By Gretchen Yoder, Manager of Handicapping & Course Rating
Fourteenth in the OGA's series about the Most Interesting Holes is the 13th hole at Ocean Dunes Golf Links.
The 13th hole is a dogleg par 4 with tees at 341, 364 and 384 yards.
It sure looks tempting from the elevated tees to hit over the dunes and go for a shorter shot to the green, but there is a reason this hole is called “Deception”. A quick search for a ball hit left of the fairway would find only OB. A ball hit straight at the green from the tee would have to carry about 285 yards just to reach grass. That’s not even factoring in the wind which surely is a factor at Ocean Dunes.
The fairway starts at about 25-35 yards in width and opens up at the dogleg left for a fairly generous area and a great view of the green. With dunes right and left off the tee, the better play would be aiming for the dogleg. A missed shot to the right wouldn’t be in too much trouble, left is pure OB.
The golfer would want to be cautious with their shot to the green to avoid the deep grass swale to the right. The green is highly contoured to keep the test of this golf hole continuing. While there are no bunkers on this hole, there is no shortage of sand!
The USGA Course Rating System factors wind for courses based on their average wind speeds during the golf season. In Oregon, this primarily affects courses near the coast as well as those in the Columbia Gorge. OGA takes historical data from several weather websites to make a balanced assessment. Since it is difficult to predict the direction of the wind, as well as quantify the effect of wind on distance of average golf shots, the wind factor is added separately to the front and back nine instead of on a hole-by-hole basis or just added to the 18 hole total. Courses that have nine along the ocean and the other nine going inland may have different wind factor per nine.
While there are quite a few trees on Ocean Dunes, they don’t do much to block the wind. It is absolutely a factor playing the course. With the long and narrow layout of the course, the front and back nines would have equal adjustments. And, if you’re really lucky, the wind might blow - as they say in Scotland, “Nay wind, nay golf.”
** The 13th hole at Ocean Dunes earned 66 fan votes to earn fourteenth place in the OGA 2017 Edition of the "18 Most Interesting Holes" contest. Throughout the year Gretchen Yoder, OGA Manager of Course Rating & Handicapping, will explain what makes each hole unique and describe the ideas behind rating these gems.
Next Up: Hole No. 15 Old Macdonald, Bandon, Ore.