Footage provided by Geoff MacKenzie DC'85
410 Yards Par 4
The first drive at Yale is certainly intimidating. A long drive is required to carry the water and the steep portion of the fairway to help avoid a blind second shot. If an uphill lie is avoided, the resulting roll will add many yards to an already long drive. Trees line both sides of the fairway and obstruct any shot to the two tiered green. The bottom of the pin is hidden making the second shot deceptively long causing many shots to fall short. This shot, however, leaves an easier pitch to the green than if you fall into either of the ten foot traps that guard the green to the front and the right side.
365 Yards Par 4
The second hole plays relatively easy unless the trap on the left hand side of the green catches hooked second shots. The narrow fairway is lined with trees on both sides allowing almost no relief off the tee. The thirty foot deep trap to the left side forces all second shots to the right of the green, resulting in a sloping putt towards the deep bunker to the left. There is seldom an easy putt unless you tempt your fate with the left side of the green.
380 Yards Par 4
A long drive from the tee leaves a blind second to the green. Any shot right will catch the lake, making par almost impossible. A target second shot to a right sloping green will always leave a tricky putt. Any shots that miss the green will result in a fast downhill chip shot to the pin.
440 Yards Par 4
Tommy Armour once chose this hole as 9th in his selection of the most difficult holes in the world. The difficultly is still true today and requires two perfect shots to reach the green. The initial drive requires a 150 yard carry over water, however at about 230 yards the lake curves back into the fairway to catch longer hitters. The second shot is generally hit with a wood or a long iron to a slightly elevated green. The bunkers to the rear of the green are generally out of play, however the deep bunker to the front will require a special shot in order to complete the up and down.
147 Yards Par 3
As with most of the par 3's at Yale, the fifth hole requires accuracy from the tee. The plateaued green is surrounded by ten foot deep traps that punish any way-ward tee shots. If reached from the tee, expect an easy birdie putt.
440 Yards Par 4
Playing from the back tees changes this hole from a relatively simple hole to a long dog-leg left. The left side of the fairway is guarded by a winding brook and out of bounds. This brook winds its way into the fairway at 240 yards from tee catching longer hitters. The second shot is deceptively long with the green sloping to the back, requiring a long iron approach. A tricky 40 yard trap guards right side of green which will punish those that push or slice their second.
368 Yards Par 4
This hole is definitely a second shot hole. The tee shot requires avoidance of woods to the left of the fairway and deep rough to the right. The second shot adds a club or more onto any club selection due to the extreme elevation of the green. The green itself slopes violently to the front, thus distance control is required. Any shot missing to the left side will roll down into the woods and shots to the right may sometimes catch the bunker to the front right leaving a tricky bunker shot.
415 Yards Par 4
A hooked drive will carry deep into woods or a deep gully making the second shot to the green impossible. The hole requires a precise second shot to a narrow green enclosed by 30 foot deep traps both left and right. The player should favor the right side of green when making the second shot as the ball will roll gently towards any middle pin placement as well avoiding the bunker on the left hand side, however the bunker to the right should be avoided at all costs also.
235 Yards Par 3
Yale's signature hole is world famous due to its unusual 65 yard-deep green with an eight foot depression separating the front and back. The tee shot requires at least a 190 yard carry over water to the green. Any wayward tee shot will find woods, making both distance and accuracy a premium. Depending on whether the pin is located on the front or the back portion of the green, to allow any attempt at par the ball must be placed on the correct area of the green. Any ball finding the depression faces an extremely difficult two putt. The trap to the side of the green also leaves a tricky up and down. If played correctly, this hole will give up its share of birdies, yet if played poorly, expect the hole to win.
396 Yards Par 4
This hole takes the curve of the land with no remorse. The fairway starts elevated and then falls into a gulley to an even more extremely elevated green. The hole requires a 240 yard drive to be in gulley of the fairway, yet a shorter drive may result in an easier but longer shot to the elevated green as the pin will be visible. The fairway is lined with thick woods on both sides leaving no shot to the green. The green is elevated 40 feet above the fairway and a deep trap extends across the entire width of the green to catch short shots. The green itself is double tiered which requires accuracy with the approach.
379 Yards Par 4
Probably the least difficult hole on the course. Most elect a long iron off the tee to set up only a short iron for the approach. A slight fade from the elevated tee should set up for an easy second. Woods line the fairway on both sides with patches of long rough. The green is large and level, but requires distance control as it falls away to the front and back to bunkers.
400 Yards Par 4
The narrow tee box opens up to a wider fairway, however the woods to the left and right will leave no shot to the elevated green. The second uphill shot is blind to a two terrace green with two traps in the front and a trap wide on left side of green. As with many of the other Yale holes, reaching the correct tier on the green is a must in order to make par or better.
212 Yards Par 3
Again, from an elevated tee, golfers must avoid water to the front of the green and out-of-bounds on the left. The green is surrounded by traps, but accurate tee shots should have a rolling putt for birdie.
365 Yards Par 4
The forteenth hole is an easy dog-leg to the right. Woods line the right side, and the woods on the left only catch the longer hitters. A long iron from the tee will leave a mid to short iron to an elevated green. No bunkers guard this hole, but if the green is missed to the right the woods will cause a difficult recovery shot to the green. If the green is reached, expect a straight birdie putt.
190 Yards Par 3
Following the relatively easy forteenth, this par three requires accuracy from the tee. The trap on the left is usually out of play, yet the 10 foot deep trap at the front punishes tee shots that fall short. Those who avoid this bunker will usually leave themselves a tricky 2 putt.
553 Yards Par 5
The sixteenth hole is a relatively easy par 5. The green is visible from the tee box and a long drive and fairway wood will allow occasional eagles. Woods line both sides of fairway, therefore smart play is straight play. The tee shot requires a carry over rough for 180 yards to an undulating fairway. If the top of the undulations are reached, the hole sets itself up for an easy fairway wood to the green. However, the undulations cause frequent difficult stances, thus forcing lay-up's to the front sloping green. The green itself is guarded by shallow traps on left and right side which pose no significant threat.
437 Yards Par 4
An uninviting tee shot threads drives over a lake to an extremely elevated fairway at a distance of 170 yards. Once over the hill, the fairway opens up and almost any drive will have a shot to the green. A rocky mound that guards the entrance to green is usually out of play, but may block the view of the pin for accurate drives. The second downhill shot to the green is relatively straightforward, yet once on the green, expect a lively putt.
621 Yards Par 5
Requires a long drive over the hill to the middle of the fairway. Second shot is intimidating over a trap to an elevated fairway on left side or an easier yet longer option to right low side of the fairway. Trees line right side of fairway and rough between elevated and low side of fairway. There is a blind shot to green if second shot is hit to lower side of fairway. There is a lateral brook near the green on right side of fairway. The 18th green is exceptionally large with a 5 foot deep trap the length of the left side and a smaller trap on the right side, any ball hit to the middle of the green should have a makeable last putt.