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Clearwater Bay Open 2016

by SCMP

Clearwater Bay Open 2016

Get to know Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club for this week’s PGA Tour China Series event

Check out our handy guide to the 6,599-yard layout for the Clearwater Bay Open, including stunning drone footage of each hole plus comments from Hong Kong number one Jason Hak Shun-yat

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 October, 2016, 12:39pm
UPDATED : Monday, 31 October, 2016, 4:47pm

1 – Par 3 / 225 yards

This downhill par-three has a hazard down the right that snakes around the back of the green and two bunkers guarding the left side of the green. Your ideal line of play is to aim at the middle mound at the back of the green.

Jason says: Number one is a great par three down the hill and it is always windy and you would like to get off to a good start.

2 – Par 5 / 573 yards

The ideal line here is the middle left of the fairway, which keeps you away from the three fairway bunkers off the tee. If you happen to catch the drive, you may have a chance of getting up with your second shot, but you’ll be bringing into play the two fairway bunkers guarding the approach. Your third shot leaves you with a downhill shot with three bunkers guarding the front and right side of the green.

Jason says: The second hole is a par five. Because the course is short, but windy, so taking advantage on all the par fives you can will be of an advantage. The people who play the par fives well will do well.

3 – Par 4 / 402 yards

With rocks and water looking at you all down the right side, you will have to carry your ball over 180 yards and over two fairway bunkers guarding the right side to safely reach the fairway. The ideal line is the left centre of the fairway. Your second club selection is crucial as the wind plays a big part with a bunker short that will take any mis-hit shots and with the ocean surrounding the green.

Jason says: Three is a great driving hole, a great approach hole.

4 – Par 3 / 184 yards

Another demanding par-three that requires thought from the tee with club selection. The left side of the green is the bail out area, while any shots right will find the ocean or one of the two bunkers. The three-tier green will influence which club is chosen.

5 – Par 5 / 545 yards

This is an uphill par five where the longer hitters will need to stay clear of the fairway bunker on the left side of the fairway, while a water hazard runs all down the right side of the hole. You will be left with a blind second shot: aim for the clubhouse as a guideline. For the third shot you are left with an uphill shot with a bunker short left and two bunkers short right.

Jason says: There is a stretch on the front nine that can get you a couple of birdies in a row from the fifth hole all the way until the ninth.

6 – Par 3 / 211 yards

The third par three of the nine is a strong hole that plays uphill and is 200-plus yards. Any shot short will come back down off the false front of the green. An errant shot left or right will be taken by bunkers guarding the green.

7 – Par 4 / 363 yards

Depending on the wind, a big hitter can go for the green, although the normal hitter will need to position the ball to the right side of the fairway with a long iron or wood that will keep clear of the water left and the bunker. This leaves you a short iron to avoid three bunkers guarding the green, which slopes from back to front.

8 – Par 4 / 342 yards

This is a dogleg left hole that needs thought from the tee. The ideal line is to aim for the bunker on the hill with a draw. There is a bail out area to the right that will leave a longer club in. The second shot is hard to judge as it plays slightly uphill and toward the horizon, which makes it difficult to see.

9 – Par 4 / 340 yards

Tee-shots need to be well placed here to avoid the four fairway bunkers that are looking straight at you. A long iron or wood will leave you with a short iron to another big green that has a false front that will stop any ball that is short. Again, club selection is crucial with yet another uphill approach.

10 – Par 4 / 468 yards

The hole is the longest par-four on the course. This beautiful dogleg left runs parallel to the South China Sea. To carry the dogleg from the back tees requires a tee shot of 280 yards, so the best approach is to aim for the mound in the middle of the fairway. From there a long precise second shot is required to avoid the fall-off on the left and bunker on the right of a deceptively long green.

Jason says: This is a great hole because the view is great and that hole is always windy.

11 – Par 3 / 205 yards

Club selection and accurate reading of the wind is crucial to negotiate par on this long well-bunkered par-three. The green features a deep false front that guards a front pin location. The narrow portion of the green is the right side where a deep bunker awaits.

12 – Par 4 / 460 yards

Featuring a bunkered landing area from the tee and a semi-island green, this is the most difficult hole on the back nine. The prevailing wind is from the left, bringing the right rough and bunker into play off the tee. Unless you are close enough to carry and stop the ball on this semi-island green, it is advisable to play the ball to the right and allow the undulations on the approach area to bring the ball towards the middle of the green.

13 – Par 4 / 454 yards

This tee-box offers one of the course’s most spectacular ocean views. A tee-shot of 180 yards is required to clear the ravine. However, that is only part of the challenge as the prevailing wind will push the ball towards the bunker and water on the right side of the hole. The second shot will require a mid to long iron into a green that features a long tongue and multiple undulations.

14 – Par 3 / 164 yards

Take a good look around as this tee box is the highest point of the entire golf course. The wind plays a big factor in the yardage of this hole. Be mindful of a steep ridge that guards the centre of the green, making it difficult to get it close. The green also features fall-offs right and left. Go over the green and it is most definitely a lost ball!

15 – Par 5 / 529 yards

This hole boasts one of the most demanding tee shots on the course. The fairway doglegs and narrows to the point where the bunker cuts into the fairway. After negotiating the tee-shot, one can either choose to attack the green or lay-up and try and play down the left side, as it’s the safe side of the fairway and also offers the best approach angle to the green.

Jason says: There are a lot of opportunities but it depends on the weather, this will be a main point for how the scores turn out. The par fives are key.

16 – Par 3 / 182 yards

The green is settled under a steep natural slope upon where the 14th tee is perched. The tongue makes the green long, so be sure to accurately determine the pin location. The prevailing wind will push the ball towards the bunker and drop off on the right.

Jason says: On the back nine, it is a good but tough finish from 16 to 18.

17 – Par 4 / 409 yards

To carry the bunker requires a precise 250-yard tee shot against the prevailing wind. The landing area must be on the right half of the fairway otherwise the natural slope of the fairway will take the ball into the left pot bunker. The second shot will leave a mid to long iron into a two-tier green with some protection from a raised back edge. Any shot that misses the green left, right or long will leave a tricky chip.

18 – Par 5 / 543 yards

One must be 100 per cent committed as this blind landing area is narrowed by the ravine that comes into play. Keep the second shot short of the deep pot bunker in the middle of the fairway. The approach will test your club selection and accuracy as the green is severely elevated and features three tiered sections.

Jason Hak was speaking to Andrew Mullen