Mayakoba Golf Classic: Hole-by-Hole Breakdown

Courtesy: Golfadvisor.com

Mayakoba Golf Classic Hole-by-Hole Breakdown

El Camaleon Golf Club: Par 71, 7017 Yards

Hole 1: Par 4, 438 Yards

Off the Tee: Narrow and tree lined on both sides. They will likely try to eliminate the more heavily tree lined right-side with driver, which brings the left side tree line into play. Need to be accurate off the tee or bogey is in play. Would not be surprised to see less than driver taken off the tee by some, given that approaches for many will be more than a wedge even with driver.

Approach: 150 yds to a smaller 20x30yd green. No bunkers or water. Longer hitters will get wedges into the green if they can keep it in play, the rest will have a longer iron in. Scoring hole if the fairway is found off the tee.

Advantage: Driving Accuracy

Hole 2: Par 4, 428 Yards

Off the Tee: Should be no issues keeping the ball in play on this hole, and no fairway bunkers or water to have navigate around (unless they top it off the tee like I would). Most guys should have a wedge in their hands for the second shot.

Approach: 130 yds to a 20x35yd green. Large bunker lines the left side of the green, should only come into play when the pin is placed on the left half of the green. This should be a scoring hole for everyone in the field.

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

Hole 3: Par 4, 389 Yards

Off the Tee: Everyone should be able to let loose on this hole. The trees on the right can be carried with average power and it is wide open after that. The only reason to club down on this hole would be any significant wind or wanting to hit a specific number for a wedge.

Approach: Under 100 yds to a 25x30yd green. Water in front and bunkers line the entire right side of the green. This hole should be a scoring hole for everyone in the field, especially if the pin isn’t set on the right side of the green.

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

Hole 4: Par 3, 116 Yards

Approach: Tee box is large so they could play with distances depending on the day and weather conditions, but this will be a wedge for everyone into a wide 35x20yd green. They’ll likely tuck pins behind the bunkers but shouldn’t be much defense there, at these distances these guys should be able to throw it past the pin and spin it back. Given OK weather conditions, this should be the third scoring hole in a row for all in the field, a good spot to rack up a DraftKings birdie streak.

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 3 Scoring

Hole 5: Par 5, 554 Yards

Off the Tee: This is a narrow fairway that has a river on the left and trees lined on the right. They’ll likely avoid the left side to stay out of the water, and sight lines might not even make the left possible. This will bring the trees on the right into play, so accuracy on this tee shot is key. It is 320 yards to reach the first fairway bunker, which may be in play for the bombers. The field will all want to stay short of those however possible.

Approach: 245 yards to a 20x35yd green. Most of the field should be able to get there in two with a long iron or fairway wood but will need to bail out right of the green to avoid the river on the left. I would expect any day the pin is located on the left side of the green players will opt to play to the middle of the green or lay up to a go-to wedge distance.

Advantage: Driving Accuracy, SG: Around the Green

Hole 6: Par 4, 416 Yards

Off the Tee: The fairway is narrow but there is a lot of room to miss on either side, especially for the longer hitters. Another relatively short hole that will give almost everyone in the field a short wedge in their hands. The approach should be manageable even if the rough is grown out.

Approach: 115 yards to a large 35x35yd green. One bunker in the front and center of the green, otherwise not much else as defense. This should be a scoring hole for everyone in the field.

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

Hole 7: Par 5, 554 Yards

Off the Tee: The second of the 554-yard par 5’s has a slightly easier tee shot than the last, but trouble is still in play on both sides. They will want to avoid the tree-lined right side, especially because they could potentially cut off a view to the green on the second shot. Therefore, the bunker on the left side of the fairway is in play. Accuracy off the tee to keep it out of the trees and the bunker will be important, guys should be able to get to this green in two with a fairway wood if they are in the fairway. There is another tee box behind where the measured yardage says the tee box will be, so there’s potential they could add another 10 or so yards to this hole if they wanted, which would probably make this a 3 shot hole for most of the field. The bunker in the middle of the fairway is 315 yards and will be in play for the bombers.

Approach: 265 yards to a 15x35yd green. Large bunker on the front left and a smaller one on the right side. Will likely see a good amount of shots played out of these bunkers if guys go for it in two because of how narrow the green is. Any fairway miss will likely require a lay up of some sort, and some may choose to lay up anyway due to the size of the green.

