Challenge your golf round at the best par four in Asia
Established in 1999, the Lakes Course has water hazards coming in to play on 17 out of 18 holes. The course is a mixture of water-filled canyons created by open cast mining with its natural land flow left relatively unchanged. Its front 9 holes run through a landscape of lakes and original canyons, whilst the back 9 weaves around more scenic lakes and soft whispering woodlands of rubber trees.
Architect Yoshikazu Kato masterfully provided an inspiring alternative to Blue Canyon’s myriad of golfing challenges. From the championship tees, this is a 7,129-yard challenge with target-driving areas set at 270 yards to accommodate today’s long hitting professionals. With a range of five sets of tees to choose from, it is capable of challenging the best players in the world, although even modest players can enjoy this course with wide fairways and generous greens.
Asian Golf Monthly
Best Par Four in Asia
Lakes Course Hole 18 in 2003
Hole : 18 Par : 72
Rating : 74.0 Yardage : 7,129
HANDICAP : 9
Although the landing area is very wide, the ideal drive is hit as close as possible to the two large fairway bunkers guarding the left side of the fairway. This will allow a straight shot into a very long green, with water to the right of and behind the green. “Safer” drives on the right side of the fairway will bring the water hazard guarding the green into play.
1st Pros Play :
Fairway wood hugging the left side of the fairway from the tee and be sure of your yardage to the pin due to surrounding lakes.
HANDICAP : 13
The pin position on the huge (57 yards wide) green can change this hole, a large variation of tee positions also creates various distances of water carry.
2nd Pros Play :
All about playing the correct yardage and a 3 here is never a bad score.
HANDICAP : 5
Similar in topography to the Canyon Course’s signature 13th, this hole features an even more intimidating tee shot, which must carry a huge water filled canyon, or thread a narrow gap between the two canyons guarding this fairway. The green is also perched on the canyon edge, creating the need for very accurate and prudent approach play.
3rd Pros Play :
Squeeze every yard from your driver over the canyon to set up a good birdie chance. Avoid going over this green with your 2nd as will make for a very difficult par!
HANDICAP : 1
A very wide fairway gives the golfer some strategic choice on the tee shot. The safer “high road” to the left leaves a longer second shot over another sheer-sided canyon. The shorter “low road” to the right flirts with the same canyon, but rewards a good drive with a shorter second shot.
4th Pros Play :
A left to right tee shot required to leave a mid-iron over the canyon to the green. Longer hitters will only need a fairway wood from the tee.
Following two left to right doglegs, the fifth hole quickly tests the player who can’t control his hook. Another precipitous canyon sits on the corner of the dog leg. Over-hit second shots find a steep drop behind the green, further rewarding a courageous tee shot.
5th Pros Play :
The risk of taking on this dogleg is very high, so a fairway wood straight down is the play to leave an iron to the long green. Try to keep your 2nd shot below the hole.
HANDICAP : 15
Water greets errant tee shots on the left and the right side of this short downhill par 4. An interesting feature is the “Pine Valley” style short and long fairway “islands” separated by a waste area. The successful risk taker off the tee will be looking for a birdie. But a strongly sloping back to front green requires accurate approach play from the more conservative player.
6th Pros Play :
An accurate tee shot required with a draw off the bunkers to the right of the fairway recommended. Leave your ball under the hole for an easier uphill putt.
HANDICAP : 7
Accurate drives will hug the canyon edge on the left of the fairway at this strong right to left par 4. The second shot will have to cross the canyon edge to an elevated green. Golfers playing from the safe right side must be wary of three fiendishly placed greenside bunkers.
7th Pros Play :
Play straight down from the tee then go across to green with your 2nd and consider 1 club more with your uphill approach to this green.
HANDICAP : 17
The most picturesque par 3 on the golf course. High teeing areas give a great view of this large green, beautifully framed by water and bunkers short and behind. Flowering Allamandas complete the backdrop. The green is subtly shaped to give very challenging tournament pin positions.
8th Pros Play :
If a tricky pin, center of the green could be your best option depending on your confidence at the time.
HANDICAP : 3
The first of the par 5’s. A straight forward drive gives the opportunity to “open up the shoulders”. Only the longest hitters can consider taking on the waste area on the second shot to get home in two. Most will need a well placed second shot to avoid a large bunker at the left end of the dog leg and a small stand of trees on the right. Three good shots will be needed for a birdie chance.
