Par-4, 460 yards
The More Distance, The Better
By Ben Curtis
"It's tight right out of the chute. If you pull it a hair you can clip the trees on the left, and if you push it a hair you can clip the trees on the right. It's one of those drives where you used to try to draw it, but now it's almost better to aim down the left and hit a fade because you can't hit it way down there anymore. And you're better off being in the right trees than the left trees.
It used to be a driver and a wedge, but it's not anymore. I've never played with anyone who has hit less than driver there. When it's firm maybe Tiger could hit that stinger three-wood, but it's one of those holes where the more distance off the tee, the better.
It's easier for me to hit a cut than a draw, but it all depends on my swing that day and how I'm feeling. Ideally, you'd hit it dead straight, but it's probably about a five-yard fade for me. From that tee I'm simply trying to keep it on the left edge of the right trees."
2 of 4Trevor Johnston
Par-4, 505 yards
Either Crushed or Cooked
By Charles Howell
"Seven years ago it was probably the easiest driving hole. Now it's the hardest. There was a time when you could land an airplane across that fairway because you could hit it as far up the right side as you wanted to get an angle to the green. Now, the tee ball forces you more left [because of the new trees along the right], and obviously the hole is a lot longer than it used to be. So now you know when you step on the tee that you have to hit a good drive to have any type of decent second shot. It's such an important hole. It starts Amen Corner. Before, you could play a draw or a fade. Now it almost asks for a little bit of a fade.
We all remember when Tiger used to drive it down the far right side. Well, you really can't play the hole that way anymore because of the trees. And it's always driver."
3 of 4Trevor Johnston
Par-4, 440 yards
An Uphill Battle All The Way
By Zach Johnson
"The 18th is brutal, but 17, to me, is the hardest driving hole. I can count the number of times I've carried the Eisenhower Tree. It's a distance thing. If I can't [get past it] I have to hit it around that tree with my draw, and I have to hit it hard to get it up that hill. The tee shot is uphill all the way, and you're always landing into the grain and the slope, and the ball simply stops. Sometimes from an uphill lie I can see the pin, but I can't see the green. When I'm hitting five- or six-iron into that green it's very difficult. If I have an eight- or nine-iron I can be more aggressive and it takes out a lot of the stress.
The year that I won (2007) I hit a good drive on Sunday. I was between a six- and a seven-iron, and I hit the seven. Then I remember Tiger bombing a drive down the right side, and he hit a wedge. Distance is magnified there."
4 of 4Trevor Johnston
Par-5, 510 yards
Do You Have the Nerve?
By Brandt Snedeker
"I'd say 13 is one of the most underrated tee shots on the course. Even though it looks like a relatively easy shot, guys end up hitting it in a lot of really bad places. If you hang it out to the right, you know you're not going to get there in two. Your effective fairway is very small. Most guys are trying to shape a big draw, and when you start manipulating your normal shot you're not as confident with it, and a lot of guys end up pulling it into the trees or hooking it into the water. Everybody's been there once. [A bad score at 13] can kill your round; it can kill your tournament. That's why it's such a big tee shot. You almost put more pressure on it than normal because you realize that if you hit a good tee shot you can make an eagle. But if you make a bad one you can lose two or three shots to the field.
I hit driver, but some of the longer guys can hit three-wood and turn it around the corner. There's a tilting tree that banks to the left a little funny. Everybody aims at that tree and tries to turn it over. I've made eagle there and I've made bogey there on Saturday and Sunday when I tied for third in 2008. I don't care what anybody says, at some point it goes through your mind: Whatever you do, don't hit it left."
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