With the PGA Tour stopping at The Honda Classic this week we will be hearing a lot of about the famed “Bear Trap”, holes 15-17 at PGA National. NBC’s coverage will randomly switch to the Blayne Barber’s of the tournament (yes, that is actually a pro.) that are irrelevant to the overall outcome just to satisfy what? The need to say: “The Bear Trap strikes again” or “let’s see what the Bear Trap will hold for our leaders in a couple of hours”? If a stretch of holes proves to be as daunting as advertised and a true measure of how much they will play into the result of a tournament we should hopefully see some drama from the final pairings as they push for the win. And not minutes into the coverage just so Azinger can get his giggles in.
But when I think of famous, 3 hole stretches only one comes to mind: Amen corner. And I’m not talking about holes 11-13 at Augusta National. No, no I am talking about the famed 7-9 stretch at Broadmoor Golf Course in Sherwood Park, Alberta.
Hole 7, a relatively short dog leg left maxing out at 370 yards for you big dogs that are playing from the gold tees (I’m a big dog. Woof) But water all the way up the left side and surrounding the green, partnered with a tough fairway to get aggressive with makes the big number a very real possibility. The holes at Broadmoor don’t come with names but if I had to pick one I’d call it: “a tee box 20 yards back would make this hole so much cooler (tougher).”
Hole 8. A dainty, picturesque par 3 that will only tip out at 150. A large green offers numerous pin positions (especially a Sunday special back left location!) and some interesting short game shots if you miss the green. I give you: “it’s 140 yards from the brown door.”
Hole 9, “if only I was a little more left off the tee I could go for it” is a Par 5 with tons of character. 520 yards borders the other side of the water I mentioned from hole 7. So with more water on the left, that’s bad news for a lefty like me. And then there comes the second shot. A good drive teases the option to go for it in two but also provides you with a decision on where you should lay up to. Bunkers in front and a green that’s quite elevated makes for a hole with lots of, you guessed it, character.
It seems these decisive stretches of holes are going to be a feature in the coming weeks on Tour. This week with the Bear Trap, the Snake Pit in 2 weeks at the Valspar, and the true Amen Corner at The Masters in just over a month (eek!) so I thought it would be fun to give a nod to my favourite, Alberta three-hole stretch. A nod to the golf course I grew up playing as a junior as well as the course that employed me for three summers as I stumbled through University. I think you can tell it holds a special place in my heart.
So I want to know: does your home track have a stretch of holes that stick out more than the rest? A true test of golf that can make or break a round? Does it come with a fancy name like “Amen Corner” or the “Snake Pit”? I’d love to get a chance to play them if I could so interact with myself and GolfLife Alberta on twitter to let us know where Alberta’s next “Bear Trap”!