9th Pros Play :
A long drive hugging the left side will open this green in two, if not lay up to the bunker so your 2nd goes past the tree or lay it up short of the tree for a clear 3rd shot.
HANDICAP : 4
Another par 5, but this time right to left all the way. The drive has a beautifully contoured landing area over water and framed by bunkers on the left. Long, well-placed drives down the right side of the fairway will allow for a clear second shot. Only right to left second shots here will leave a short pitch to a raised green and a genuine birdie chance.
10th Pros Play :
A draw off the bunker on the right will open up the green if you have the length & accuracy to get home in two, but leave your ball under the hole on this severe sloping green!
HANDICAP : 14
One of the highest points on the course with a lovely view of this short par 4 and the green is tucked to the right in the rubber trees. A powerfully hit left to right drive may find the front of the green. But, If you don’t get it right your path to the green will be blocked and you may not find the green in two! A shorter accurate tee shot to the left over the rough hollow may be the smart choice.
11th Pros Play :
Cut the corner with a driver in a bid to drive the green or play an iron down the fairway and wedge on. The choice is yours.
The shortest par 3 at Blue Canyon. The green is virtually on an island, with water short, left and long right of the putting surface. Seeing a well struck short to medium iron from the elevated tee, out of a chute of trees, is one of the most enjoyable shots on the course. But poor club selection could yield a 3-putt bogey or worse, on this large green.
12th Pros Play :
With often tricky pin placements on this green, club selection is vital to ensure your par.
HANDICAP : 10
Normally a par 5 for regular play, today’s professionals will find this a two shot hole. A large tree stands in the fairway’s center. Accurate drives will pass left of it leaving an easier second shot. Drives to the right leave a choice of a safe second or a long shot over water to a well-guarded green.
13th Pros Play :
A good drive left of the tree will set up the green in 2 shots but no bail out left or right as bunkers and the lake await.
HANDICAP : 6
The start of the difficult finishing stretch. This long uphill par 4 is becoming a very demanding tee shot as the trees mature. Drives must find the left half of a “hogback” fairway or they are kicked behind a Padauk tree guarding the right hand dogleg. The second shot requires distance control distance to a raised green, guarded front left by a cavernous bunker. Putts from behind the hole will be extremely fast.
14th Pros Play :
Driver hugging the left side of the fairway to leave a clear 2nd shot to the green. Leave your 2nd shot below the hole for uphill putts.
HANDICAP : 8
From the championship tee, this slightly left and right par 5 descends the full 22 meters of elevation change on the course. A wide fairway begs you to let rip from the tee; which you will have to do to be able to carry the water on the second shot. Beware, as there is also water close behind the green. This hole presents a definite birdie chance for the long hitter.
15th Pros Play :
A good drive will definitely give a chance of going for it in two, but plenty of hazards waiting if you are not accurate.
HANDICAP : 12
Cautious drivers will steer clear of three interestingly shaped bunkers on the corner of this dog leg left. However, staying too far right will result in a long iron to this large green and three putts will be more likely.
16th Pros Play :
A draw from the tee is best suited for this dogleg left and to leave the shortest yardage for your 2nd shot before finding another tricky green.
HANDICAP : 18
This is the first and only hole with no water in play. However, the severe undulations of this unusual par 3 level green more than compensate. Again, it is a refreshingly moderate par three in length, where good club selection and accurate execution will avoid very testing putting conditions.
17th Pros Play :
The two front bunkers are popular locations so ensure you have enough club to set up a regulation par.
HANDICAP : 2
From the championship tee, perhaps the most difficult natural par 4 finishing hole in golf! A single tree separates fairway options. The high left side allows a beautiful view of a small green slotted healthy between high rust tinted canyon walls, step grassed mounds and a vegetation fringed water filled canyon. A single bunker provides “relief” for slightly pulled second shots. The right side of the fairway allows longer drives, but the partly hidden view of the green psychologically takes back the advantage. Over safe long second shots find rough slopes, awkward to chip from. There is nowhere to hide on one of golf’s most testing holes.
18th Pros Play :
A long and straight drive right of the tree will still leave a long iron over the canyon to this undulating green. A par 4 here on this stimulating hole will always leave a sweet taste.
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