RSG #9 – Getting out of “The Pit”

The lone pin position on this hole dictates that you learn this shot.  A flop of exactly the measured distance will work as well.  Make sure you aim the flop correctly.  Willsstrs demonstrates the topspin chip method:

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Max’s RSG Front 9 Tips

I hear a lot of people claim that RSG is a very difficult course.  I respectfully disagree.  I’m something like 12-2 in challenge matches here.  The two losses came to one guy (2 dwn) who literally birdied every hole and a 58 hc legend member of club deviant (1 dwn) who matched my bird on #9 to win (I was breaking in new clubs and not playing great FWIW).  I’ve won the most credits on this course.  You get the idea, I’m pretty good here.  I thought I’d share some info.

The greens are generally flat and the fairways are wide.  Once you get a solid grasp of putting, wedge play and how to judge the wind, you should compete quite nicely on this course.  For this post, I will consider the front 9.  From the TM tees, 31 is about par for me.  That is usually “in the money” for the general “ready go” BTW (28-29 will win it!).

General Tips:

  • Wind plays X yds = A mph * D yds * .0058 for high irons, slightly less for mid height irons.  Downwind will turn the ball over easier, so beware of that.  This is the formula used in my caddie.
  • Holes I expect birdie are #1,#2,#7,#8.  Par everything else and voila, 31.  The next toughest are #4, #6.  #5 isn’t difficult, but I can’t consistently do anything but par.  #3 is tough to get close, but it’s an easy putt from behind the hole.
  • #7 is an eagle opportunity if you land your drive on the down slope of the fairway.  From a long iron, fw wood position, the hole will play 6-10 yds shorter than listed.  Any putt <10yds from behind the flag is make-able!

That leaves us with #9.  If you’re like me, you initially dismissed this hole as too big a risk to attack for a birdie.  Alas, your match play opponent or RG field probably has as well.  I assume you’ve driven this fairway (a must for this scenario).  Let’s look at the green.  The light green highlighted area is the real green or the birdie green.  From the fairway you’ll want to hit a full backspin shot with an upgraded wedge, level 79 burner iron or level 90 R11 iron.  These are the only clubs, with a callaway ball, that will check up.  In the picture to the right, the highlighted green area represents your landing target area in this scenario.  This is the area where the ball will stop, and leave you a make-able putt.  Checking the ball is a must and is tougher with an uphill green.  The orange highlighted area is the center of your target.  A “perfect” shot will be 1.5 yds to the right (from this angle) of the pin, 1.5 short of pin high.  The break behind this pin placement starts approximately 1 yard from the pin.  If you are playing an approach with “a lesser” club than I’m suggesting, you will want to use full backspin and aim for the front of this orange target.  If you’re like me, the first time you get over in the depression on the left you find yourself wishing for bogie.  Nonsense.  This need not be a difficult recovery, only a very precise one.  Go play a practice round and whack it over there.  The best shot is probably a chip.  When you get it close, write it down.  (update: a very precise flop works fine with a z-wedge/callaway combo)

Willsstrs demonstrates how to get out of the pit on the right side of the green:

Conclusion

Ultimately, you know your own accuracy the best.  Birdie this hole and you will probably win it in match play.  Can you confidently hit and stop a ball on a 6×8 yd landing area in the wind?  Can you scramble a tough par if you miss right?  If so, this is a birdie hole.  Attack it!  If not, play a little short and to the left (from FW perspective).  That area is uphill and a easy par if you can’t roll it in.  Good luck!