Detailed Guide to Southern Hills Country Club
Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Southern Hills Country Club has long been a famed championship venue, hosting several US Opens, many a leading amateur event, and now five PGA Championships.
Tiger Woods lifted the Wanamaker Trophy here in 2007, but the course has been revamped since then, with leading architect Gil Hanse returning the layout to its original Perry Maxwell design foundations but also ensuring that it remains a challenge to the players of today.
We take a closer look at the test that awaits the world's best golfers this week.
1. 454 Yards Par 4:
The first tee is elevated and players will be hitting anything from a three-iron to driver - depending on the wind - from a height to a downhill fairway that curves gently to the left. Avoiding the deep bunkers right is imperative, and finding the fairway is imperative for an approach to a green that slopes from front to back.
2. 467 Yards Par 4:
A creek runs across the fairway 235 yards from the tee with two cross-bunkers behind the water. With trees to the right and the creek on the left, it's vital to find the fairway which slopes from left to right. The approach is to a well-bunkered flat green.
3. 408 Yards Par 4
A sharp dog-leg to the left and, so, the tee-shot is to the right side of the fairway: any pulled drives could find the creek or trees on the left-hand side at the corner of the dogleg. The two-tiered green undulates severely and is well bunkered.
4. 368 Yards Par 4
Most players will hit a long-iron or three-wood off the tee with a short-iron approach to a well-bunkered green. It's imperative to keep the ball below the hole.
5. 642 Yards Par 5
The fairway bunkers, right and left, come into play and will put the onus on players to opt for accuracy rather than length. It will be a three-shot hole for most players but expect the likes of Rory McIlroy to go for it in two.
6. 175 Yards Par 3
Plays downhill to a shallow, well-bunkered green and a creek runs along the left side of the green with the added threat of out-of-bounds lurking at the back of the flat green. With the flags expected to be tucked away on either side of the green, players will be forced to hit high tee-shots for a soft landing.
7. 382 Yards Par 4
The narrow tree-lined fairway is awkward in that it slopes to the right as it turns left with any loose shots guaranteed to run into the rough. Any player who finds the fairway should leave himself with a short-iron approach to a green guarded by bunkers. Good birdie opportunity.
8. 225 Yards Par 3
Played uphill to an undulating green protected left and right by bunkers - there is real importance on the tee-shot. Most will be hitting long-irons but, depending on the wind, some may even need a wood.
9. 374 Yards Par 4
An uphill dog leg to the right played into the prevailing wind while a fairway bunker is placed on the right. The tee shot must carry almost 250 yards to clear the bunker and find the narrow tree-lined fairway. The second shot is to one of the most severe greens on the course.
10. 374 Yards Par 4
Anyone attempting to cut the corner with a driver off this hole which dog-legs sharply right could find serious trouble. And those who stray to the left of a fairway that slopes from right to left could end up in the rough. The approach is to a two-tiered green where it is important to stay below the hole.
11. 165 Yards Par 3
The tee-shot is played downhill to a green that is the smallest on the course. It slopes from back to front. Those players who go too long off the tee will have their short games tested by a specially created chipping area.
12. 456 Yards Par 4
Ben Hogan once described this hole as the best par four in championship golf. The fairway bunker on the left is in play. The green is relatively flat but guarded by bunkers to the left and a creek to the right.
13. 534 Yards Par 5
A risk-and-reward hole. A right-to-left tee-shot allows the chance to reach the green with a second shot that will be uphill to a hidden flagstick. Those who come up short could find one of the two ponds fronting the green while those who miss right, left or long will likely find sand.
14. 215 Yards Par 3
A downhill hole with out-of-bounds left. Most players will be playing mid-iron shots to a green that has numerous subtle hollows. It also has six bunkers.
15. 412 Yards Par 4
The fairway bends left around a bunker but the club selection off the tee will probably depend on the pin placement as the severely sloping green has difficult contours.
16. 491 Yards Par 4
Players must carry 275 yards downhill to avoid a fairway bunker on the left to find a shelf in the fairway that provides the best angle and lie for the downhill approach shot to the green. Miss the shelf, and players will be left with awkward stances for their second shots. The green is flat and small and is guarded by four bunkers.
17. 365 Yards Par 4
The tee-shot is played into the prevailing wind to a tight fairway lined by trees to the left and a creek to the right. Most players will opt for a long-iron off the tee because it is vital to find the fairway if a player wants to hit and hold the small, shallow green.
18. 466 Yards Par 4
Players who manage to find the safer left side of the fairway will face an uphill approach shot of between 170 to 200 yards to the largest but most severely sloping green on the course.
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