Number 1, a 399 yard, par 4. This classic “nail biter” makes the most experienced player pause to consider its historical significance. Many of the game’s greatest champions teed off here, just steps away from the Professional Shop, launching their legendary careers. Fairly open, bounded by bunkers left and trees right. The tee shot is limited to 285 yards by a steep, rough-covered slope that descends to a broad semi-floodplain floor. The green is well located on a plateau edge and is framed by two attractive bunkers. A short approach shot leaves the ball on an incline, featuring thick rough. The green is simple but well sloped.
Number 2, a short par 4, is 385 yards. One of the shorter par 4s on the course, the hole requires an accurate iron after a moderate length tee shot. The hole is well bunkered and tree lined. A fairway bunker complex is strategically placed 270 yards off the tee, creating motivation for a good tee shot. The green is protected by deep bunkers front left and right. It is divided by a ridge, which can make it difficult to find the flagstick with the approach shot. The putting surface is multifaceted, requiring attention at approach and on the green.
Number 3, a 199 yard, par 3. This is a challenging hole, made so by a pond off the right side of the green and a large, deep bunker to the left. A tee shot lacking precision will fall prey to one or the other. Shots that come up short or right will likely find the hazard. Recovery shots from the left are difficult. The green surface is strategically varied and will challenge even the best putters, running aggressively toward the water.
Number 4, the third handicap hole is a 467 yard, par 4. One of several excellent, long par-4 holes, this hole is classically beautiful and challenging. It typically plays into the prevailing wind. A well struck driver will leave a mid- to long-iron approach into a slightly elevated green that sits atop a plateau. The green features a false front and slopes from front-right to back-left creating numerous challenging hole positions.
Number 5, a dogleg left, par 4. At 451 yards, with a creek running along the right side and mature trees on the left, a well place tee shot into a narrow landing area is key. Played into the prevailing wind, it is required to leave a desirable distance and angle for a short- to mid-iron approach to the undulating green. The green complex is attractive, well-formed and sits just over and to the left of the creek, which relates well to the entire hole. The green is large with a number of very challenging pin placements available.
Number 6, a 233 yard par 3. The longest of the three par 3s, this hole typically plays downwind and requires a mid- to long-iron. The green is protected on the left and right by three deep bunkers. Anything long or left runs down a steep embankment. The green is subtle and one of the most difficult to judge.
Number 7, the number one handicap hole, is the signature hole of Inverness. This 484 yard, par 4 masterpiece features a spectacular view from its elevated tee box. There is a slight dogleg right feature — bringing a creek and rough mounds, more into play. The creek challenges all levels requiring a carry of 250 yards from the championship tee. Two fine shots are needed to gain the green surface. The approach requires a mid- to long-iron into an elevated green, with a steep slope off the right side and false front. Shots from around the green are a great challenge. The green is contoured, keeping every player alert.
Number 8, a 573 par 5, dogleg left. This is the longest hole on the course. A good drive down the right side or to the bottom of the slope provides an open view to the green. The right side dogleg bunker is 320 yards from the tee. The left side dogleg bunkers begin at 270 yards and require a shot in excess of 300 yards to carry. Two outside bunkers in the second landing area guard the right side and one to the left, beginning 110 yards from the center of the green. The green is divided appropriately to receive a third shot. It is not designed to be receptive to a second shot. Bunkers left and front right of the green add a strategic dimension to this challenging putting complex. Learn about the Hinkle Tree
HINKEL TREE1979 U. S. Open, is remembered fondly because of a tree. The Fazios designed the 528 yard 8th-hole to be a classic, three-shot 5-hole. The Inverness Burn slices across the fairway beyond the landing area. It has five tough and deep bunkers in the proximity of the green, Lon Hinkle saw the hole differently. He discovered during practice that nothing prevented a player from hitting a tee shot through a narrow opening onto the adjacent 17th fairway, then lofting a long second shot over trees onto the eighth green, a shortcut that cut about eighty yards off the intended track. After several other players following Hinkle used the same shortcut, the United States Golf Association and the tournament called an emergency meeting even before the first round had ended. Concern for the safety of the gallery and the golfers playing the seventeenth, they considered substantial bushes into play blocking any access to the seventeenth fairway. Or a tree could be planted overnight to the left of the tee box to plug the existing gap. The latter was the alternative chosen.
