The Olympic Club Lake Course in San Francisco is short at just 6,800 yards. It has only one fairway bunker and at 240 yards off the tee, it serves no purpose at all.There's hardly any out-of-bounds, and even though it's called the Lake Course, there isn't a water hazard anywhere (credit nearby Lake Merced for the name). There is no way to loose a ball unless you get it stuck in a tree. Sounds pretty easy, dosen't it? Yet this is a four time United States Open Course!
What makes it so tough? There's few level lies anywhere, the short holes are uphill, the wind and the grass. Deep grass. If the slanted fairways don't kill you the subtle greens will. There are no simple lies and no easy putts. Then there's the funny little rolls on the greens. No fairway is wider than 31 yards. The greens are surrounded by a 30 inch band of intermediate 1 1/2 inch rough, followed by a primary rough of 5 to 6 inches. The combination of all these will rip your scorecard to shreds!
The Stimpmeter reads 11 on these greens and most putts seem downhill. The toughest holes are the second through the fifth. They have been dubbed, "Quake Corner". It has been said that these 4 holes are the 4 hardest holes, in a row, on the tour. Number 6 is a very difficult hole also, making the front 9 a nightmare. Most will agree that a tournament will be won or lost on the front side. The greens are small and it takes a very patient player to score at Olympic. Par during the Open is 70 and few players have ever seen it.
the valderrama golf club
The Valderrama Golf Club, on Spain's Costa del Sol is a place where birdies are a precious commodity. It is also the only course outside the United States and Canada to be a fully certified member of the International Audubon Society's Cooperative Sanctuary Program. The course is a classic Robert Trent Jones example. At 6,819 yards it isn't very long but it is very tough. The best landing areas are not far down the fairway so distance is not important. The best players will use their drivers a few times, but no more, or they'll pay the price.
The greens are slick but so are the fairways, as green-mowers are used to cut the fairways. The back nine is the test here, a place where par is as good as a birdie. Trees encroach on both sides as the fairways narrow. This course requires not only the correct club from the tee, but one must also hit it straight, and equally important, drive the correct distance.
70 miles south of Denver is an excellant example of a Donald Ross design on the East Course and a classic Robert Trent Jones West Course. The property is over 3,000 acres of golf at it's finest. Along with the Mountain Course this facility will test every shot in your bag, so bring plenty of balls.
There are slick, undulating greens (9.5 on the Stimpmeter) and tight fairways. A 408 yard number 6 on the East that calls for a demanding tee shot over a lake. A top notch resort that includes 9 restaurants, spa, swimming, tennis and horseback riding. The practice facility is fantastic, including a 10,000 square foot putting green.