Coto North Course Hole Number 1Posted by Paul Eskildsen on Friday, August 6th, 2010 at 1:07pm.
Ok, let's just say it: Coto North #1 is tough. Very tough. It's not the hardest hole in the world, or the country, or maybe even in Orange County, but this golf hole is no slouch. A 601 yard par-5, it's rated number 1 in difficulty on the North, so it's one of the two hardest holes on a course that sports a rating of 75.5 and a slope of 147 from the back tees. I'm a mid-handicaper, ranging over the years from about a 10 to a 16 index. For the first year after I joined the club, I never made less than a 7 on this hole, and after 10 years of play I'm still more likely to make a 7 than a 5.
What makes it so hard? Lets start with the view from the tee!
View from the Blue Tees
(click the image to enlarge)
Can You Say "Intimidating"?
You can see the fairway, right? It's only about 150 to 170 yards away, depending on the tees, but as you're standing over the ball it's hard not to be thinking, "Crap, I hope I make it over."
Visual intimidation aside, the real difficulty of the shot is a combination of distance and accuracy. A push or a fade will likely end up in the hazard. A pull or hook puts you at the base of a swale about 10 feet below the level of the fairway, probably with a side-hill lie in the rough. The short hitter will have trouble getting out far enough to have a clear second shot past the trees on the right, and the long hitter runs the risk of going right through the fairway into the bunker or rough, depending on the tee box.
Tee Shot Landing Zone, and a Look Down the Fairway
The picture on the left gives a good view of the whole landing zone. The farther you hit the ball, the more likely you'll have a clear second past the trees in the right-hand hazard. The picture on the right was taken from the far end of the landing zone (CRUSH) where the fairway drops down 15 feet or so. If you hit your tee shot here, you're probably going for the green - about 250 yards away.
Those homes on the left? That's the Fairway Estates neighborhood of Coto de Caza.
The bunkers on the left are not a good place, but better than a drop from the lateral hazard on the right.
Goal for the ideal second shot is to clear that swale and land on the upper level of the fairway between 100 and 150 yards from the green.
Failing that, you'll hope to be in the swale with a decision whether to lay up or go for it with a blind shot from 175 to 200 yards.
As with almost every shot on #1, the approach to the green calls for control of both distance and direction. The trees are looming on the right, deep bunkers and rough on the left. The green itself is twice as long as it is wide, so the difference between a front and back pin might be as much as two clubs!
Once safely on the large, undulating green, you'll likely face a long put with lots of break. Good luck!
By the Numbers
Coto North #1
Par 5 - Handicap 1
|Tee ||Yardage |