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JT's PERSPECTIVE: PLAYING HOLE EIGHT at LAKE MERCED GOLF CLUB

The Par three HOLE EIGHT plays at ~205 yards from the back tee into arguably the most challenging green at LMGC. The target is a large green with strong slopes and contours. 

A dominant ridge divides the green into an upper right section with a right to left slope, and a large left section with significant slope from back to front and right to left. The left side of the green adds an additional slope towards the center helping to create a funnel effect that will direct your ball to the narrow opening at the front the green.

The green is typically firm and fast. Keeping the ball on the green requires a soft touch for any putt from above the hole. The prominent undulations that characterize the green often require aim lines that start your putt away from the hole just to keep the ball from rolling into the fairway.

The green is guarded by two bunkers on the left and a smaller bunker at the right front. The left front bunker extends into the fairway and offers a perimeter shape that can become a factor in recovering from an errant tee shot.

Wedge shots out of any of the bunkers, or from the right rough, can take advantage of the strong slopes created by the green's back edges and dominant central ridge. The sloping surfaces act as backstops for firm shots with enough backspin to control the ball.

A par on HOLE EIGHT, together with success on HOLE SEVEN and HOLE ONE are the keys to the front nine. Master these three holes and you have a chance to score low.

Player's key: a short downhill putt can easily roll off the front of the green -- be careful with ball placement. A large putting surface with a prominent downhill slope and planty of contours demand your best green reading skills.

HOLE EIGHT: Par 3,  206 / 184 / 159 / 128  yds from the tees, rated 17 handicap for men, 17 handicap for ladies.