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The 6th hole on the Teeth of the Dog is one of the course’s most scenic holes, curving along the Caribbean sea. Such is the beauty of this hole, that taking a few moments to admire the view will actually benefit you from a mental standpoint. Here you can’t help but feel a sense of tranquility as you gaze out across the glittering expanse of water, shimmering in the light of the sun. Allow the beauty to calm the tempo of your swing.
That said, this is the #1 handicap hole on the Teeth of the Dog, owing to its length and a nasty dog leg left around the sea. To succeed, you’re going to need a little more than easy breathing and a tranquil state of mind. Here I bring you a few tips that will help you play this hole in fewer strokes.
1) The Drive
The first shot on this hole is very important (just like every other hole of course), but for this one in particular, you need length off the tee! This is a very wide forgiving fairway, but aiming for a long drive up the right hand side will eliminate the water obstacle on the left and give you a great angle in for your approach.
No matter what the hole or the course, the following pointers will help increase your driving distance.
A) Loosen your grip pressure. At some point or another someone may have told you to loosen your grip pressure by saying “grip it like you’re holding a bird”. I’m not much of a bird lover, so let’s keep it simple and incorporate a couple of waggles to free up the tension… think Jason Dufner.
B) Implement a slight pause at the top of your backswing. This will give you a split second more to make sure that you have a proper weight shift towards the target.
C) Have a wide arc in your backswing and follow through to a nice balanced finish.
Chances are you will need a longer iron or even a hybrid or wood… that’s OK, it’s a long hole. However, check the wind because this hole usually plays down wind so you may want to use one club less. Also, being slightly short on this is not a bad place to miss. The Caribbean does come into play on the approach shot, but only along the left. I like to aim for the palm tree on the right side of the green and pray to the “Golf Gods” that my ball will roll slightly back towards the pin.
If you have missed the green right. If you are pin high right and the pin is back… good luck! Alternatively, here are a couple ways to play it and get your game back on track.
A) The Scottish bump and run. Take an 8 iron and pick a point about halfway between your ball and the edge of the green. Play the ball back in your stance, and do a small “bump and run” swing keeping the ball low.
B) Standard chip shot. Select your highest lofted club, play the ball in the back/center of your stance, feel a little weight on your forward foot, and finally make a small swing by making contact with the ball first then the ground second.
4) Conquering the Green
This is a very large green, so a good lag putt may be necessary. This green is sloped heavily from back to front with a sneaky false front on which many balls seem to slide down off the green. There is a slight Caribbean influence, meaning the ball will tend to gravitate towards the water. In the back center part of the green is the most difficult area because there is the lonely palm tree that sits high above the green. This can be a problem in many ways… if the pin is right and you are directly above or below the slope you will have a lot of break to deal with.
Remember this! If you are above the hole, play more break and have less speed. The opposite applies if you are under the hole.
I hope these tips help your game, if you have any questions, I am available 7 days a week for lessons, and villa owners get 33% off of one hour lessons!
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!