Corey Roberson, Director of Golf
For the third edition of Play-A-Hole, we are sticking with our Par-5 theme and will be discussing the often gettable #9. I say often gettable because #9 is our shortest Par-5 at Cordillera Ranch, however, it still has plenty of challenge. Most of our men play either the Blue tees or the Ranch tees. The Ranch tee is a combo of Blue & Silver, and on #9, the Ranch tee is played from the Blue markers. From this tee, it’s about 265 yards to clear the bunkers, it plays a little downhill, and the predominant wind is slightly helping and off the left. The smart play is to hit something less than 250 yards towards the left edge of the right bunker. In theory, this takes the left and right bunkers out of play but will leave you a longer shot into the green (about 235 yards to the front edge). For those who are accurate drivers and have a little speed, hitting driver can get you well past the bunkers but your landing area is only about 30 yards wide. With high risk comes great reward — going this route will leave you with less than 200 yards into the green.
The 9th green can be plenty tricky but there’s always a good spot to miss depending on where the hole is located. Your second/third shot plays uphill to a narrow green with a false front. If the pin is on the left side of the green, it’s an easy up-and-down from the right bunker. Conversely, if the pin is on the right side of the green, you’ll want to error on the left side. If the pin is upfront, there’s not much room for error as we often see balls roll back down the fairway off the false front. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, this is what I love about good Par-5s … the options. If you are laying up, you can either play it short of the two cross bunkers or play more aggressively up the right side to have a shorter third shot. It’s all about placement, knowing the angles, and playing to your strengths. If you play smart, you can closeout the front nine with a birdie.
Corey Roberson is the Director of Golf at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 830.336.4653.