This season we have a county course made up of impressive par five holes. The South nine descriptions and how to play them are offered by the host pros in this first edition of "Distance Learning". We'll offer the North nine in several weeks.
Hole 1. "Diabolical Dogleg". The 18th at Prairie View, Carmel. Off the tee there is a 90 degree corner to turn, but Sycamores left and bunker sand right guard the bend. Cut it too close and a good day's score is shot to...well, you know. A smart layup to the creek fronting the green can yield a closing birdie.
Hole 2. "Temptation". The 12th at Plum Creek, Carmel. Direction and discretion are needed off the tee with left and right trouble in view before a golfer even thinks about going for green in two. It is more of the same on the third shot to a small, water and bunker protected, undulating green (see picture).
Hole 3. "The Equalizer". The 15th at River Glen, Fishers. Two controlled shots are needed to an approach over a creek. A white knuckler, but a well-played second strike can offer a chance for an eagle. Leaving the green, one has an equal opportunity to surge ahead or get behind.
Hole 4. "Risk-Reward". The 8th at Brookshire, Carmel. The prime real estate on this hole is the fairway's right side. Accurate and long tee shots have a chance to be on in two. Left is tree trouble and costly. As per usual in Carmel, it's location, location, location.
Hole 5, "Sneaky Seventh". The 7th at Prairie View, Carmel. After a generous open fairway, careful thought is required for the second shot. The hole deceptively waits for a pulled left or pushed right hit by a careless player. The golfer's final challenge is to a well bunked, long narrow green tucked by the White River.
Hole 6, "Albatross". The Lakes 5th at Ironwood, Fishers. A crossing creek is the first obstacle off the tee and then water bends down the right side of the hole. A sharp right turn of the fairway can present an angle for up-and-over-the-corner tee shot. What follows is a mid-iron chance for a duce and perhaps the two shot glory of an albatross.
Hole 7, "Lefty/Righty". The 1st at Mohawk Hills, Carmel. This hole comes with its own set of instructions. First favor the fairway's left center short of bunkers. Then hit to the right center for a straight in approach shot to a green with big mound shoulders.
Hole 8, "Eagles Landing". The 4th at Gray Eagle, Fishers. The best tee shots land adjacent to a unique wood carving of the American Eagle just off the fairway (see picture). The next ball flight should favor the left side, avoiding creek trouble on the right side of its two tier elevated green.
Hole 9, "Caveat Emptor". The Ridge 6th at Ironwood, Fishers. This short Par 5 is reachable in two. But beware of buying into the thrill of a big tee shot too early. It can be costly if overlooking the second shot to a narrow, well bunkered green flanked by a tree and OB. Say, who knew there were Latin scholars at Ironwood?