Advantage: Driving Accuracy, SG: Around the Green

Hole 8: Par 3, 151 Yards

Approach: Another relatively short par 3 into a 15x35yd green. They can really play with distances here with pin locations and the large tee box, but most guys won’t need to hit anything longer than a 9 iron into this green. There’s a bunker long and right but likely won’t be in play unless they tuck a pin back there, and there’s not really any other trouble. This should be another scorable hole for the whole field.

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 3 Scoring

Hole 9: Par 4, 462 Yards

Off the Tee: Another hole where the fairway is narrow but it is wide open. The fairway bunker on the right is 285 to carry and will be in play for most of the field, so everyone will likely bail out left, given how much open space there is. If the rough is low, bombers have the advantage on this hole.

Approach: 165 yards to a 15x35yd green. There are smaller bunkers in the front and back left of the green that may be in play depending on pin locations. This will be a low-mid iron approach for a lot of the field, but the bombers will be able to have wedges in their hands and go after this hole. The green is narrow so the shorter hitters will miss more often with the longer irons in their hands, whereas the longer hitters with wedges should be able to attack pins pretty much anywhere on the green.

Advantage: Driving Distance, SG: Around the Green

Hole 10: Par 3, 200 Yards

Approach: The first long par 3 on the course, to a generous 20x40yd green. Bunkers on the left don’t look to be in play, but the water on the right will be with a pin on the right side of the green. Par will be a good score on this hole especially with a pin on the right side of the green.

Advantage: SG: Approach, SG: Around the Green

Hole 11: Par 4, 360 Yards

Off the Tee: It’s a short hole, but its defense is how narrow it is. Both sides of trees will be in play and it only gets more narrow the longer you get. This hole will see mostly irons off the tee to wedge distances they are comfortable with. They can lay back into the fairway all the way to just 220 yards off the tee and still potentially have a wedge into the green.

Approach: Since everyone will likely find the fairway with an iron, this hole becomes a wedge competition. Could see approaches anywhere from 150 yards to 100 yards. The green is 35x20yds and has one large bunker in the front left. Since these guys have wedges, the bunker shouldn’t be much in play and there should be a good amount of scoring on this hole.

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

Hole 12: Par 4, 451 Yards

Off the Tee: The trees at an average carry distance stay wide enough that should keep most balls in play, but it gets narrow the farther out it goes. Even if off-line tee shots stay in play, misses on either side look to bring trees into play on the approach, so staying in the center off the tee is important.

Approach: 165 yards to a 20x30yd green. Most approaches should require a low-mid iron to a decent sized green with nothing surrounding it for defense. As long as they are playing from the fairway on this hole, there should be some scoring here.

Advantage: Driving Accuracy, SG: Approach

Hole 13: Par 5, 532 Yards

Off the Tee: It is wide open and everyone in the field should just see how far they can blast it out there on this hole. The water on the left is not reachable even for a guy like Champ, who would likely need to carry it out to about 345 for it to be in play.

Approach: 215 yards to a smaller 20x25yd green. The bunker in front should be far enough off the green where it’s only in play on a mis-hit. Scoring should come easy to those that can hit shorter clubs into the green and play well around the greens when they’re missed.

Advantage: Driving Distance, Par 5 Scoring, SG: Around the Green

Hole 14: Par 4, 452 Yards

Off the Tee: Heavy tree line on both sides, but should be open enough for the field. Any significant rollout will likely run out through the fairway. It is 315 yards to reach the river that cuts across the hole which should be reachable by the longer hitters, probably forcing a club down off the tee for them. The goal off the tee should be to get as close to the edge of the fairway as possible, which allows for a wedge into the green.

Approach: 155 yards to a 25x35yd green. Large bunker lines the left side of the green. Due to the longer approach, there should be a handful of approaches that find that bunker when pins are on the left side of the green. It will be a scorable hole when the pins are on the right side.

Advantage: Driving Accuracy, SG: Approach

Hole 15: Par 3, 155 Yards

Approach: 155 Yards to a 20x40yd green. A small bunker on the front left is the only defense to this green. A possible advantage to this hole is these guys will have hit the exact same or at least very close to the same club on the 14th hole and it will still be in recent memory, so either carry a good swing into this hole or be able to quickly evaluate and make corrections to hit a better shot this time around.

