SEARCH our site

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

Hole eleven is a deceptively challenging par 4 with a back tee that stretches the distance to the green to more than 400 yards. The fairway widens from the teeing areas into a relatively flat gentle turf bounded by a cluster of trees on the right and OB on the left.

A shallow fairway bunker is in play on the left about 140 yards from the hole. And if that doesn't capture the wayward pull off the tee, a second small bunker immediately following it is more than happy to oblige. But if your tee shot goes too far left, you will be searching for the ball in some thick wild grasses on a small knoll surrounded by trees and guarded by a maintenance access road on the left that runs parallel to the OB markers. Bottom line, be careful with the left side of the fairway.

The right side is not as dangerous, but it is challenging none-the-less. The cluster of trees is just thick enough that any ball slicing into this area will not see a clear line to the green. A low punch shot to the fairway is the best bet for recovery. What we are suggesting here is that the center of the fairway is a good place to be with your tee shot. If your fade manages to stay in the fairway, overhanging tree branches ahead will block a clear approach to the green requiring a low punch or towering short iron shot to reach the putting surface.

About 130 yards from the green the fairway slopes down gently with a slight dogleg right towards a massive bunker protecting the left front and side of the green. The opening to the green is narrow and slightly uphill, guarded by light rough on the right that merges with another long and deep bunker along the right side of the green. The back edge of the green hides a moderately thick patch of rough that descends to a cart path and tall shrubs lining the northwest border of the course. 

The green slopes back to front with notable undulations that are just tricky enough to require a careful read. Easily reachable from the fairway, this green benefits from a high approach shot with a steep descent to keep the ball on the playing surface and out of the nasty side bunkers and thick rough tumbling down from the back edge.

Hole eleven looks easy enough from the tee but it can get difficult in a hurry if your tee shot does not find the center left section of the fairway. Nevertheless, it has a satisfying layout that's fun to play. But like all the holes at LMGC, placement of the tee shot is critical to rewarding you with a makeable approach shot and a low score.

Player's key: a tee shot down the left-center leaves you with an easy high safe approach shot

HOLE ELEVEN: Par 4,  412 / 380 / 340 / 325 yds from the tees. Rating is 14 handicap for men and 10 handicap for ladies.