Northwestern Mutual World ChallengeThursday Dec 5 - Sunday Dec 8, 2013 • Purse: $3,500,000
The Chevron World Challenge will be held at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, Sherwood is rated one of the best golf courses in the world, featuring 1,800 mature oak trees and lush landscaping including waterfalls, jasmine and rose bushes. In 2006, Sherwood opened the first ever par-3 18-hole golf course and club featuring 14 replicated holes from distinguished Jack Nicklaus-designed courses.
Jack Nicklaus says that the 342-yard par 4 is a strategy hole that will tempt the longer hitter to attempt to drive the green and make eagle, or take a safer route to a conventional par. Those that attempt to drive the green have several large oak trees to hit over and the green is well protected on the front-left by a large oak and a bunker. If you choose to take the safer route, a shot of 200 yards will leave you with a short iron into the green. The tee shot should be targeted for the right side of the fairway to avoid the large oak tree that blocks many shots on the left side. The green is also well-protected on the left side, so a shot to middle of the green is often the best play to guarantee a par.
|2||5||531||The 531-yard par 5 features an island green that can be reached with two big shots. Playing to the right-center of this dogleg-right hole can leave the shortest shot to the green in two, however, a fairway bunker protects the right side of the fairway. The second shot is risky at best, with a stream wandering down the right side and crossing in front of the green and wrapping around the left side. If one chooses to go for the green in two, the right side is a far better option than the left side. Laying up can often provide a reasonable option, but will leave a short shot over the stream to a green that has enough slope to challenge the best putters.|
This 198-yard par 3 requires a confident swing to avoid the lake on the left and the collection bunker on the right of the green. This challenge becomes even more challenging with the prevailing wind from Hidden Valley coming from left to right pushing shots toward the water. There is a chipping area left of the green for those that wish to play safe, but par is no guarantee depending on the hole location. This hole plays toughest with the back-right hole location.
A 456-yard par 4, dogleg-right with water down the entirety of the hole is what makes this hole one of the most difficult on the course and brings to conclusion what members refer to as Sherwood's Amen Corner. An accurate drive is a must on this hole with the left side being the safest play, but leaving a longer second shot to the green. The green is protected on the right and the back with one large bunker that wraps completely around the right side of the green. The water that challenges the tee shot is still present on the right side for the second shot to a well-shaped green that is nestled in a grove of sycamore trees. There are many difficult hole locations for this hole.
At 531 yards, this par 5 is a three-shot hole for most players. The fairway is protected by a fairway bunker on the left and a grove of sycamore trees on the right, with a stream running down the right side. The second shot looks innocent enough, but the oak tree on the right and the overhanging oak tree on the left make club selection very important on this shot. Avoid the oak tree on the right side. If you choose to play the second shot short of the oak tree on the right, the play is down the left side. If you choose to play beyond the oak tree on the right, the shot must be played down the right side to avoid the overhanging oak tree on the left side. The green is well-protected with a deep bunker in front of the green and a series of small bunkers on the left. Missing this green always presents a challenge to the short game.
This is one of only three holes that play uphill. The 422-yard par 4 is a dogleg-left to a blind landing area. The tee shot is best played down the right center of the fairway to open up the second shot to the green. The green is protected in front and on the right with bunkers and trees front the left side of the green. There is also a valley on the left side of the green that catches most shots into the left side of the green funneling them to the left fringe leaving a difficult two-putt for par.
|7||4||446||This 446-yard par-4 features one of Jack Nicklaus' split fairways.
There is a large rock out-cropping splitting the fairway 307 yards
from the back tee. This hole, known as the "Rock Hole" thwarted
David Duval's comeback against Tiger Woods in the first-ever
primetime televised live golf event, The Showdown at Sherwood in
2000. Duval drove the ball directly down the middle into the
out-cropping and was forced to take an unplayable lie. For the long
hitter, a choice must be made to drive to the right fairway or the
left fairway. The short hitter does not have to worry about the
rock, but needs to avoid the large oak tree on the right side. The
second shot is an uphill shot to a blind green that is protected in
front with several bunkers. The green slopes dramatically from back
to front leaving any shot over the green with a difficult
challenge. There are also several spectacular boulders on the left
side of the green that must be avoided when challenging the left
side of the green.
Upon arrival to the 8th tee, you are greeted with another spectacular view over the course and into the mountains. This hole plays 228 yards from the back tee and presents a very difficult green. The green is angled with the short side on the left. Long-and-left will find the back bunker and leave a very difficult shot. If the pin is on the right, the shot is all carry over a waste bunker, a collection of boulders, and a severe slope in front of the green. The green has plenty of slope that challenges the player if the ball is not on the appropriate portion of the green. There is also a small collection bow in the front of the green that will send many shots off the green to the front fringe. This hole is very difficult and makes par a great score.
