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Hole 1 Par 4, Stroke 7
The opening hole at The Els Club Copperleaf is a steady starting hole and provides a nerve settling start to your round. A good drive should leave you with an easy short-iron into the green which is guarded by two bunkers on either side of the front edge. From the club tee – aim it just right of the left fairway bunker, your second shot should be an open shot to very receptive green with some slight undulation, still enough to give you an opening birdie on the card.
Hole 2 Par 4, Stroke 9
The second hole might look like a monster from the tee box but once you’ve cleared the bunkers in the fairway it is a straight shot to the green. Aim your Tee shot towards the pylons in the background, keeping it just right of the fairway bunker in the bank. For the longer hitter aiming it straight at the flag should make this a birdie hole. A good drive will require a mid-iron or less to land safely on the green depending on the flag position, this green is quite deep and the pin can easily be tucked behind the bunker and slope on the left of the green. The green slopes away from the middle towards the back-left and front due to the ridge in the middle.
Hole 3 Par 3, Stroke 5
This long par 3 has gobbled up quite a few golf balls pulled towards the water on the left. This Par 3 can play anything from 150m to 256m. Generally a Long iron of the tee is required, with a very deep green shaped towards the water makes this hole quite intimidating. There is 1 bunker in front- /left of the green protecting the shorter shot from feeding into the water and 2 bunkers behind the green protecting the longer shot from disappearing into the long grass. The hole offers slight margin for error for the shot that comes up short and right which will leave you with a downhill chip onto the green feeding towards the water.
Hole 4 Par 5, Stroke 11
A Par 5 that does not invite the short hitter. A lurking tee box at the back of stretches the hole up to 627m. The well placed bunkers dotted down in the fairway requires a fairly accurate and well placed tee shot in order to miss them. The layup shot for most golfers will either be played to the left hand side of the fairway or just short of the bunker down the fairway. The long hitter might want to approach the green with a 3-wood as there is enough space on the right hand side of the green. A pulled approach shot will either be caught in the long bunker lining the left hand side of the fairway and green protecting the balls from entering the water. A decent drive and a well-placed second shot will allow the golfer to hit the fairly large green in regulation and set you up with a safe par.
Hole 5 Par 3, Stroke 13
Hole no 5 will allow the golfer to breathe a little, as it is a mid-iron downhill par -3, although it does have water down the left a well-placed bunker on the left edge of the green will refrain a pulled shot from entering the lateral water hazard. Depending on the pin position, the bank on the right will allow the ball to feed onto the green, should the bunker on the right front of the green be cleared… A bunker at the back of the green saves the firmly struck shot from entering the native grass.
Hole 6 Par 4, Stroke 3
This picture perfect Par-4 thoroughly qualifies as our signature hole. Finally… no bunkers from the tee box, however it does have a body of water running along the left hand side of the fairway all the way past the green. Teeing it up from the back tee a driver can be used. From the club tee a long iron or fairway wood will set the golfer up with a mid/short iron into the green over the water. If the tee shot is pushed to the right hand side of the fairway it can make for a very difficult shot into the green making it a possible 180m+ approach over the water. The green is elevated at the back and is well protected with bunkers in the front.
Hole 7 Par 4, Stroke 15
Inviting the longer hitter to have a go for the green… the majority of golfers should take aim at the barber pole in the middle of the fairway. This bunker-lined fairway does require a fairly accurate tee shot, but does not intimidate the golfer that much. The tee shot is over a water hazard flowing from the 6th hole and sets up a nice elevated landing area in the fairway. The approach shot is a soft wedge or less to a narrow but deep green, the front of the green slopes back to the fairway, requiring enough club to get the ball to the flag. There is also a deep bunker on the left of the green but does not come into play that often.
Hole 8 Par 5, Stroke 17
Another breather and birdie opportunity, this long par 5 is reachable in 2 for the longer hitter. A well placed tee shot either short or in the middle of the first 2 fairway bunkers sets the golfer up with a mid-iron layup or 3-wood opportunity to attack the flag depending on if the golfer can carry the group of bunkers placed just short of the green. The approach shot over some bunkers needs to be accurate as the green is narrow and slopes down to the right were another deep bunker lies guard. The left side of the green feeds to a little patch of fairway. This green is 48m deep and only 15m wide, making it look much narrower than what it actually is.
Hole 9 Par 4, Stroke 1
Ah the much awaited stroke 1. The placement of your tee shot is crucial on this hole. The tee shot must either be played straight down the middle of the bunkers or the longer hitter can fly the bunkers and set up a short iron approach shot. The green is slightly elevated and is well protected by 3 strategically placed bunkers, 2 in the front-left and 1 at the back trapping the long shot. Once on the green it is a fairly flat putting surface. A 5 on this hole is still worth keeping a straight face.
