Palmer Course Hole No. 4

Gold 487 Yards, Blue 456 Yards, Silver 427 Yards, White 363 Yards, Red 337 Yards

“Chicos in December"

The honeymoon ends here. Par 4, 450 yards, give or take. Most players who hit from the blue, or silver, white, or red tees will have a hard time reaching this par four in two, even with a good drive and a decent 3 wood. In fairness, it is a straightforward hole, with the green visible from the tees, no dogleg, no water hazard.
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One only has to deal with bunkers, distance, and wind. From the tees, one immediately senses those signature white OB fences on the left and the right, and the light sand of the bunkers also on both sides. Once you have managed to thread these hazards from the tee, you normally would still be left about 200 yards to the green, if you drive the ball at least 250 yards.

If you have driven to the right, a whole hillside of bunkers appears to block way to the green. Even to those who know that these are sucker traps that are a good 50 yards closer to you, with enough room to carry the traps, this illusion makes most players play to the left – into another set of bunkers that lie in wait for the fainthearted.

The sensible plan here is to hit a decent drive, a decent fairway wood to the left of the green, and show off with a precisely executed wedge shot close to the pin. Or somewhere within a makeable putt to the hole.

A par here will feel like a birdie, and a bogey can be just compensation for the easiness of the previous hole. So, if your combined score for holes’ number three and four is bogey-bogey or better, just head for the snack bar, straight to the bathroom, and enjoy your relief!

This hole is a favorite among members and caddies. There are two big chico trees right where drives slice safely inbounds. The chicos are fat and juicy, and ball retrievers do triple duty at the club as chico and mango pluckers.

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