How should you tackle a drivable par-4? Trinity Forest has the answer

May 10, 2019

Trinity Forest G.C., a Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw design, made its pro debut at last year’s AT&T Byron Nelson Classic, drawing high praise from players and pundits alike. Picture the rolling terrain and molded green complexes of a Pinehurst No. 2 dropped in the middle of Dallas’s south side, and you have Trinity Forest.

OPTIONS ABOUND at Trinity Forest, with the 315-yard par-4 fifth leading the charge. It looks like a piece of cake, but just because you can drive it pin-high doesn’t mean you’re entitled to birdie.

THE TEE SHOT makes the rare ask that you control your driver distance. You must fly the bunker situated 35 yards short of the green, but the ideal shot should barely carry that hazard, then trundle to the green’s front-right edge. Don’t go long; that’s where things get steep.


AROUND THE GREEN is where the intrigue (and treachery) becomes a reality: The narrow, crowned putting surface slopes away from its center in every direction. Last year, Jordan Spieth drove the green with his tee shot,then proceeded to hit his lag putt off the back—and he’s a member!

From off the green, Coore and Crenshaw are obsessed with options that create uncertainty; whichever you choose—putt, bump-and-run or fancy flop shot—commit fully.

THE LESSON here is to take what the course gives you. If you hit the perfect tee shot, go collect your birdie. If you go long or left off the box, don’t get too cute with the ensuing chip—the ball could end up back at your feet. Play to the middle of the green, two-putt for your par and live to fight another hole.

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