|British Open Championship Hole-By-Hole Preview|
|Royal Lytham & St. Annes|
|HOLE ONE - Par 3 - 205 yards: No gentle introduction this, butample warning of the demands that lie ahead. The 205 yard tee shot is a greenprotected by severe bunkers, with the railway line flanking the right-handside. The seven greenside bunkers mean that pin placement will be key.|
HOLE TWO - Par 4 - 481 yards: Playing 43 yards longer than in2001, the new back tee means that the menacing collection of bunkers to theright of the fairway remains one of the real challenges at Royal Lytham. Thecarry over the bunkers is now 265 yards so, in certain conditions, some of thefield will have to thread their tee shot to the left of them.
HOLE THREE - Par 4 - 478 yards: The bold tee shot must avoidthe left bunkers but not drift too far on the cross-wind as the out-of-boundsrailway line awaits. A shorter drive on this hole brings into play therepositioned bunkers on the right and leaves a much longer approach to a raisedgreen with bunkers either side.
HOLE FOUR - Par 4 - 392 yards: Taking a driver from the teeis no foregone conclusion with a new bunker to the right of the fairway forcingplayers to consider their options. However, a drive too far right on this left-hand dogleg leaves virtually no sight of the target for the approach.
HOLE FIVE - Par 3 - 219 yards: The longest of the Par-3sdemands an arrow-straight tee shot to avoid the bunkers that cluster around thegreen. Moreover, there is a stretch of "dead ground" in front of the green thatis deceptive and makes the hole play longer that it appears.
HOLE SIX - Par 4 - 492 yards: The easiest hole in 2001 whenit played as a par-5 it has been reduced to a 4 for 2012. However, a 4 will bemore difficult score to achieve after the addition of two fairway bunkers tothe right and the recontouring of the rough to the left beyond the dominantleft-hand bunker. Only a perfect drive will leave a straightforward second shotto the green
HOLE SEVEN - Par 5 - 592 yards: Fairway bunkering limitsspace in the drive landing area but the real decision will be whether to go forthe green in two shots in good conditions. Returning competitors may beforgiven for not recognising the hole as a new green and approach has beencreated adding 35 yards to what was previously the longest hole on the course.
HOLE EIGHT - Par 4 - 416 yards: The right-hand railway comesback into play and presents a real threat for any shot that drifts away fromthe elevated tee. A new bunker to the right of the fairway will force theplayers to decide whether to lay-up short of it or not. Club selection iscrucial for the approach to the plateau green that is protected by a range ofcross bunkers 40 yards from the putting surface.
HOLE NINE - Par 3 - 165 yards: A highlight for spectator andplayer alike, this very attractive par-3 still requires a precise shot with agreen that is surrounded by nine bunkers that add to the pressure of findingthe right area from which to make a reasonable birdie attempt.
HOLE TEN - Par 4 - 387 yards: The start of a long journeyhome, particularly if the wind has been favourable on the way out. The tee shotis blind to an angled fairway adding to the challenge of finding the rightposition to attack a rather small green. Although it now plays 52 yards longerthan in 2001, long hitters will still be able to leave a short shot to thegreen but will have to flirt with a deep fairway bunker to the right andanother set in the dunes to the left.
HOLE ELEVEN - Par 5 - 598 yards: An elevated tee set on thehigh dunes between the 8th and 10th holes means a carry in the region of 285yards will be required to carry the bunkers on the left so is only reallypossible in still or downwind conditions. Even a conservative drive leavesplenty to think about as the second shot will have to avoid an approach bunkershort of the green.
HOLE TWELVE - Par 3 - 198 yards: An out-of-bounds close tothe right edge of this raised and angled green makes this the toughest of theshort holes. The prevailing wind comes from the left, meaning the tee shot mustbe held up against it.
HOLE THIRTEEN - Par 4 - 355 yards: A gentle start to one ofthe toughest finishing stretches in golf - six successive par-4s measuring over2,400 yards that can make or break a Championship. Although 13 yards longerthan in 2001, it still represents a good birdie chance.
HOLE FOURTEEN - Par 4 - 444 yards: The tee shot has to avoidthe bunkers and sand hills on the right to provide a reasonable approach to thegreen, so the margin for error is minimal. Hitting the fairway is crucial,particularly with rough and out-of-bounds so close to the right side of thegreen. Any shots dropping short of the putting surface will have to have inaccount a new swale in the approach.
HOLE FIFTEEN - Par 4 - 462 yards: Well positioned bunkers atthe landing area add to the challenge of cutting the corner of the fairway tobring the green within range. The approach has to find its way between dunesand cross bunkers with rough to the left and sand traps to the right.
HOLE SIXTEEN - Par 4 - 336 yards: The shortest hole on thefinishing stretch but it still asks plenty of questions from the tee. Strategywill be all important as the blind drive up and over a sand dune will now haveto be more accurately placed as a new bunker has been added to the left of thefairway.
HOLE SEVENTEEN - Par 4 - 453 yards: A tiny landing area fromthe tee is bordered by bunkers on the left and scrub and bushes on the right.The hole turns left towards an open green protected by bunkers on either side.
HOLE EIGHTEEN - Par 4 - 413 yards: A classic finish thatleaves no room for distraction with a landing area flanked by bunkers and theadded menace of cross bunkers in the fairway. A good drive leaves a gentleapproach to one of Lytham�s finest greens that features well protected bunkersand subtle contours.
Course descriptions provided by www.opengolf.com.