Hole 10 Par 4, Stroke 2
The 10th hole stroke 2 is a long par-4 which requires a very accurate tee shot, the fairway is protected by bunkers on the left and right hand sides. The approach is generally a mid/long iron to a difficult green. The 2-tear green is guarded by 2 deep bunkers on the front/left and there is no bailout area as there is another bunker on the right hand side. The elevated green is very shallow and rarely allows a long iron approach to stay on the green as it slopes to a catch fairway behind the green. There is a big slope feeding towards the middle of the green on the left, this is the preferred area to make the ball sit on the green once the bunkers have been cleared.
Hole 11 Par 5, Stroke 10
After playing 2 difficult par 4’s this par 5 which might look short from the tee, is quite deceiving. A short driver or 3-wood is the club to use on this tee box. A long shot will reach the massive bunkers in the middle of the fairway. The green is reachable in 2, but this shot has to be very accurate as the green is slightly elevated and the entrance is a thin fairway between 2 deep greenside bunkers. The 6-iron layup after your tee shot will leave a handy 80-100m shot into this very receptive green. The green slopes from back to front and has a soft tear near the middle. This hole can easily become a nightmare, but holding your nerve it can also reward the golfer with a birdie or even an eagle.
Hole 12 Par 4, Stroke 6
The wolf in sheep’s clothing.
This par 4 might seem harmless from the tee box, but when looking from an aerial view the water becomes visible and this is within reach for some drivers. A tight green line between the 2 bunkers on either side of the fairway is called the fairway. Behind the bunker on the left of the fairway is some landing space for the long hitter. A good long iron or 3-wood is ideal to set up a mid/short iron to the forgiving green. Any pushed or short shot will end up in the dam on the right. And a small but tricky bunker protects the left front edge of the green. Some good course management will result in a great birdie on this hole.
Hole 13 Par 4, Stroke 12
Another short par 4 with water left of the fairway followed by a bunker, a bunker on the right and bunkers on either side of the green does sound like a lot of trouble, yet a well-placed tee shot short or left of the right hand bunker will give the golfer a good chance to make birdie. A back pin placement makes this a very easy hole as the green feeds towards the back/left half.
Hole 14 Par 3, Stroke 4
A par 3 that has surprised many golfers when they wright their scores on the card. This Mid/Long ironed hole features the only big trees on the course and absolutely no bunkers. The green is fairly long and faces the tee box with enough space to easily land a longer iron. “Valley of sin” is down the front left side of the green which will leave you with a very difficult uphill chip shot. The front half of the green is downhill towards the approach area and then forms a mound that feeds to the right of the back half of the green. The ideal shot to play into this ‘dogleg-right’ green is a nice controlled cut.
Hole 15 Par 5, Stroke 16
Its birdie time again. This Par 5 requires a long drive to a very wide fairway with some bunkers not really in play unless the target line is cutting across the left hand bunkers. The approach slopes to the right and into 2 long bunkers placed in the middle of the fairway, these will catch any ball played short and not left enough. The green is reachable in 2, but does require a well struck shot. The green is quite small compared to the length of the hole. Bunkers on the back/left- and right hand- side of the green makes an accurate approach crucial. The large bank on the left hand side of the green allows the ball to feed down onto the putting surface.
Hole 16 Par 4, Stroke 18
This reachable par 4 gives any long hitter a chance to go for the green even from the back tee box. For the shorter hitter the fairway bunkers come into play and can make this a difficult hole. The green is slightly raised with steep slopes to the front/left and back half of the green. There are 2 bunkers in the front and back of the green which will happily accept any miss-hit.
Hole 17 Par 3, Stroke 14
The most beautiful par 3 in the country.
This par 3 showcases a water feature on the right hand side of the green which does not really come into play but does add I little tenseness to the grip. Deep bunkers surround this green and therefor require a very accurate and well placed tee shot. This hole can be very rewarding or tragic. A mid/short iron is the club to hit on this hole. This will be the hole in one prize hole for this week.
Hole 18 Par 4, Stroke 8
Closing your round with this beautiful, longish par 4 will test your skill for one last time. A pretty view of the clubhouse and putting area provides an inviting tee shot that can be hit harder than normal. Bunkers on the left and right with water further right puts some pressure on, but not too much. A well struck drive can leave a golfer in with either a 6- or a wedge, all depending on the line from the tee box. The green is elevated and is protected by bunkers on the back and the right hand side of the green. Leaving the ball just short of the pin will give you a nice uphill putt. A birdie in front of the clubhouse always makes a golfer return for some more “fun”.