The beautiful Links golf course, with it’s moderately hilly track and wide open fairways lined with beautiful palm trees and flowers, can feel like golfing heaven – that is until hole #12. Hole #12 marks the beginning of 5 consecutive holes with significant water features- succeed here and you will have the confidence to conquer holes 13 through 16 -without the formidable “water fear” ruining your game.
As well as being the first hole with a water obstacle, this is also the 2nd shortest hole on the course – yet one of the most difficult. Follow my tips and I guarantee you will not only step up to the tee with more confidence, but you will stroll off the green ready to take that same confidence with you around the rest of the course – and beyond as you continue your golf adventure in Casa de Campo!
1. Club Selection
This is a short hole, so you DO NOT need to hit your driver. A great selection off the tee is a 5 wood or hybrid. However, if you hit the driver great every time and are confident that it will not go off to the right (and into the lake), then you can use the driver – just don’t say I didn’t warn you!
2. Target off the tee
There is no need to take an aggressive line off this tee. There is too much risk and not enough reward for that strategy. A great target is the left side of the long thin bunker lining the lake. As you take that first swing, try thinking “target, target, target, left target, target”. Do NOT think “don’t hit it right or don’t go in the water”, typically your last thought affects your action – in this case resulting in a thud on the green or the dreaded “plop” into the water. Positive thinking is the way to go – and that applies to all aspects of golf!
3. Approach into the green
So you have just hit a beautiful 5 wood or hybrid onto the fairway, but we are not done yet. We still have water just right of the green, so pick a line just left of the pin. The trade wind usually comes from right to left on this approach, but look at the tops of the trees to judge the strength of the wind – because the surrounding villas sometimes block our feel for the breeze.
4. Green Contour
This is one of the smallest greens on the Links course, so it’s fitting that there is some difficulty, and you will need to take your time. The front right part of the green slopes towards the water and the skinny bunker. To the left you have two deep holes which tends to attract balls. The back of the green slopes back to front with a little ridge in the middle. But the best thing to remember is that 80% of the green slopes towards the water – the only portion that doesn’t is the front left area. Use that fact and the advice of your caddy to judge your putt. And remember – this green, like all greens on the Links, is fast.
Water Hazard Rules
Opps! Your ball is in the lake – so what are the options for continuing your game?
1.) Play it as it lies. No penalty.
2.) Find the point of entry, take 2 club lengths and drop the ball within them – but no closer to the hole. Add 1 stroke.
3.) Take the line from the pin and the point of entry then you are allowed to drop a ball behind your point of entry as far back as you want. Add 1 stroke.
4.) Go back to the tee and hit another ball. Add 1 stroke and distance.
Director, JimMcLean Golf Academy
Contact:(809) 523-3333, [email protected]
Rates (per hour):
- Adult: US$150
- Casa de Campo Villa Owner: US$ 100
- Junior: US$90
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 TODO Casa de Campo 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!