Putting A Game Plan Together For My Round At Kokopelli Golf Club


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , | Posted on Saturday, April 9, 2011

As I was watching The Masters today, I began to think about how well prepared professional golfers are before a round. They gather tons of information to put together a game plan of how to play the course. Caddy and player are meticulous with their calculations, walking off every inch of the fairways and greens. And with the advancement in GPS technology, no stone is left unturned in preparation for a tournament.

So if the pros do it, why shouldn't I? As amateurs, we tend to book our tee time, look at some pictures on the course website, get to the range, hit a few balls, and then start the round. If you have played the course a bunch of times, you may know its subtleties, but I plan on playing a lot of different courses this summer. With over 200 hundred courses in the Phoenix area alone, I want to take on a new track each time I go out.

The Doctor and I plan on playing early tomorrow morning before the final round of the Masters. Our tee time is booked at Kokopelli Golf Club. I have been there to practice on their putting green, but never for 18 holes. The great thing about Kokopelli's website, is that they have a hole by hole description of the layout. Basically you have access to an online yardage book.

Since this information is available, I thought it would be to my advantage to map out a game plan of my own. So let's take a look at the course hole by hole. Hopefully it will help me to hammer out a decent round.

*We will be playing from the yellow(#2)tees. They are called the LIVESTRONG Tees on the score card.

Hole #1 is a par five. Looks like I can play driver off the tee. It is 258 yards to the rough on a straight line. That would leave between 235-260 yards for my second shot. I'll be playing for par so I will layup with a 7 or 8-iron which should leave me about 100 yards in for my 3rd. With a bunker guarding the front, left of the green, I will probably aim to the right of the green to avoid ending up in the sand.
Hole #2 is a longish par 3. 196 yards is a little less than a full 22 degree hybrid swing for me. With water on the left, a bunker guarding the left hand side of the green, and mounds behind the green, the good miss would be short and right. Looks like there is some serious undulations. Putting could be an adventure.
Hole #3 is a short par 4. No need for driver on this hole. A nice hybrid off the tee should leave me within pitching wedge distance from about 120 yards. The water which guards the front of the green may come into play depending on wind direction. If it is in my face, I have to remember to take enough club.
Hole #4 can be played with a hybrid off the tee. That should leave me with 150-155 yards for my second shot. Again, I have to remember to take enough club so that I don't end up in the bunker in front of the green. The bunker at the back of the green could prove costly as well if I end up flying the green.
Hole #5 looks like a 3-wood off the tee. That would put me out near the bunkers on the left, so no pull hooks on this hole! It looks like it is an uphill second shot so from 165 yards, I'll hit a 6-iron instead of 7-iron to cover the distance. If the wind is in my face, it may end up being a smooth hybrid for enough club to avoid the front bunker.
Hole #6 could prove tricky if I end up in the front bunker, left of the green. A good miss will be short, right of the green. Looks like the green slopes from back to front so anything below the hole will be a good shot.
Hole #7 will only require a hybrid off the tee. That would leave me with 9-iron into the green. With no bunkers guarding the green, this could be a birdie hole.
Hole #8 is the #1 handicap hole on the course. A driver off the tee should leave me short of the bunker on the right. From there, it looks like I can go 8-iron, 8-iron for my second and third. My second shot has to end up on the left side of the fairway to avoid the trees on the right. Nothing long or else I'm in the lake.
Hole #9 is a short par 4. A hybrid will leave me with a pitching wedge from 120 yards into the green. Longer hitters may be tempted to go for it, but you will have to avoid the bunkers in the front of the green.
Hole # 10 is a short par 4 with a tee shot over water. Block that out, and a hybrid shot of 200 yards will leave me with a gap wedge into the green. Avoid the bunkers on the left and I could be looking at birdie.
Hole #11 looks like another hybrid off the tee. This takes the bunkers out of play which leaves me with a short iron into the hole. The pin placement could make all the difference on this hole. Leaving my approach shot on the wrong tier will leave me with a very difficult putt.
Hole #12 requires two straight shots. Not much fairway to work with on this hole. It will probably be a 3-wood off the tee. Hybrid brings the bunkers on the left into play. Driver brings the bunker on the right into play. A good tee shot will be my only chance at hitting this green in regulation.
Hole #13 will be hybrid or 3-wood off the tee to avoid the fairway bunker on this dog-leg left, par 4. Avoiding the bunkers surrounding the green is must. Especially the one on the right and in the back. Getting up and down out of those traps will be very difficult.
Hole #14 will have me in between a 7-iron and a 6-iron. The wind will probably dictate what club I choose. Two more bunkers guard the front of the green. Anything left in there will probably end up as a fried egg.
Hole #15 has water running down the left side of the fairway. I should be alright with driver off the tee. I have to be sure to hit a good second shot that avoids the water. My third shot looks like it will be uphill, so an extra club may be needed.
Hole #16 looks like a hole I can take advantage of. A good tee shot will allow me to attack the green. I just have to be sure not to go long and end up in that nasty little bunker just off the back of the green.
Hole #17 is the last of the par 3's. It's hard to tell from the picture, but it appears that the green sits on top of a dome. If that is the case, anything on the edge of the green is going to run off. Picking the right club will be crucial, as holding the green may prove difficult.
Hole #18 requires a good tee shot. Left, you're in the desert. Right, you're in the trees. I can forget about par if either of these scenarios play out. A hybrid for my second shot will leave me around the 150 yard marker. I'm sure that the next shot into the green has given golfers of all levels fits. With the bunker guarding the front and water looming in the back, the right club selection is a must.

So there you go. That's the game plan for the my round at Kokopelli. Let's hope it goes as well as I drew it up. I will have pictures and a course review within the next few posts. Have a great round and always hit your target.

Photos found here.

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