RYDER CUP '18: A hole-by-hole look at Le Golf National
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) — A hole-by-hole look at Le Golf National, site of the 42nd Ryder Cup matches on Sept. 28-30:
No. 1, 419 yards, par 4
A look from the first tee shows water all the way down the left side of the hole. Players are likely to hit a long iron or fairway metal off the tee, leaving only a short iron to the green. The long green features water on the left and a bunker on the right.
No. 2, 210 yards, par 3
Another hole, more water hugging the left side of the hole. Players will have a mid-iron to judge how much water the shot has to cover before reaching the green. For those who try to take water out of play, three bunkers are tucked behind the right side of the green.
No. 3, 558 yards, par 5
This should be easily reachable in two if the tee shot is in the fairway, and the better angle to the green is from the left side of the fairway. And oak and a bunker on the right side of the green come into play if tee shots stray to the right. The toughest pin position is behind the tree on the far right of the green.
No. 4, 486 yards, par 4
Bunkers on both sides of the landing area were added in 2016, requiring more accuracy off the tee. The second shot with a mid-iron is to an elevated green. The green is large and filled with contours.
No. 5, 405 yards, par 4
The tee shot should avoid a pair of fairway bunkers on the left, and deep bunkers protect the front of the green. Otherwise, pars are unlikely to win this hole.
No. 6, 380 yards, par 4
Another short par 4 where birdies might be required, but the green is below fairway level and is hidden by a hump at the front. Players will need to be extra precise with their wedges. In fourballs, it might be worth driving as close to the green as possible.
No. 7, 457 yards par 4
The tee shot should be to the left side of an elevated fairway to set up the approach. Tall fescue is down the left side of the fairway, which might make the target off the tee look smaller. The opposite side of this hole that bends to the right features a steep bank.
No. 8, 208 yards, par 3
The challenge of this hole, depending on wind, is a large, undulating green behind a small, deep bunker. Pin positions are key to the strength of this par 3.
No. 9, 579 yards, par 5
The water hazard to the left of the fairway should not be in play. The hole is played into a prevailing wind, though that shouldn't keep players from reaching the green in two. The green is the longest and narrowest on the golf course and guarded by a few deep bunkers.
No. 10, 375 yards par 4
With enough wind, players can get near the green with their tee shots in fourballs. The safe tee shot is a long iron to the fairway to set up a wedge to the heart of the green. A water hazard is to the left of the fairway to the front of the green.
No. 11, 178 yards, par 3
The water hazard in front of the green was extended two years ago, with two bunkers added to the back of the green. The green slopes severely, so being in the wrong spot on the green could make par a challenge.
No. 12, 433 yards, par 4
This dogleg to the right features a large bunker on the bottom right of the fairway. The fairway narrows as it gets farther away from the tee. The second shot is to an elevated green. The green has proven difficult to reach from anywhere but the fairway, and missing the green rarely leaves a simple up-and-down.
No. 13, 415 yards, par 4
The dogleg to the right features water protecting the front of the green. The tee shot must be long enough to allow for a reasonable shot at the green, which requires a carry over the water and a shot that avoids the oak trees guarding the putting surface.
No. 14, 544 yards, par 5
What makes this hole difficult to reach in two is a large bunker that protects the green, and the hole playing into the prevailing wind. Even for those who choose to lay up, the next challenge is a two-tier green in a bid to get the shot close for a look at birdie.
No. 15, 408 yards, par 4
This is a visually dynamic hole to start the closing stretch. It will require no more than a long iron off the tee and then the drama begins with a short iron to a green surrounded by water, especially if the pin positions are near the edges.
No. 16, 177 yards, par 3
Water is all the way down the right side of the hole, and undulations on the green will require a cautious tee shot toward the flag. When the pin is to the right, playing safe to the left side of the green will leave a difficult putt down the slope. A bunker guards the front of the green.
No. 17, 480 yards, par 4
The hole has no bunkers or water hazards. The tee shot is up the slope to the fairway, and the putting surface tilts dramatically from the right. Birdies will be hard to find unless the shots are as precise as any on the course.
No. 18, 471 yards, par 4
The tee shot is critical because of the water on the left and pot bunkers on the right. The approach is over the water, and any match reaching the 18th will only intensify the pressure. This ranked as the hardest hole in the French Open.