The ninth hole presents another breathtaking view from the tee down to a challenging hole with the beautiful 54,000 square-foot clubhouse in the background. The tee shot on this 422-yard par 4 is over a stream that winds down the entire right side of the hole. The green is 43 paces deep with a bunker starting at the front right and wrapping around the right side of the green. The back hole location is very difficult to access with long and right spelling certain disaster.
The first of only three par 4s on this side. The 10th hole is a straight, 359-yard, par-4 hole with a bunker guarding the left side of the fairway, 267 yards from the tee. Bunkers also protect the right and left side of this well-protected green. This hole can be played with a driver and short iron, but beware of the back-right hole location that may tempt you into an unwise play.
The first of three par 5s on this nine, the 11th hole measures 517 yards. The drive is from an elevated tee over a stream that bends to the right. The fairway is protected on the left side with two fairway bunkers off the tee and a third bunker 70 yards short of the green. The green is protected on the front right with a bunker and overhanging oak trees making the front right hole location difficult to access. The shape of this green deceives a player into thinking there is more green to the left than there is, leaving many players long and left with a difficult greenside shot. Take advantage of your opportunities. This is definitely a birdie hole.
At 186 yards, No. 12 is the first of three par 3s on this side. The tee shot is all carry into a slight breeze. The green is angled to allow access to the front of the green, but making it increasingly difficult to reach a back hole location. The green is protected in the front, right, and back left with bunkers. The entire left side falls below the surface of the green leaving a very difficult pitch onto the sloping green. The hole location can make a difference of three clubs, making club selection a premium if a player is to attack the hole for birdie.
A spectacular view greets the player as they approach the tee and the 568-yard par 5 thirteenth hole. The tee shot is played over a small pond to an angled fairway leading to a canyon that can sometimes force the longer hitter to lay up. Several oak trees are placed in the canyon to create the appearance of a bush at the end of the fairway. A tee shot too close to these trees can make for a difficult second shot. The brave player might try to reach the green in two, but there is a cross-bunker 80 yards from the green and another directly in front of the green that must be avoided. If the pin is on the right side of the green, the right side of the second fairway becomes a much more generous position for your third shot.
The 455-yard, dogleg-left, par-4 14th hole is one of the most difficult on the course. Short hitters must play down the right side of the fairway to leave an open shot to the green, while longer hitters can play more aggressively down the left side. However, missing the fairway left usually spells disaster and makes par a difficult pursuit. The second shot is played with a mid-to-long-iron to a well-bunkered green. The left bunkers are very deep and come progressively into play as the golfer attempts to attack the back hole location. This par-4 is truly a beautiful hole that welcomes you into the heart of the back nine.
The 189-yard par-3 is the signature hole of Sherwood Country Club. You are greeted by a spectacular view over seven pools and 14 waterfalls with beautiful mountains set as the back-drop. The tee shot is all carry over the water to a green that is only 21 paces deep, so make sure you have the right club, or par will become unattainable.
The sixteenth hole, a par-5, 567 yard hole studded with large sycamore trees, is one of the most beautiful and fun holes on the course. A stream crosses it three times and then widens to the right of the green to surround an island. The tee shot is very intimidating with two bunkers protecting the left side and a stream running the length of the fairway on the right side and crossing the fairway 330 yards from the tee. The second shot presents a decision for the longer hitters. The safe play is to lay up to a landing area the size of a football field, but the gamble is an aggressive play for the green in two that requires crossing the stream twice to an extremely narrow green protected by a large oak tree and a series of mounds on the right, and a bunker and water on the right.
The tee shot on the 166-yard, par-3 17th is from an elevated tee to the smallest green on the course. A large, very deep collection bunker gathers most of the shots short of the green, and a small hazard with a waterfall protecting the back of the green. Missing the green to the right will often result in a bounce off the bank onto the green. Needless to say, club selection is very important on this innocent-looking hole.
Nicklaus calls the 444-yard par-4 eighteenth hole the finest finishing hole he has ever created. The tee shot is blind and must be played down the left side allowing the left-to-right slope to take the ball to the middle of the fairway. A mid-to-long iron approach awaits. The second shot must be played to a multi-level green that presents an extremely visually intimidating shot. The green is protected in front with a rock-filled pond that flows into a waterfall on the right and is connected to another waterfall and stream on the left leaving very little room for error short of the green. There is also a bunker on the left that will catch balls that are missed slightly left. The back right portion of the green is protected by the waterfall, a deep pot-bunker, and a deep grass-bunker. Most shots left short of this green find the water, but balls over the green face a chip or pitch from the deep rough to a green sloping away from the player, taking the shot right back toward the bunker and water. This is truly a classic finishing hole that ranks as one of the finest in the world.
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