Presidents Cup: Five pivotal holes at Royal Melbourne

Melbourne (AFP) –


Five holes at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club that could be crucial in deciding who wins the 13th Presidents Cup when it begins Thursday:

- Hole 3 -

Par 3, 176 yards

-- Regarded as one of the best par threes in the world, it plays down from the tee, across a valley and to a green sitting on the opposite hill. Finding the putting surface is paramount: too short and the ball will be swept down the bank fronting the green, long leaves a treacherous downhill putt.

- Hole 4

Par 4, 428 yards

-- The signature hole and considered the best dog-leg in Australia. with a tee shot is over heath and sand and a decision whether to attempt carrying the corner. A difficult second must avoid one of the most awkward greenside bunkers on the course, guarding the left side of a green which slopes sharply from front to back meaning being above the flag can lead to disaster.

- Hole 6 -

Par 4, 312 yards

-- The most obvious hazard off the tee is the huge bunker, known 'Hell's half-acre', embedded in the left hillside. From the tee the land drops sharply down, then rises up around the bunker and turns towards a small green at the highest point of the hill. The green is protected by deep bunkers to the right and a swale at the front, which gathers up any pitch landing short.

- Hole 12 -

Par 4, 440 yards

-- One of the narrowest and most dangerous driving holes on the course. Most of the view of the right half of the fairway from the tee is obscured, meaning uncertainty to the precise driving line. There are no fairway bunkers, but seven traps flank the green which needs a well-judged approach shot to be found safely.

- Hole 15 -

Par 5, 572 yards

-- The longest hole on the course where players face a critical choice on their second shot. Diagonal bunkers lie some 100 metres (110 yards) from the green and they must either lay-up short of them or attempt to fly the sand and reach the green.