Whistling Strait’s 16th hole could be a keyhole
The 16th hole at Whistling Straits will prove to be the most crucial for several reasons, and perhaps no greater than the order in which it is on the course, as the percentages say many games don’t reach the 17th.e tee during the Ryder Cup.
There will be a plethora of birdies with a few eagles mixed in assuming this hole plays out the same as in the 2015 PGA Championship, where it was the easiest hole on the course, playing at an average of 4.62.
Standing off the tee of this 552-yard par 5, most players know that they should be able to hit in half with the predicted westerly wind direction (right to left), which adds a bit extra pressure to hit the fairway. Playing well away from Lake Michigan which borders the hole all the way down the left side, captain Steve Stricker opened up the rough right lane to about 40 feet wide where players can jump before the fairway bunkers.
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The more difficult left side is flanked by plenty of bunkers just waiting to catch the errant hook off the tee. A layup should be done on a twisty fairway where line and distance should match to provide the best option for the approach shot.
For those who are able to shoot for the green in half, superb scores await and players will be greeted by a fairway binds with the ball slightly above their feet, providing the best opportunity for a nice high draw in the middle. green from 220 to 250 meters. or more. To help here, the green is also tilted from right to left with two mounds jutting out into the green just to the right of the green.
This allows the freedom to aim from the right side and away from trouble and allows the natural contours to move the ball toward the hole as it bounces across the putting surface. This avoids taking the risk of squeezing the left side of the most dangerous hole, where it becomes more and more difficult as the player gets closer to the green.
All in all there should be a lot of fireworks to score 16e. We might just see a few eagles to close matches here accompanied by the traditional high-decibel roars we’ve grown used to over the years.
Steve Scott is the director of instruction for Golfweek and the author of the book “Hey, Tiger – you need to move your mark back”, published earlier this year (Skyhorse Publishing, $ 19.99). It is available on movethatback.com. In addition to running our courses, Scott is also the PGA’s Chief Golf Professional at The Outpost Club, Founder of the Silver Club Golfing Society and PGA Tour Live Analyst.