After finishing and crossing the road from La Romana’s most difficult par 3, we are faced with a fairly open and short par 5. For many people, this hole packs a big punch often resulting in a double bogey or more. Hole #4 at La Romana Country Club is a hole that many people always ask me, “How the heck do I play this hole correctly?”. Follow my tips below and I promise you will start to enjoy this short par 5.
The tee shot on this very pretty par 5 is a generous one. For you shorter players this is a must hit fairway due to its generous landing zone. It also plays slightly downhill, so a low runner will suit you well. For you bombers off the tee, take advantage of your distance and challenge the bunkers on the left. If you come up a little short and find your ball in the bunker, simply play a mid iron or even hybrid and advance your ball down the left side of the fairway.
The second shot is a very important one because it will set you up for a good approach shot or pitch position. If you are unable to reach the green in two, you must play your second shot to the left side of the fairway so you have a better chance of hitting this very narrow green for your third shot. If you are feeling confident and have a distance that is possible for you to get there in two, play an aggressive short to the left portion of the green. The right side is covered with bunkers and difficult rough.
If you have failed to hit the green in two or have intentionally layed up, then this is now the most important shot on this hole. #1 Goal is to hit the green! Word of advice…do not go for the pin and play to the front center of the green. The few times I have been privileged to play the Country Club either with members or their great Professional Dave Pfisterer, I have seen many people hunt the flag down and roll off the green. I’ll be honest, I’ve done it a few times and it can be very frustrating, to say the least.
A Quick Short Story of mine:
When I was playing Division I golf at Santa Clara University, once a month my College Coach would take out all the pins on the golf course. It was always a surprise and none of us had any idea whether the pin location was in the front, middle, back, right, or left. We had to play to the center of the green. The end results of our rounds as a team, averaged 2.75 strokes lower than on days that we played with the pins in. This is a great lesson to be learned because it taught us patience and made us focus on the importance of hitting greens in regulation rather than hunting pins which either resulted in a birdie or a double-bogey.
This green complex makes it extremely difficult due to the fact it is very narrow. That’s why it is very important when you lay up to have a straight shot to the green coming from the left side of the fairway. However, if you find yourself on the putting surface putting for birdie or par chances are you will two putts or better because the green is so small. This green runs away slightly but rewards you with a slight backstop at the back portion of the green.
Last piece of advice:
If you miss the green and are faced with an uphill pitch, use the bounce of the club. If you don’t understand what that means, get in contact with me and I will reveal my secret. Email me at [email protected] for information on using the bounce, golf schools, private lessons, clinics, Junior Academy, golf related questions, future articles, and you could be eligible to win a FREE LESSON!! One out of the first 10 people to reply to this article will randomly be selected for a free lesson. Good luck.
Head Teaching Professional, Casa de Campo Golf Academy
(809) 523 – 3333 Ext. 3187 | (829)767-8563 | [email protected]
Casa de Campo Villa owners – US$100 Guests | Huéspedes – US$160
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Eric Lillibridge is Casa’s leading expert for golf lessons and club fitting. Casa de Campo Golf Academy offers a 33% discount to Villa Owner for lessons and clinics. The new club fitting room is also the perfect place for checking loft and lies.
*The “Golf Tips” by Eric Lillibridge series of articles is a re-print of “Conquering Casa’s Most Challenging Holes”, published in every edition of Casa de Campo Living Magazine-guide, the ultimate resource for everything to do in the Casa de Campo resort – from sports, to dining, to just admiring the views and the nature!