Fifth in our OGA series about the 18 Most Interesting Holes is Hole No. 2 at Eagle Crest’s Resort Course.
The “Canyon Hole” is particularly challenging. With tees at 481, 467, 464 and 385, this par 5 can play much longer if the golfer is not hitting straight. The fairway is carved into a bowl. It is less than 25 yards wide with trees and extreme rough on both sides. A wayward golf ball might be found, but getting it back into play would be quite a chore.
About 150 yards from the green, there is a dogleg to the right. Only an incredibly brave (or slightly crazy!) golfer would attempt the completely blind shot to the green over the corner. If the fairway wasn’t daunting enough, the green keeps the challenge going. There is a very narrow opening between two bunkers to a fairly small green, still surrounded by steep hillside with rough, shrubs and trees.
From the Resort Course website:
The Resort Course’s #2, par-5 signature hole tees off eight stories above the Canyon floor and features a nearly 90-degree dog-leg right. This hole begs the question, “how confident are you in your driver?” … The safe play is your most reliable iron and going for the green in regulation. But, as we all know, the safe play will not be the talk of the 19th hole.
From a Course Rating standpoint, we must always rate a straight shot to the center of the fairway or green using specified shot lengths. If a golfer is FORCED to lay up due to a dogleg, that technically makes the hole play longer than its measured length. This is called an Effective Playing Length (EPL) adjustment. For instance if a golfer must lay up 40 yards short of their normal shot length, that makes the Effective Playing Length of the hole 40 yards longer. This would affect their next subsequent landing areas and shot length to the green.
If a golfer would CHOOSE to layup to a different landing zone, this would not affect the EPL of the hole, but it still would adjust landing zones. Choice layups happen when there are minor issues that a golfer may want to avoid (topography, close water, bunkers etc.). Forced layups are when a player must layup (severe obstacles).
We rate for the Scratch (Course Handicap of 0) and Bogey (C. H. of 20-22) from each set of tees. We might have to rate a course where the Bogey has a layup but the Scratch does not, or vice versa. Some holes we have to adjust for both golfers.
** The second hole at Eagle Crest Resort Course earned 149 fan votes to earn fifth-place recognition in the OGA 2017 Edition of the 18 Most Interesting Holes Series contest. Throughout the year Gretchen Yoder, OGA Manager of Course Rating & Handicapping, will explain what makes each hole unique and describe the ideas behind rating these gems.
"The popular opinions of this hole are either love or hate, seldom anything in between.” - Jim Hawkes, Handicap Chair and OGA Director for Eagle Crest