British Open 2012: Power Ranking the 5 Toughest Holes at Royal Lytham
This year's British Open will be played at Royal Lytham and St. Annes golf course, and is by no means a walk in the park for the players.
Measuring 7118 yards from the championship tees, this par 70 golf course will be a challenge for even the most accomplished golfers on Tour.
The tough layout and stormy conditions will give players quite a frustrating week, as they try to grind it out day in and day out.
Let's take a look at a few holes that will really challenge the players to their full extent.
5. Par Three Fifth
The par-three fifth at Royal Lytham is the longest par three on the course, measuring 218 yards from the back tees.
There are a cluster of bunkers left and right of the green that guard the putting surface, and it will be a tough up-and-down for the players if they find any one of those sand traps.
Therefore, this hole demands a super straight tee shot to avoid the bunkers and find the putting surface.
However, the troubles don't end there.
The greens at Royal Lytham are pretty difficult, and with the windy conditions, putting will be even more challenging for the golfers.
Making a par on this hole is a very good score.
4. Par Four Second
This brute of a par four measures 481 yards from the back tees, and is one of the more intimidating par-fours out on the golf course.
There is an out of bounds railway line that runs along the entire right hand side, and bunkers and high mounds are well positioned on the left.
To have the best angle into the green, players will have to favor the right side, which brings the out of bounds into play.
However, if players decide to play cautious and favor the left, they may end up on the mounding areas or the bunkers, which would leave a semi-blind shot to the green.
Like the fifth hole, walking away with a par is a great score.
3. Par Four 15th
The par four 15th hole plays 464 yards from the championship tees and is another hole that will test the players' abilities.
There are a few bunkers scattered across the fairway, but only pose a threat to players looking to cut the corner of this long par four.
After finding the fairway, players will have a mid-iron to this green that must skirt its way between dunes and bunkers, more bunkers on the right, and thick rough on the left.
The approach shot is semi-blind for the players, so hitting the green will be a remarkable feat and walking away with a par will keep the momentum going.
2. Par Four Third
This 477 yard par four is well guarded by mounds and thick rough down the left, and the out of bounds railway on the right.
With a few bunkers scattered along the fairway, finding the short grass will be an exceptional feat.
Players should favor the left side off the tee, and stay short of a few fairway bunkers. After hitting their tee shot, players will be left with a medium iron shot to this well bunkered green.
Players must avoid the deep bunker near the back left of the green because getting an up-and-down from that location will be extremely difficult.
1. Par Four 17th
The par four 17th hole measures 467 yards, and is the most difficult hole on the Royal Lytham and St. Annes layout.
This dogleg left is well bunkered with a dozen or so fairway bunkers, so the tee shot will be very difficult and intimidating. Finding this narrow fairway and avoiding all the bunkers will be a great start to this hole.
After hitting their tee shots, players will be faced with another challenging iron shot that puts a premium on accuracy.
The green is well bunkered on either side, so finding this putting surface, two putting, and walking out of here with a par is a great score.