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

HOLE SIXTEEN at LMGC is another thing of beauty. A short par 4, the back tee is ~200 yards from the top of a ridge where the fairway descends steeply to a tiny valley in front of the green complex. A shallow fairway bunker on the left and trees along the right require a straight tee shot to the center of the ridge.

A strong high tee shot will put the ball at the bottom of the valley for a short wedge approach up onto the elevated green. Keeping the ball on the ridge leaves you with a longer wedge shot down to the green.

The green is surrounded in front and on the left by deep bunkers filled with soft sand. The right side of the green is sheltered by a steep uphill slope covered with dense wild grasses. The back of the green is bordered by a short shelf of thick rough. 

The green is small by LMGC standards. It has a significant slope from right to left and back to front that will let an aggressive putt roll into a large bunker on the left. Location of the hole in each quadrant requires a different putting strategy.

Since the green can be seen from the adjacent teeing area on HOLE FOURTEEN, it’s helpful to take a close look at the hole position as you pass by to get a feeling for the slope and develop a thought about where to place your approach shot.

HOLE FIFTEEN and HOLE SIXTEEN taken together are possibly the most beautiful combination on the course. HOLE SIXTEEN is a birdie hole with careful ball placement, but it can just as easily become a bogey hole or more if the ball strays into the trees or the wild grasses.

Player's key: if you find trouble off the tee and don't have a good look at the green, a conservative shot to the "valley" in front of the bunkers leaves you a soft lob approach shot -- and an easy putt to save par if you can place the ball just below the hole.

HOLE SIXTEEN: Par 3,  335 / 320 / 309 / 297  yds from the tees, rated 12 handicap for men, 8 handicap for ladies.