Be At 1 Course Management

BE AT 1: Tame the 7th, stroke index 1, at Dubai Hills Golf Club

New Dubai Hills Golf Club head pro Jack Woods has the honour this month in our series designed to help you tame the region’s toughest holes

The challenging par 4 7th hole at Dubai Hills Golf Club is perfectly sandwiched between two of the more scoreable holes at the region’s newest course and two tough, long holes to close out the front nine.

At 440 yards off the black tees, all but the longest hitters will be left playing a longer iron or more with their approach. Accuracy is vital off the tee to avoid the drop off waste area on the right and the cleverly positioned bunker on the left. Only then will finding this long two-tiered green seem realistic. I have seen many cases of players getting off to fast starts over the first six holes only to come unstuck at this tough hole, myself included. Here I will share my thoughts on how you can avoid this problem. –With Kent Gray

Tee shot: From the back tees the bunker on the left is 230 yards to reach and over 250 yards to carry so it’s important that you have a realistic understanding of how far you can hit the ball. Few players are going to have the firepower to launch it over that trap, so the line is just right of it. A gentle fade off the bunker suits the shape of the hole well. Anything too far right though will kick off the slope end up down in the waste area and then it’s simply pot luck as to how you find your ball sitting. If you do end up down there don’t try to be a hero, simply get the ball back in play and keep the damage to a minimum.

Approach: Even if you do manage to find the fairway, the approach to this green is no cinch.  Any shot landing too close to the front right of the green will roll down the run off area potentially leaving a tricky chip back up the slope. Playing towards the left centre of the green is always a safe play and a miss slightly left could still leave you with a chance. With the ball often slightly below your feet on this shot it is likely to finish right so adjust for this. Make sure you club up for your approach as well – the green is slightly raised and anything short will run back further away from the green. A bunker front left is also waiting to catch anything slightly under hit. A green in regulation is a great effort but by no means is the hole complete.

Closing out: The green slopes back to front and gently left to right following the general shape of the hole. Pace putting is a priority here. Anything left and long and you will need to be cautious with your speed – don’t get aggressive with your first putt or you’ll leave yourself an awkward length coming back. Walk off this green with your score still intact and you should be one very happy golfer.

Tame ‘Sea View’, stroke index 1 at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
Tame the 15th, stroke index 1, at The Els Club Dubai
Tame the 5th, stroke index 1, at Tower Links Golf Club
Tame the 15th, stroke index 1, at Yas Links Abu Dhabi
Tame the 12th, stroke index 1, at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club
Tame the 13th, stroke index 1, at Al Zorah Golf Club
Tame the 10th, stroke index 1, at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club
Tame the 5th, stroke index 1, at Abu Dhabi Golf Club

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Kent Gray

Editor of Golf Digest Middle East. Has written about golf since 1989 and owned a suspect short game even longer.

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