Canyon Course Hole-by-Hole Review

Blue Canyon Country Club

PAR: 72. From the back tees: 7179 yards.

The Canyon course is championship-class, regarded as among the best in Asia and with a string of awards to prove it. Set in a natural environment, the course has room to expand if the long-hitting trend continues. Water comes into play at 10 holes. There are more than 80 bunker. The Lakes is aptly named, and it has larger greens. Water comes into play at 17 holes and there are about 36 bunkers. Both courses share a large clubhouse with first-class amenities that overlooks a verdant rolling valley. The greens run fast and true on the Canyon and the putting surfaces are a little larger on the Lakes. When the wind blows, the degree of difficulty increases considerably. Stray into the rough on the Canyon and the penalty is likely to be a little more severe than on the Lakes.

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Hole 1

BLACK 390 BLUE 380 WHITE 364 RED 326
A straightforward par four to start. From an elevated tee, the line of attack boomerangs left to a tight green. Bunkers span the apex of the dogleg to trap players who try to cut the corner. As with many Canyon greens, bunkers also protect three sides. A tiara of hibiscus bushes around the back of the green adds color and perfume.

Hole 2

Relatively short, this par three has plenty of attitude. A shot across the water in the valley is required, with water in-play on the left, and bunkers front-left and back-right of a green that slopes up to hold well-flighted tee shots.

Hole 3

Longest of the par fours, this is rated the second-hardest hole on the course. One huge tree sprouts in the center of the fairway. The Calabash becomes an obstacle for second shots to an away-sloping green that is tucked right and guarded by bunkers and rubber trees left and right.

Hole 4

A dogleg right, and a tee shot over a hillock, with out-of-bounds to the left, add some grit to the par four rated the easiest hole on the course. But first, there's a gully with a hedge to be negotiated. A good drive that veers left may leave a blind shot to the pin with a ring of bunkers accommodating less than perfect approaches.

Hole 5

Straight but narrow, this par four stretches downwardwards with out-of-bounds all the way along the left. Two long and large pots on either side guard the approach, with a third at the rear.

Hole 6

The first par five calls for caution. A tactical drive is required to avoid water on the right. While the hole doglegs to the left, the hazard makes an open shot to the green impossible. Big bunkers guard the second dogleg and both sides of the green, with a bunker over the back as well.

Hole 7

Water in a gully across the fairway makes this par three picturesque and tricky.The putting surface is protected left and right by bunkers. Deceptive and dangerous, the green slopes from left to right.

Hole 8

Getting to the green is half the battle on a par four that doglegs left, with fairway bunkers tucked in beside the bend and more out of sight left of the pin. The green is guarded by five bunkers and rolls strongly uphill in tiers away from the tee.

Hole 9

Water cuts the fairway twice on a par five that calls for tight placement. Water lies to the left from tee to green. A fairway bunker on the right is visible, backed by a couple of palm trees. what can't be seen are the other bunkers behind the palm trees. A sharp dogleg right opens up a green guarded by trees on the right and bunkers on the left.

Hole 10

Elevated tees provide a sweeping vista as this par four takes a severe dogleg left. Rubber trees line both sides of the fairway and a bevy of six bunkers mark the bend and stretch to the green. More bunkers guard the right and the rear of the green.

Hole 11

A par five, the longest and most difficult hole on the course. Water cuts the fairway to catch long drives and washes left and right of the green, behind a ring of bunkers. The long, narrow putting surface makes a hard-to-hit target.

Hole 12

Respite at last from sand, with not a single pot to be seen on this par four. Ah, but the water on the right eventually cuts the fairway in front of the green, calling for a choice between a long, accurate second shot or laying up safely in front.

Hole 13

An awesome prospect from the tee, with the yawning canyon occupying most of the vista. A well-struck ball will carry the chasm. But beware: bunkers run along the far rim and beyond, trapping those whose ambitions exceed their ability. Any ball veering left is in trees. Rolling mounds make some fairway shots awkward and the green has a reputation for cussedness.

Hole 14

A splendid scenic shot from an elevated tee to an island green par three. No bunkers, but who needs them? Guageing the distance and allowing for the drop by using one or even two clubs less is the key. A drop zone lies close to the island for those who miscalculate.

Hole 15

This par five twists first right, then left: two doglegs for the price of one. Water runs along the right then cuts the fairway. Fairway bunkers left and right also reduce the options. A sloping green is guarded by bunkers left, right and rear.

Hole 16

A gentle banana curve to the left with an undulating fairway and bunkers on the bend makes the right of the fairway an ideal destination on this par four. The green is small and well-guarded by bunkers.

Hole 17

A pretty downhill par three that poses a challenge because water intrudes where the fairway should be along the right, all the way to the green. The putting surface is long, narrow and diagonal. Bunkers will trap any ball the water fails to snare. A memorable sight.

Hole 18

Water dominates the right of the fairway again on the scenic par four back to the clubhouse. A large bunker to the right of the green again forces players to stay left. The green is long and narrow and slopes towards the water, leaving anyone who overshoots facing a severe test.

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