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Four Game-Changing Holes at Tradition Golf Club

Tradition Golf Club’s reputation certainly precedes it.

The track is ultra-playable, almost always presenting in pristine conditions and has renovated its greens to allow for some of the truest putts you’re going to find. It’s a true locals’ favorite for a reason.

And what those locals will tell you is that your score here is ultimately not going to be determined by your rhythm or short game or even your abilities with the driver. No, it’s going to come down to four holes in particular where huge swings from one player to the next are entirely possible.

Each of these four holes is a birdie waiting to happen. But they can go the other way in a hurry, too.

NO. 4, PAR 5, 510 YARDS
Don’t get too hung up staring at the back end of the yardage book for this hole before you hit your tee shot. Because what might just take place is you forget about the trouble spot up the left hand side in the landing zone. If a righty hooks even slightly, he or she will be staring at an inconvenient tree and patch of thicker grass that squeezes the fairway and then forces you to punch back to civilization. That’s where things can really get hairy. Anything but a solid first and second shot takes any chance at going after the green in three out of the equation, and those who try something they shouldn’t end up in the drink. Hello, snow man.

NO. 7, PAR 4, 377 YARDS
One of the most beautiful and fun holes on the entire course at Tradition is the par-4 seventh. A nice, easy straight-line drive leads you to a forced carry into an island green separated from the water by bulk heads that frame it all even better for your group picture. The two biggest mistakes players make here, though, is muscling up off the tee and/or shanking the carry into the putting surface. On the former, even a somewhat friendly role can take you to the edge of the wet stuff. On the latter, you can actually find the water short, long, left and right of the hole. And don’t count on those bulk heads to stop a rolling shot away from the pin. (Top photo)

NO. 10, PAR 5, 520 YARDS
The longest hole (from the white tees) at Tradition can actually feel incalculably longer if – much like on No. 4 – you end up hitting left of center. But the difference here is that problem doesn’t just exist off the tee; it’s the entire length of the hole. Course designer Ron Garl plugged in a start-to-finish waste bunker all the way up that side. It follows the bend of the dogleg and leads you right to the green. And if you’re unlucky enough to find that sand early, don’t try to be a hero. The safe play is to take your lumps and try to salvage a bogey. If not, one shot out of sand might become two might become three. 

NO. 14, PAR 3, 157 YARDS
A par 3 with a huge island green and a nice lengthy putting surface? What could possibly go wrong? Let us count the ways. One, from the black and white tees, that nice tree casting some shade on the green is a freaking magnet. Two, depth perception here isn’t the greatest with a wide-open window straight to more water behind the green. Three, the green is banked in all directions, meaning anything short of the Sunday Bermudagrass leaves you flirting with a roll into the water. Four, the two large bunkers on the front left are brutal to get out of during certain parts of the year. Five, landing on the green might just leave you with a long putt, meaning three and four are possibly back in play. Aim small, miss small.