Expansive green makes No. 18 versatile

Friday, July 3, 2009
Davis Lee contemplates his putt on the18th green Thursday during the second round of AJGA's Rolex Tournament of Champions at Dalhousie Golf Club. (Fred Lynch)

There aren't many greens that the average golfer couldn't hit a full sand wedge over.

Dalhousie Golf Club boasts one of them.

Welcome to No. 18's green, a 100-yard monster that can turn a great round into a horrific nightmare.

"You don't get exposed to a green that sloped ever," said Kevin Gillick, a competitor at this week's AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions. "It's definitely different."

The green turns the 538-yard par 5 into an easy birdie hole or a challenging par depending on the pin location.

"It's almost like a putt-putt kind of thing," Lindsey Weaver said. "I've never seen a green like it."

The hole has played as the easiest on the course for the boys and girls through the first two rounds of this week's tournament. The boys averaged 4.39 strokes, while the girls averaged 4.88 strokes.

Jack Connell, the director of golf at Dalhousie, said the course has a special 12-foot pin it uses when the hole is cut below a steep slope in the green.

"The players wouldn't be able to see an average height pin from the fairway," Connell said.

Although the green makes the hole vary greatly, the players enjoy the challenge.

"I thought it was fun," Lauren Weaver said. "It is very interesting."

Robert Register was one of many players who left his approach shot right of the pin Wednesday, which was in the front of the green.

"I hit it right just to be safe," he said.

If the pin is playing in the front of the football-sized green, the hole is shortened considerably, but the danger is doubled. Just beyond the front is a steep slope that would funnel a golf ball almost to the back of the green, leaving a player with a near-impossible putt.

"It would suck to be down there," Lindsey Weaver said.

But if the pin is toward the back of the green, it gives players a green light to attack the flag.

"It plays like two different holes," Gillick said.

Although it's uncommon, it is possible for a player to stare at a 100-yard putt from one side of the green to the other.

Would a player take a wedge?

"No," Lauren Weaver said. "I'd probably take a chunk out of the green."

Gillick had other ideas.

"I'd probably use a 54 degree because there is no way to control your speed," he said.

One thing is certain -- the green will leave a lasting impression on all those who attempt to conquer it.

"It's pretty crazy," Register said. "But it's an exciting finish."

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