Hole 8: “The Serpent” Par 4; plays 487 to 336 yards

By: Aaron Konold on May 6th, 2015


Is one of my favorite holes, the tees shot is partially blind off the tee, many players may not be able to see their landing area.  This causes anxiety in some players as they are unsure where to aim, as they need confidence in their swing to produce good results.  The tee shot can be played by hitting it at the right bunker with a slight draw or starting it at the left bunker with a fade.


The hole can be very long depending on the tees played.  There are 3 factors that shorten the hole’s true playing distance:  the prevailing wind is straight downwind, once past the initial uphill portion the fairway then gentle slopes downhill, the green runs from front to back allowing shots to roll farther.


There is a bunker that appears to be greenside and causes an illusion putting doubt about the true distance in the approach shot. The bunker is actually about 50 yards in front of that green. There’s a huge bail out area, just beyond that bunker that leaves a player with a good opportunity for par.


The green is a reverse tier, reverse sloping green; it’s modeled after one of Alister MacKenzie’s favorite greens he did at Crystal Downs.  The green actually slopes away from you, and then there’s a tier that slopes away from you.  It’s very unsettling when you can’t see the bottom of the flag.  It is very uncommon; it looks like it has a shorter flagstick then the rest of the course.  Players are used to not seeing the bottom of the flag, when it is uphill shot, but when it is downhill and reverse, it brings in a whole new set of feelings.


The Serpent reconfirmed what I have always felt, that blind shots and illusions are an integral part of the game and far from representing tricked up holes.

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