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

The large green at the par-3 HOLE THREE lies in it's own little bowl in one of the lowest spots on the course. Three deep bunkers on the left side are welcome protection that will keep a wayward tee shot from bouncing down into the nearby thick rough on the left. The back and right sides of the green slope upwards with more thick rough. A moderately shallow bunker on the front right provides symmetry.

The green has strong contours that feed the ball towards the center and front edge before encountering a recessed fairway that willingly accepts any tee shot that falls short. A soft lob wedge shot will let you get close to any hole position giving most players a good chance at par. 

Elevated teeing areas extend to a 186 yd back tee that demands a reasonable amount of accuracy to float the ball onto the putting surface. The complex of three back tees is fronted by deep wild grasses that remind you of the need to hit the ball on a high trajectory to the green. This hole offers a welcome birdie opportunity to just about any player in control of a straight tee shot.

We think hole three is one of the most beautiful sights on the course. The green complex draws your vision into the putting surface with no distractions to interfere with your tee shot. It's one of those holes you look forward to playing again.

Player keys: hit your ball into position for an uphill putt and you will have a good birdie opportunity.

HOLE THREE. Par 3. 186 / 162 / 146 / 122 yds from the tees. Handicap 15 for men, 15 for ladies.