble. If they can’t carry that length, we would have to consider a dogleg adjustment where a golfer lays up to a pivot point. Or, in the case of this hole since the forward Silver tee, measured to 260 yards at the pivot point, is now reachable for the long hitter. Since they can safely carry the bunkers on the left side of the fairway, they now has a 240 yard shot to the green. Dogleg holes can either add to the Effective Playing Length (EPL) of a hole, where the player must lay up, or subtract from the EPL of a hole when the golfer can carry over trouble reducing the shot length to the green.
From Zach Swoffer, Brasada’s Director of Golf:
“The entire hole is based upon risk and reward. A short par 4 (depending upon your tee) with a prevailing tail wind most often can find you putting for eagle or birdie. Beware though plenty of bunkers and native areas surround this hole that can make a red number black very soon.”
The 15th hole at Brasada Canyons earned 53 votes to finish in 17th place in the OGA's "18 Most Interesting Holes" contest. Throughout the year Gretchen Yoder, OGA Manger of Course Rating & Handicapping, will explain what makes each hole unique and describe the ideas behind rating these gems.
Next Up: Hole No. 12 at Camas Meadows GC - the final entry.