There are certain par-3 golf holes globally that mere words alone cannot sufficiently express the grandeur they provide. Certain ones come quickly to mind - the 16th at Cypress Point in California; the 16th at Cabot Cliffs on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia; and the 3rd at Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island are all such grand examples.
The 17th at TPC Danzante Bay belongs in such lofty circumstances. The handiwork of architect Rees Jones and senior design associate Steve Weisser, the Loreto based layout provides a range of topography throughout the round. The terrain encompasses dunes, foothills, desert, arroyos, mountains and last but not least a mesmerising view of the Sea of Cortez that will truly stop you in your tracks with your mouth agape. The par-3 17th is hidden from view right up until the time you reach the teeing area. After putting out at the 16th you ascend a hill and only then does the hole come into full view and the sensory overload goes full tilt.
The 17th provides a wondrous panorama - azure blue water shimmering with the Islands of Loreto jutting out from the Sea of Cortez. The green set perilously on a cliffside finger of land 250 feet above the water below. Given all the visual stimuli one can easily be thrown off kilter. Choosing the correct club and executing with precision are no small task.
The hole took seven months to build, starting in April of 2015 and the sodding of the entire green was completed in October of 2015. The entire green occupies 6,200 square feet and features two distinct sections. The landing area is ringed by sand and is diagonally angled from lower left to far right. The tee boxes are adroitly positioned from different vantage points. Higher handicaps have access to tee boxes that provide a direct line with minimal exposure to the perilous cliffs below.
For those seeking maximum challenge the championship tee pad is set on a different angle, perched 75 feet above the target. When played from the location, the impact caused by varying wind velocities can be significant as shots ascend away from the cliffs subject to crosswinds over the Sea of Cortez. One important thing to keep in mind when the pin is placed in the far right section the overall carry over to reach terra firma is anywhere from 1-2 clubs more than when the pin is left. Leaving the green with par is one to be savoured.
In March 2017, Danzante Bay became the 33rd property in the PGA Tour-owned TPC network.
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