The 2012 Shell Houston Open will be played March 29 through April 1 at the Redstone Golf Club's Tournament Course. Anyone can play the same course tour pros play for a fee at one of Houston's most fan-friendly golf courses. The Tournament Course was specifically designed to host PGA events.
Here are five notable holes I would love to play at Redstone. The overall course is par 72 and 7,457 yards.
The first hole is a par four at 395 yards. Yet there is a grouping of bunkers that protect the front of the green. The green is huge but there are slight elevations towards the middle that will make approach shots more interesting.
The par five fourth hole offers a challenge with many bunkers and then a water hazard protecting the green. A deep bunker sits on the opposite flank from the water. What's unique about this hole is a raised area down the center of the green that makes under-par opportunities rare on sides of the green. To me, the green would be like playing mini golf.
Hole seven is the first par three of the course. If golfers haven't gotten the feel of the course by now, they are sunk. The 173-yard distance from tee to green is the shortest on the Tournament Course. The distance is deceptive. Bunkers protect the right and left of the green. Hit the ball too far and the ball lands in a pond. When the hole is placed towards the front the green, accuracy is a must for a short birdie attempt. My play would be to hit the ball slightly longer than the front edge of the green to at least give me a chance to putt for a birdie no matter the length.
I love holes with challenging greens. The 10th hole presents a rolling green with many contours that will make close approach shots vital. A bunker keeps one side of the green safe while the golf cart road borders another part of the green.
Rated the hardest hole on the course, the 18th hole is a par four monster. A huge lake and mega bunker flank a huge green. With a pin placement to the back, my putter would have to sharp if my approach shot settles on the front third of the green.
William Browning has covered sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network including golf and local golf courses in southwest Missouri. He currently resides in Branson, Mo.