How to play the Hunt Club layout

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:08 PM ET

The century-old Ottawa Golf and Hunt Club is hosting the world's best women golfers during the CN Canadian Women's Open.

The towering pines that line the Hunt's fairways put a premium on accuracy out of the tee box, but this week's winner will excel with her work into and around the greens. When Canadian architect Tom McBroom redesigned the original Willie Park, Jr., layout in the early 1990s, he added what have become in some cases controversial, tricky, multiple-level greens which demand accurate iron play and a hot putter to extract a sub-par score.

"It's a strategic golf course. That's what 100-year-old golf courses are about," said Canadian star and crowd favourite Lorie Kane. "I know they've had a re-design on the greens with Mr. McBroom's help and I remember being here in '94 and thinking, 'Wow! You get on the wrong side and you can putt the thing right off the green.' It's going to come down to placement, for sure. We don't get to see this style of golf course. It's awesome."

To get a feel for how the Hunt will play, we toured the Hunt Club's rolling track with pro Daniel Nadon, getting her perspective on how the LPGA stars might attack each hole.

Nadon made her professional debut as a 19-year-old in a pro-am at the Hunt and has played the Hunt many times since in her 30 years as a member of the professional ranks. She is the Hunt's co-chairman for the CN Canadian Women's Open.

HOLE NO. 1

393 YARDS, PAR 4

The opening hole requires a drive, preferably with a draw, to the right centre of the fairway to take advantage of the fairway's right-to-left slope.

"The second shot is the most important here. The crucial part is to know the depth of the green," said Nadon. "It's a two-tier green and to make the putt you have to be on the right plateau."

HOLE NO. 2

314 YARDS, PAR 4

A short, but treacherous hole kicks off a string of potential birdie holes. It calls for a layup off the tee, avoiding a bunker and a towering pine on the left and a trough on the right side of the fairway that gathers shots hit slightly off-line and guides them into a depression in the rough.

"It's not a driver hole. You need just a 200-yard shot off the tee," said Nadon. "You want to be no closer than 110. It's a big green, so if the pin is back, it can be an extra 10 or 15 yards."

HOLE NO. 3

388 yards, par 4

A new tee to the right, closer to Hunt Club Rd., will be used for this tournament, changing a hole that plays slightly left for the members to one that plays slightly right. Players can take a rip, fading a shot off a big evergreen in the distance that serves as a target. The green is severely contoured with a huge swale dividing front from back on the right side.

"You've got to put the approach close here for a chance at a birdie or you're dead meat," said Nadon.

HOLE NO. 4

342 yards, par 4

Placement of the tee ball is crucial on this short par-4. A shot just over 200 yards to the left centre of the fairway avoids overhanging limbs and bunkers on the right and sets up an approach to a green that slopes away from the player. Anything but a well-struck approach with a short-iron has the potential to run off the back of the green. Deep bunkers menace anything short and left.

"They made this green bigger in the back so there's another pin placement there," said Nadon.

HOLE NO. 5

176 yards, par 3

Par is a good score.

"It's another big green so you really have to pay attention to pin placement for club selection," said Nadon. "It can be a two-club difference depending on pin placement."

HOLE NO. 6

560 yards, par 5

Water menaces the right side for about the first 240 yards off the tee.

"Some of the girls who go too far left and judge it poorly will wind up in the left rough or even in the trees," said Nadon. "You need to be precise with the second shot so you can be aggressive with the third shot. It's a three-tier green again with one big swale in the middle."

HOLE NO. 7

391 yards, par 4

A good drive will leave something like a seven- or eight-iron uphill approach to another undulating green.

"It's a sucker pin in the front pin position. If they go after it, nothing stays on the green," said Nadon.

HOLE NO. 8

159 yards, par 3

Tougher than the yardage shows. The hole plays uphill into the prevailing wind to a very deep green (about 36 yards deep) and the front half of the green is well defended by deep-faced bunkers.

