PGA CHAMPIONSHIP ’18: A look at Bellerive Country Club
ST. LOUIS (AP) A hole-by-hole look at Bellerive Country Club, site of the 100th PGA Championship to be played Aug. 9-12:
No. 1, 425 yards, par 4
While not a long opening hole – this is 99 yards shorter than the par-4 opening hole last year at Quail Hollow – the crowned fairway makes it difficult to hit. Most players will opt for a lesser club than driver to avoid bunkers that squeeze the landing area. The green is wide, but the left pin position will be difficult to access, especially from the rough.
No. 2, 410 yards, par 4
The hole previously had a creek down the left side of this dogleg left, but now it has been transformed into a lake, which made the hole 20 yards shorter. A bunker is on the right side of the landing area. Hitting the fairway should allow players to attack the pin with a short iron.
No. 3, 148 yards, par 3
The green is fronted by water, which will make the right and back pin positions the toughest to reach. A bunker is at the back of the green, but with only a wedge, that likely won’t come into play. When the hole is over the left ridge, it should be easy to get shots close.
No. 4, 521 yards, par 4
This plays as a par 5 for members. The drive should move from right to left to avoid bunkers and deep rough. With the length of the hole, missing the fairway will make it difficult to reach the green with the second shot.
No. 5, 471 yards, par 4
There are no bunkers in play on the tee shot. Two large bunkers guard the front of the putting surface, which fits the club’s claim to have the longest bunker shots in championship golf. The best birdie chance should be when the pin is on the left side of a wide green.
No. 6, 213 yards, par 3
A swale in the middle of the green should make for an exciting par 3 when the pin is there and balls feed toward the cup. Water guards mostly the right side, so the front and back-right pin positions figure to be the hardest. This hole played to a 4.03 scoring average in the 1965 U.S. Open.
No. 7, 394 yards, par 4
The shortest par 4 on the front nine should give way to plenty of birdies. There is a creek behind and left of the green, so players will have to be careful if they’re approaching the green from the rough.
No. 8, 610 yards, par 5
A fairway bunker on the left has been removed on this slight dogleg to the left, allowing players to be more aggressive off the tee and set up a chance to reach the green in two. A creek runs along the right side of the fairway. The green is wide but shallow and protected by bunkers on the left.
No. 9, 433 yards par 4
This hole features an uphill approach to the most complicated green on the course, making it difficult to gauge the right distance. The best chance for birdies will be when the pin position is to the front in a bowl.
No. 10, 508 yards, par 4
This is the other hole that plays as a par 5 for members. Players must hit the fairway to reach the green with the second shot, especially with a creek in front of the green. The green is wide and shallow, and most players will happily take par to start the back nine.
No. 11, 355 yards, par 4
On the shortest par 4 at Bellerive, the tees might be moved up for one round to tempt players to go for the green. Otherwise, it’s a matter of laying up to whatever distance the player chooses. The toughest pin position is back and to the right, especially if the player approaches with anything but a clean lie.
No. 12, 452 yards, par 4
This starts with an elevated tee to a dogleg left, the main objective avoiding the fairway bunkers on the left. Once in the fairway, a short iron would be required to the green. Nick Price made a 105-foot putt when he won the 1992 PGA Championship.
No. 13, 180 yards, par 3
This par 3 is likely to yield plenty of birdies when the pin position is on the left side of the green. When it’s toward the back or to the right, the green complex makes it a tough two-putt. The putting surface features slopes and ridges.
No. 14, 410 yards, par 4
One of the more picturesque holes on the course, players will hit their approach shots into a green that overlooks the lower holes on the course and provide beautiful views. Provided the tee shot is in play, it should provide plenty of birdies, too.
No. 15, 495 yards, par 4
This typically plays into the breeze, and an accurate tee shot is critical. That will allow a mid-iron into a wide, shallow green. A steep slope from right-to-left and large bunkers in the front will challenge anyone who has to scramble for par.
No. 16, 237 yards, par 3
The longest par 3 on the course features two large bunkers beneath the front of the green, making for a difficult par save. The green is large and accessible with a long iron, but big misses are likely to lead to dropped shots.
No. 17, 597 yards, par 5
There are two options for tee boxes, one that will make it easier for everyone to go for the green in two. A creek runs along the right side. Most players will lay up to the cross bunker that splits the fairway, leaving a wedge to a green that his sharply defined by three sections.
No. 18, 457 yards, par 4
An accurate tee shot will go a long way at the closing hole, or it could be difficult to get the second shot onto the green. There are no pin positions that allow for easy birdies, and pars become more difficult when the hole is cut to the back and to the right.