Golf: Hole of the Week: Ravisloe Country Club No. 4
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media July 23, 2014 9:28PM
The view off the tee at Ravisloe's Hole No. 4, a lengthy par-3. | Tim O'Brien/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 25, 2014 5:43PM
18231 S. Park Ave, Homewood, IL 60430
Black Tees: 181 yards
Hybrid Tees: 150
Gold Tees: 141
Men’s Handicap: 13
Women’s Handicap: 13
No. 4’s Layout: A straight, if lengthy, par-3 with more than meets the eye. The sightline off the tee is straightforward, but six different bunkers, two on the approach in the fairways and four ringing the green, can make or break the hole.
How about some strategy?
Mike Hainline, Ravisloe’s head PGA professional: “Some players don’t even try to put it on the green. You can put it short on our little patch of fairway and then try to chip on, make par from there. If you dump it in one of the bunkers, you could be there all day. They are very deep, steep and difficult. If you’re in the right bunker and the pin happens to be near the front, you don’t have much green to work with, so you could go across into the other bunker. Then you’re just going back and forth.
“It’s a par-3 with a very decent length, upward of 190 yards, and that many bunkers, you might think the green will be relatively flat. It is one of the more challenging greens to putt on as well. It is a tough hole all the way around.”
How do you attack No. 4?
Hainline: “You see a lot of sand, including fairway bunkers, which is odd to say on a par-3. If you’re in those bunkers, you probably have no chance of getting on the green in two shots. The depth and faces of the front two bunkers, left and right, if you hit in there, it’s going to be really difficult. I’m good at hitting out of bunkers, but when I get in there, it’s difficult.
“(At the tee), I’m standing back there with a 4- or 5-iron at times. In the bunker, it’s probably taking out your most lofted sand wedge and opening it up as far as you can just so you can clear the face. Sometimes you don’t even worry if you are close to the flag. Most golfers are just happy to get out of the bunker and have it on the green anywhere.”
What is No. 4’s appeal?
Hainline: “It’s the difficulty, even for me. Even the lay-up can be a challenge. There’s just no place to escape. There is absolutely nothing easy about that hole. I’ve played eight 18-hole rounds since I started here this spring, and I think I’ve only birdied it once. When I made that birdie, I knew that might be it for the year. It’s one of those holes where it’s not what you see. It is what you don’t see.”
Have a nomination for Hole of the Week from a Southland course? Email Tim O’Brien at email@example.com with the course, hole and a reason for your nomination.