Pull Off This Great Escape on the UAE's Hardest Par 4

Here at Dubai Creek we were not surprised to learn that our 18th hole had been decisively voted by UAE PGA professionals and Golf Digest ME experts as the UAE's most difficult par 4 (see page 45 for full details).

I believe the hole was given this accolade for three main reasons. Firstly, it's a scary tee shot with no bail out either right or left. Secondly, even if you find the fairway, you're still left with a mid to long iron into a green guarded by water and two bunkers. Last but not least, this hole is made even tougher because it's the finisher. There is no chance to recover if things go wrong, and that brings added pressure. Often players arrive on the tee box protecting a good score and a few nervy swings can lead to one of those catastrophic numbers that wreck a scorecard. Because the prevailing wind blows into us and off the creek from the left, it's very common for tee shots to end up in the long strip of waste sand that flanks the right of the fairway. Amateur golfers are often intimidated by this shot, particularly as it's over water and calls for a longer club. Here, I'm going to explain three simple keys that will give you a much better chance of solid contact from this position and  allow you to navigate this notorious hole without any damage to your score.

Craig Wadell Oct GD

Waste sand swing keys With this shot it's essential to catch ball first and then sand, so your set-up should be geared towards this one goal. You don't want to get too shallow and risk catching the ball fat or thin. Take a slightly firmer hold on the club and place the ball further back in your stance - just right of centre for a righthanded player.

Having the ball further back will help you make a steeper downward strike into the back of the ball, and to encourage this further, you should feel like your weight stays more on your left side than it would for a regular shot. With these impact conditions it's inevitable that you will impart more spin on the ball, so compensate by swinging a little easier and taking an extra club.

Craig Wadell Oct GD 2

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