Hole 9 – Olympus
The par 3 ninth hole showcases two setups that play as the equivalent of different holes. The high tee, offering a view back down the 1st and 18th fairways towards the Puget Sound, features a tee to green drop of over 100 feet from the back tee. A new, lower tee was added that approaches the hole from a nearly 90 degree angle, and plays as an uphill par 3. The large slope to the left or back of the green, depending on the tee, plays a very different role from each angle.
Setup 1 – (~190 yards) – High Tee
Playing from the high tee, the front right pin becomes perhaps the most interesting hole locations on this green. Because of it’s difficulty, I would anticipate the tee being moved up slightly from it’s maximum distance of almost 220 yards.
This front right section of the green features a bowl that could potentially collect shots, although hitting the bowl is a tough task. Shots played directly at this pin (and clear the front bunkers) likely will not hold, and the back right section of the green runs away and towards two greenside bunkers.
Under the right conditions, the left slope can be used to propel balls towards the hole, but under USGA conditions the slope may actually be too hard and send balls clear across the green and off of the right edge. The ideal line A will likely be just inside of the slope, and just clearing the greenside bunkers, which will allow the ball to funnel down into the bowl. Shots that fly too far will be putting down from the back of the green.
Setup 2 – (~190-200 yards) – Low Tee
The player’s first look at the low tee could be to a small plateau to the back and right of this green. There is no real secret or trick to this pin, other than precise distance control and accuracy. A premium will be placed on the short game of the player who misses the plateau.
Setup 3 – (~220 yards) – High Tee
While a fairly straightforward pin for this green, the accuracy required from 220 yards away and 100 feet above the hole will be an experience that most players are not used to. This pin sits in a small valley just beyond the largest slope on the left side of the green. The ideal shot A will land just short of the large slope, using it to take some steam of off the approach and letting the ball trickle down into the valley. Shots that stray too far left or right will both end up off of the right side of the green. The silver lining, if any, is that the slope can be used as a backstop for the next shot.
Setup 4 – (~200-210 yards) – Low tee
This would be an incredibly fun hole location to watch on Sunday. The view from the tee shows just how different of a challenge the player will face from this tee compared to the high tee.
There are two different ways to go after this pin. Both are a bit risky, and there isn’t really a safe option to fall back on. Players can play directly at this pin and take on a carry of roughly 205 yards to clear the deep front bunker. They will then hope that the ball hits the backstop and tumbles back down towards the hole. Well executed shots could end up quite close to the hole.
The other option is to shape the ball from right to left, and use the slope of the green to curl the ball around the deep front bunker. Shots that leak to the right and fail to catch the slope will face a difficult up and down. Shots that are airmailed and travel all of the way up the slope and don’t come back down are in the deepest trouble. There may be no way at all to get up and down from that point.