Number 9, a long par 4, slight dogleg right. This 472 yard hole, requires a mid-iron approach into a small, sharply sloped green. Two right side fairway bunkers begin 290 yards off the tee. The green area bunkers are very stylish, particularly the unique front right bunker, creating a blind shot to the green. The putting surface has varied sloping, giving it a number of challenging pin placements. Most of the green is tilted aggressively back to front, making the final putts on the front nine some of the most challenging.
Number 10, a 393 yard, par 4. This hole is one of the shortest and most picturesque holes on the course. The tee shot flies a deep valley and is limited to 250 yards by a steep, rough covered slope. The green is sunken inviting a short iron approach. Shots over the green surface leaves one of the more difficult shots on the course. A natural amphitheater provides ample spectator seating behind the green.
Number 11, a short par 4 at 377 yards. Two fairway bunkers are positioned tightly on each side of the fairway at 270 and 275 yards. The green is flat, low to the ground, and bunkers protect the left and right sides. Over the years, sand from the bunkers have created slopes within the green, creating many interesting hole locations and challenging putting contours.
Number 12, the 18th handicap hole, is a 172 yard, par 3. This is the shortest of the par 3s, which lends a nice balance to the overall routing. The bunkering in front and to both sides of the green is classic, aged bunkering, admired for its character. The green surface is gently rolling and can challenge even the best putters.
Number 13, a 517 yard par 5. With a perfect tee shot, this is a most interesting and rewarding hole. A yard or two right or left sends the ball into the rough or to an awkward lie. Three bunkers line the right side of the fairway, from 210 to 285 yards. There is also a bunker on the left starting at 210 yards off the tee. The creek is a challenge if a lay-up is required. The carry to the upper plateau, where the green rests, requires an accurate long iron or fairway wood. The greenside bunker on the left is beautiful and challenging. Reading the green is difficult. The putting surface is very quick from back to front, making shots over the green something to avoid.
Number 14, the number 2 handicap hole, is the longest par 4 at Inverness, at 485 yards. This hole features a gentle movement to the right and is played into the prevailing wind. The opening to the green is from the left side of the fairway and was designed to be played from near the long, severe left side bunker. The small green is a work of art. A long drive will be followed by a long-iron approach. The bunkering around the green is a perfect complement to the putting surface, completing a superb hole.
Number 15, a lengthy par 4, sees well placed tee shots disappear into fairway switchbacks. Bunkers penalize tee shots right, from 280 to 310 yards out. Mid-iron approach shots are to a small green, well sloped from back to front. The green is protected by liberal bunkering and is sunken with wonderful elevations for spectators. From the green, players have a clear view of the 18th fairway and finishing green.
Number 16, a modest length par 4, features a panoramic view from the tee box. Typically faced with a prevailing wind, a well-placed tee shot, avoiding fairway bunkers on either side, yields an advantage. A mid- to short-iron approach leads to a large green that slopes gently from front to back, making for a number of interesting pin placements. Large greenside bunkers left and front right add a penalty to errant approaches.
Number 17, a long par 4, measuring 477 yards. This sharp dogleg left requires an accurate drive. The left side is protected by trees, and a tee shot right lengthens the approach shot from thick rough. The approach shot is elevated for a mid-iron to the green. Well bunkered on the left side and front right, the green is severely sloped to the front, making putts from above the hole very fast. The green complex is an exceptional arrangement within a beautiful natural setting. The hillside surrounding the green provides ample seating for the gallery.
Number 18, the finishing hole. This legendary short par four has served as the canvas for many of the game’s most dramatic finishes. From the slightly elevated tee 358 yards away, bunkering frames the green, creating a number of hazards. The putting surface is sharply sloped, requiring a perfectly placed approach shot to match the pin placement. There is a sharp swale, bordering the right side of the green, creating a razors edge between a putt for birdie and an almost certain bogie. The green is nestled in a large natural amphitheater, supplying dramatic viewing lines, accommodating thousands of spectators.
A moderate length par 4, fairly open, bounded by bunkers left and trees right. The tee shot is limited to 285 yards by a steep, rough-covered slope that descends to one of the broad semi-floodplain floors. The green is well located on a plateau edge and is framed by two attractive bunkers. The green is simple but well sloped.