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 3 Scoring

Hole 16: Par 4, 515 Yards

Off the Tee: They pushed the tee box back behind the river this year and extended the hole 30 yards (the only change in scorecard distance between 2018 and 2019). Although the hole is long, the move to the back tee box actually makes the tee shot easier. It puts the fairway bunker on the right mostly out of play (except for bombers), and a left miss should stay short of the tree line, whereas in the past that tree line is absolutely in play. Accuracy will still be important, however, because they’re going to want this long approach to be from the fairway. It’s hard enough to be precise from this distance from the fairway, out of the rough will be a nightmare to this green.

Approach: 210 yards to a long 15x45yd green. They can extend and shorten this hole by 20 yards each way just with pin placements, but it shouldn’t matter too much because it’s a long approach anyway. The smart approach to this hole no matter the pin placement will be to just hit the middle of the green and run away with par. This will likely be the hardest green to hit all weekend, and a lot of shots will be played out of the massive bunker on the right side of the green.

Advantage: Driving Accuracy, SG: Around the Green

Hole 17: Par 4, 386 Yards

Off the Tee: This is another hole we likely won’t see any driver off the tee. The bunker on the right is in play for most of the field and a miss left will be in the river. Most should opt to play something off the tee that gets them about 250 yards which is just short of the bunker and in the fairway. This leaves a full wedge into the green.

Approach: Assuming a smart play off the tee, it will be a wedge competition from about 120 yards away into a nice sized 20x40yd green. There’s not a lot of protection here other than a tiny bunker on the front left of the green. With wedges into this green and not much defense, expect a lot of scoring on this hole.

Advantage: SG: Approach, Par 4 Scoring

Hole 18: Par 4, 458 Yards

Off the Tee: The closing tee shot is a rough one and requires something down the middle. They’ll need to avoid the tree line on the right, which brings the whole bunker on the left into play for most of the field. It’s about 295 yards to carry the bunker, so the bombers could potentially clear it with normal weather conditions. Due to the length of the hole, laying back off the tee is not really an option unless you’re truly playing for par. A lay up to take the bunker out of play leaves an approach of over 200 yards.

Approach: 165 Yards to a 20x35yd green. One bunker on the front right side of the green, likely will be found if they drop pins in the front of the green since the green is much smaller towards the front than it is at the back.

Advantage: Driving Accuracy, SG: Approach

 

Conclusions:

For a lot of holes, accuracy off the tee is going to be key to scoring, especially if they grow the rough at all. Most holes have just enough room between the tree lines to be safe, but the fairways are so narrow that if they let the rough grow it’s going to be hard on guys that can’t get it in the fairway with some regularity. We should see the more accurate off-the-tee guys at the top of this leaderboard.

Almost half the holes look to have approaches into the greens between 150-175 yards. Additionally, a long par 3, reachable par 5’s and a couple long par 4’s add up to five approaches over 200 yards. This is not a wedge contest, the guys with the good longer irons will do well.

Longer approaches means a higher dispersion on those approaches. Greens are going to be harder to hit, especially those greens that are longer than they are wide. Good around the green game is going to be important if your green in regulation percentage is low.

Three of the par 3’s are short with not much defense and will be scorable. Par 3 scoring should be a difference maker.

Assumptions:

Images and measurements were done in Google Earth. These satellite images can sometimes be old and outdated and therefore not show very recent changes to courses if there were any.

Carry distance is used for off-the-tee distances shown in the images. The average carry distance on tour in 2019 was 281 yards, so that was the distance used here.

I used a total dispersion off-the-tee of 60 yards. This comes from an article that Jon Sherman wrote for Practical Golf (@practicalgolf) discussing average dispersion, and I took 5-10 yards off from that number.

I assumed a 10-15 yard roll out from the carry distance to start the measurement to the green. Measurements to the green were rounded to the nearest 5 yards and measured from center of fairway to center of green.

Green measurements were also measured to the nearest 5 yards.

Things like weather, large elevation changes, rough length, etc. are not taken into consideration on the measurements. I can only see and assume so much from satellite images.

 


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