Ah, the 17th. Our signature hole which unarguably boasts one of the best views from our award-winning golf course, and which is easily underestimated by many an enthusiastic golfer. If you do not keep your wits about you, notorious number 17 can catch you unawares! In this edition, we chat to our golf pros Sports Manager, Warren Abery and Pro Shop Manager Ryan Schierhout to get some inside info on how to make par on the 17th.

About the 17th

The hole is named ‘Isiqhingana’: isiZulu for ‘tiniest island’. When you step on to the tee box, you would understand the reasoning for this. The hole’s uniqueness lies in its short length; it plays only 80m. Unless your pitching is spot on, the 17th can prove one of the biggest challenges on our course. Interestingly enough, though, it has produced a significant number of holes-in-one!

The 17th is a par 3: this means an advanced golfer is expected to need only three strokes to finish – generally, one to get the ball on the green, followed by two putts. 

On the 17th

“This hole makes many golfers freeze up,” Warren says, as he sets up his tee. It’s a beaut of a North Coast morning, and the sun has bathed the course in an almost ethereal light as dew twinkles off the grass. “It looks quite imposing, and there’s quite a bit of water all around. But, if you break down the science of the hole and take a moment to carefully consider your shot, it’s an enjoyable hole to play.”

Ryan agrees. “The key to conquering the 17th is knowing your distance. When you’re preparing to take your shot, the first thing to do is figure out the maximum distance you will hit with the short irons. Then, once you’ve tee’d up, commit to the shot, knowing it will fly the distance.”

Warren & Ryan’s Top Tips

  1. Choose a club that will get you to the middle of the green. When the weather is good, select a club that will give you a full, clean shot.
  2. Get your ball on a good lie: a level spot on the tee box.
  3. If it is windy, select one club more than you would usually use. Grip down on the club (as shown in image) with the ball position slightly off your back foot. “Tee up, and then say a prayer,” Warren jokes.
  4. Commit, commit, commit. “Play it nice and full into the green,” says Ryan. “Many golfers bail on the shot halfway through the swing, which will not yield a good result.”
  5. Do not slow down on your follow through. Make sure your club gets enough speed as you swing and follow through confidently.
  6. Do not attack the pin. Aim for the centre of the green.

And, now that you’ve conquered the 17th…

…please repair your pitch marks. “It’s just good golfing etiquette,” Warren shares. “It takes less than a minute and helps keep our course in a good condition.”

  1. Insert your repair tool just outside of the back of the ball mark. Use the tool to dig gently around the mark, pulling the turf toward the centre of the mark. Do not ‘twist’ the repair tool roughly: this will break more turf loose.
  2. Gently tap the repaired area with the tip of your golf shoe, and flatten a few times with your putter. The entire process should take you between 15 and 30 seconds to repair correctly.
  3. Take care not to pull up the centre of the mark with the repair tool, as this will expose the soil under the turf and delay the ‘healing’ process.
  4. If you see any other pitch marks that have not been repaired, and you have the time, take a second to repair them, too.

Share This

Like Us On Facebook
Country Club