What does a slicer's nightmare look like? Probably the 14th at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland
I used to play a fade that could turn into a little slice on a bad day in high school. After four years of not playing much during college, it has since turned into a draw/hook somehow. I can’t explain it. But when I encountered the 14th hole at Royal Portrush this afternoon, named “Calamity", I was thankful I don’t slice anymore.
This par 3 is a slicer’s nightmare. It’s 210 yards and has a feature far more intimidating than a simple water hazard on the right hand side. The green plays to a surface at the top of a dune. To the right is very, very steep drop with thick heather, and on days like the day I played, it’s into the wind.
“A lot of members will hit it down there. They’ll be able to see the ball and still won’t go down and get it,” head pro Gary McNeil told me.
Each player in the threesome playing ahead of me hit their tee shots down there. It was pretty comical to watch. Trudging around in heather on the steep slope trying to hit their ball, then barely being able to climb out.
There is a little bailout zone left that corrals ball left and will come to rest for a pretty tame chip onto the green. I thought I had hooked my shot 40 yards left and was surprised to find it about five yards off the green on fairway.
If I was a teaching pro, instead of giving countless lessons to a pupil trying to straighten their slice out, I would tell him to meet on this tee one morning. We’d bring out 1000 balls, and in a matter of hours, he’d either leave cured or quit golf.
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