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

HOLE SIX is a par 5 hole that plays ~500 yds from the back tee. The straight open fairway is very slightly uphill off the tee with a pair of bunkers on the left side that comes into play for a solid hit that strays in that direction. An uncomplicated open rough with trees at various heights protect both sides of the fairway all the way to the imposing green complex. 

The fairway is generally flat and wide by LMGC standards and plays much easier for most players than is indicated by the generous handicap rating. Hole six provides an opportunity for longer hitters to catch their breath then pound both driver and fairway wood straight up the middle. 

The large green is protected by bunkers on both sides of the green with only a modest opening to the putting surface. The approach looks easy, but if the lie angles on your irons are not adjusted carefully to your swing mechanics, the next shot may be from one of these bunkers instead of the putting surface. 

The green has modest contours with noticeable variations in slope to keep even the best players focused on reading the line. Contours on the left direct the ball to the center, contours on the right direct the ball to the fringe, and contours along the center want to send a fast moving putt off the front surface. Like most holes at LMGC, the green at hole six can be an equalizer among players who are long or short off the tee.

Player's key: a long drive will tempt a strong player to go for the green with the next shot from the fairway, but the substantial bunker complex that protects the front sides of the putting surface extends into the fairway and puts a premium on accuracy.

HOLE SIX. Par 5. 503 / 479 / 466 / 453 yds from the tees. Handicap is 3 for men and 1 for ladies.