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A Round of Golf at Ihtiman - continued

Hole 4: 454 yards Par 5
A short Par 5 with a water hazard to the right. There is a water hazard about 120 yards short of the green but it doesn’t present too much of a problem. The green is firm and undulating, so accuracy is of paramount importance. Go long and there is a bank with a wall behind it. A good birdie opportunity here, but don’t get complacent.


Hole 5: 328 yards Par 4
A short Par 4 here requiring only a short iron approach following a good drive. The green is guarded by bunkers. It is like an upturned saucer and slightly elevated. Care is needed to hold the green and avoid short siding yourself.

Hole 6: 385 yards Par 4
A tough Par 4. Water guards the front and both sides of the green, so accuracy is a must. Anything longer than a 7 iron, especially from the rough, will struggle to hold the green. The green is deep, but it’s very firm. Good course management is needed here to keep your scorecard in tact.

Hole 7: 264 yards Par 4
This hole may be short, but from the tee you have decisions to make. There is water in front of the green, so if you do go for it, you’ll need 230 yards of carry,and then you still need to negotiate the two bunkers that also guard the front of the green. A mid iron lay up is a sensible option, giving a long pitch straight up the green. Putting on this green is very difficult, so stay below the hole.

Hole 8: 292 yards Par 4
Another short Par 4. Water in front of the tee doesn’t really cause a problem. Care is still needed for the approach, as the green is slightly elevated and firm.

Hole 9: 534 yards Par 5
This is a difficult hole, dogleg left with plenty of water down the left side to negotiate. With the water starting at around 140 yards short of the green to the left, and a large fairway bunker to the right hand side some 130 yards short, you either need an accurate 6 or 7 iron lay up shot, or an even more accurate fairway wood. The former will leave a full wedge into the firm green, and distance control is paramount here, as anything short will be in the water which cuts in directly in front of the left two thirds of the green. Like the other greens, it has subtle borrows sloping up from front to back.

Hole 10: 150 yards Par 3
A solid mid iron is required, especially as this hole is usually against the wind. Not too much trouble here, with a flat entrance to the green. The only concern is long and left, as Out of Bounds awaits. This green has subtle breaks and is pretty quick.

Hole 11: 279 yards Par 4
This short par 4 will test your course management to the limit. Playing this hole could only be described as equal to walking through a minefield with clown’s feet. Water all the way down the left starts 120 yards from the tee. Water all the way down the right starts at 160 yards. The fairway slopes down from 100 yards from the tee, making a lay up from the tee with an 8 or 9 iron the safest option, but aim slightly right to negate a bad bounce to the left. If the pin is back right, forget the pin! Pin high centre is the place to be if you want to get out with a two putt, as this green has some severe breaks in it. Par here is a great score.

Hole 12: 162 yards Par 3
A strong Par 3 with water in front and to the right playing to a large undulating green. Putting here needs a good touch.

Hole 13: 459 yards Par 5
A solid drive here is crucial to carry the water hazard at 200 yards. Once the drive is safely away, a well stuck wood will leave just a short pitch into the green. This is not the biggest green on the course, so care is needed to get close. If the pin is at the back, stay below the pin - do not go long or left!

Hole 14: 407 yards Par 4
A strong Par 4 with an undulating fairway, so a well struck drive will leave a semi blind approach to the green with a mid iron. There is water down the left side around 100 yards short of the green. Anything long here will be gobbled up by the bank and wall beyond the green.

Hole 15: 197 yards Par 3

Another strong Par 3 requiring pin point accuracy from the tee with a long iron or fairway wood, depending on wind direction. Slightly uphill with a bunker guarding the left side, trees and banking to the right hand entrance. No real dangers, but the hole does look daunting from the tee, and could make or break a good score this late in the round.

Hole 16: 328 yards Par 4
A slight dogleg left, requiring a drive down the right hand side of the fairway, to give you the best view of the pin. The water shouldn’t come into play here, and with a well struck tee shot, only a short iron will be needed for your second. One of the easier greens on the course.

Hole 17: 355 yards Par 4
A tricky Par 4, this hole requires a lot of thought. A good drive down the right hand side of this undulating fairway is needed to give you the best line into the green. The green is elevated, with a steep tier through the right third portion. Bunkers guard the front left and back of the green, and it is firm and tough to hold even the best struck shot. From the right side you at least have the option to hit a low running shot in, or aim for the lower tier and take your chances putting.

Hole 18: 364 yards Par 4

The home hole is pretty straight forward. Out of Bounds is only going to catch the wildest of tee shots. Bunkers on the right should not present much of a problem, but the bunker at the back of the green may catch anything long. A gentle finishing hole.