By Gretchen Yoder, Manager of Handicapping & Course Rating
Third in our OGA series about the Most Interesting Holes is the Par 4 at Willamette Valley Country Club in Canby, Ore. The beautiful signature hole is a short, yet challenging, par 4 that features the WVCC logo on the hillside of the water feature that flows into the pond that separates the green from the fairway.
The further back a player goes, the more they are impacted by the right to left dogleg. The back tees could force a player to layup even further behind the water hazard than they would normally choose since playing a full tee shot straight off the tee to avoid the tree on the left, could put a golfer in the thick trees to the right side of the fairway. With tees from 397- 245 yards in length, the further a player goes back, the more the impact of the dogleg.
The water hazard forces a layup about 80 yards short of the green. For those who have pin point accuracy, or a bit of water fear, there is a small strip of grass less, than 10 yards wide, to the left of the hazard where they could skirt the water. From a Course Rating standpoint, any fairway that is less than 13 yards wide qualifies as a Forced Lay-Up. Any time either a Forced Lay-Up or Dogleg impacts the length of a shot that changes the Effective Playing Length of the course. Basicly, the course effectively plays longer, because the lay-up forces a longer seconod shot to the green.
The green is highly contoured with 4 different plateaus. This green meets the requirements of a Tier by USGA Course Rating standards. It has at least 2 feet of elevation change and it crosses at least 50% of the green. In addition to the tier, the green is still highly contoured. It’s not unheard of for a longer putt to break in multiple directions in one attempt. When a green is tiered, it makes it more difficult for a golfer to hit close to the hole, impacting the Green Target for both the Scratch and Bogey golfer. It is also much more difficult for the Bogey golfer and receives an added adjustment to the Green Surface.
From their website Pro's Advice: You will want to draw your tee shot, especially from the longer tees. The second shot to this three tiered green must be on the same tier as the hole or else two putting could be difficult.
*The 16th hole at Willamette Valley earned 212 fan votes to earn third place in the OGA 2017 Edition of the "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. 18 Sandpines Golf Links - Florence, Ore.