"Up and downs on this hole are very difficult if you misclub yourself. It'll play like 170," said Nadon.

HOLE NO. 9

487 yards, par 5

Another strong driving hole, the target is the fairway bunker well up the right side.

"Left, over the bunker is the perfect second shot," said Nadon. "A mis-hit from the right side of the fairway is trouble, trouble, trouble."

HOLE NO. 10

501 yards, par 5

Another good birdie opportunity which will be set up with a strong drive to the left part of the fairway. The drive comes out of a chute created by the nets from the practice range on the left and trees on the right.

"Hit the ball with a draw off the tee here and you'll be in perfect shape," said Nadon. "The wind is usually in your face. Everything on the green slopes from right to left."

HOLE NO. 11

349 yards, par 4

Looks easy, but a swale in the right of the fairway, not visible from the tee, menaces a shot down the right side of the fairway, sucking balls into a deep depression.

"I'd rather be at 150 yards coming in than try and be 105 and have the bunker and the swale come into play for the second shot," said Nadon. "The green is tricky. It's elevated and people have a tendency to want to take an extra club, but it's not something I would recommend."

HOLE NO. 12

395 yards, par 4

The dogleg right which winds uphill means anything up the right side is death with rough, bunkers and trees making a successful approach to the green next to impossible. A drive that goes a little too far left to avoid the trouble on the right can be sucked into a depression which could result in some kind of a sidehill lie.

"This is one of the toughest driving holes. You've got to boom it down into a narrow area. You've got to be left to see the green here, definitely," said Nadon. "I like to aim at the tree in the middle and try to hit a little fade. It's an elevated green and an extra club going into the green."

HOLE NO. 13

364 yards, par 4

A blind tee shot goes out and over the hill for a downhill approach to another very undulating green.

"You're better left on the fairway here than the right to get a flat area," said Nadon. "What makes this hole is the green. It's a three-tier green making the second shot very important."

HOLE NO. 14

410 yards, par 4

The longest, toughest par 4 on the course will test the players before a bunch of birdie holes to finish.

"A great hole," said Nadon. "It plays long. The fairway is well protected, bunker on the right, bunker on the left."

HOLE NO. 15

183 yards, par 3

The players cross Bowesville Rd., to go back to the 15th tee in front of the clubhhouse for the final holes. This will be a demanding par-3 requiring a seven-wood, hybrid or long iron for most players. The green slopes from back to front. A miss short or to the right is menaced by deep bunkers. Players getting trapped in there will face a daunting up-and-down.

"A big green and everything slopes right to left," said Nadon. "If you're long, you're looking at a downhill, down-grain putt, very fast."

HOLE NO. 16

374 YARDS, PAR 4

Another blind tee shot goes out over the hill and down to the fairway of this shortish par 4. A draw off the tee will avoid a big evergreen which guards the left of the fairway.

"Anything left of centre is better than right," said Nadon. "It's maybe a five-wood or hybrid off the tee and you can catch the slope and get a few more yards."

HOLE NO. 17

162 yards, par 3

The hole is usually downwind, but to a slightly-elevated green. There's a big swale in the left-middle of the green, which could draw shots toward the hole.

"The toughest pin location is back, left," said Nadon.

HOLE NO. 18

495 yards, par 5

A great finishing hole which will offer up the chance for an eagle for the bigger hitters. The tee shot out of a chute of trees to a fairway that bends right has to avoid "The Seven Sisters," a string of evergreens that guard the corner. The tee shot has been made slightly easier after the tree closest to the corner lost its top third (big hitter Laura Davies hit it over the tree on the corner in 1994, said Nadon.)

"It's a great par-5," said Nadon. "There's lots of room to the left off the tee. For most players, the second shot will be a layup, but there will be a lot of players who will hit it in two. If the pin is in back left and they choose to go for it, it's a tremendous shot and a very rewarding shot if they succeed. I think in the last day it will be back left."


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