RYDER CUP: Medinah’s closing holes

News & Tour

The last four holes at Medinah are where most matches will be won and lost...

RISK-REWARD THRILLER

15th, PAR 4, 280 YARDS
Following the staging of the PGA in 2006 Rees Jones transformed the 15th into an exciting driveable two shotter by knocking 100 yards off its length and adding a new two-acre lake that skirts the right of the fairway and green.
It was carried out with the Ryder Cup in mind and is certain to put doubt and intrigue into players’ mind… depending on the state of the match.
Expect eagles and bogeys in equal measure on a hole which is about to get its debut in tournament golf.
How many matches will this hole turn, and end?

SERGIO’S FAMOUS LEAP

16th, PAR 4, 505 YARDS
This is where Sergio Garcia hit his amazing ‘eyes closed’ second shot from the base of a tree on the right side of the fairway during the 1999 PGA. The Spaniard nipped the ball off the tree roots then chased it over the summit of the hill.
This dogleg is likely to end up as the toughest hole when the stats are assimilated on Sunday evening – it has been lengthened to over 500 yards. Off the tee you want to shape your drive right to left to find the left of the fairway, then take enough club to fly the valley in front of the elevated green. It’s uphill, so is all carry. A front pin position will make this a do-or-die approach for those eyeing birdie.

Don’t expect Davis Love to be smiling too much as he strolls along the 17th though; he started well at Medinah in the 2006 PGA but took eight here and missed the cut.

THE PRETTY BEAST

17th, PAR 3, 206 YARDS
This is recognised as Medinah’s signature hole and unlike the previous challenge, it is played downhill. The similarity, though, is that it is all carry.
The north wind which blows up this hole starts in September and makes it that much tougher – as do the bunkers back left and right of the putting surface.
It’s a beautiful spot though, with Lake Kadijah in the foreground.
Don’t expect Davis Love to be smiling too much as he strolls along the 17th though; he started well at Medinah in the 2006 PGA but took eight here and missed the cut.

THE EXCITING CLIMAX

18th, PAR 4, 450 YARDS
Playing back uphill towards the clubhouse, it plays longer than its 450 yards. Expect players to favour the left side with three new bunkers installed by Rees Jones on the right. It used to be a fairly acute dog-leg but was straightened out for the 1990 US Open. The change was widely praised because on the original design strong players could only hit a lofted wood or even just an iron to the corner to leave a very long approach. Now they can take on the bunkers to leave a short iron in.
The green is wide but shallow so club selection is crucial to hold the putting surface. Two bunkers guard it and there is also a collection area to the right and rear.

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