The 17th is possibly the best hole on the course. A dogleg right with a stream to cross to reach the fairway and a narrow entrance to a long and challenging green. 350 yards from the red tees and currently 415 from the whites, although a new tee has been pushed further back to maintain the challenge for elite players. Risk and reward as the further right you go from the tee the shorter and easier your second becomes, but the trees come more into play and there is a longer carry over the stream. The anything short of the long green is likely to roll right into the deep bunkers guarding that side of the green and a small distinct shelf on the left which is one of the more difficult pin positions.
In a strokeplay competition (e.g. a medal or stableford) if you are unsure how to proceed within the Rules you may put a second ball into play under Rule 20.1c(3). There are a few stipulations:
- you must decide to do so before playing a stroke after the rules situation has arisen
- you must choose and announce which ball you want to count if the rules allow the procedure used for that ball, again before playing a stroke. If you don’t make a declaration then the first ball played is the default option.
- before returning your scorecard you must report the facts to the competition organising committee and they will decide which score counts. You must do this even if your score is the same with both balls. If you don’t, you will be disqualified.
In matchplay you can’t play a second ball and it’s a bit more complicated – this will be the subject of another post.