Hole-By-Hole Play Guide

Valley Nine | Lakes Nine | Ocean Nine

Valley Nine

Hole 1 (Par 5)

This is a great starting hole: Water runs down most of the right side, so accurate shots are required off the tee. On the second shot, avoid the water. Bunkers guard the green on both sides and in the back. Favor the left side of this green, which is relatively flat with slight undulations. Golfers should note the greens on all three nines are ringed by palm trees, a signature of golf architect Ted Robinson Sr.

Hole 2 (Par 4)

The tee shot straight away. Avoid the right side off the tee, as the trees are very tough to get out of. The second shot is short but demanding. There are large bunkers on each side of the green and the green slopes from back to front. Favor the left side of the green, where it is flattest.

Hole 3 (Par 5)

This is a straight hole with room on the left side off the tee. Avoid the fairway bunker on the left, as well as the trees on the right. The second shot will test your accuracy; you will want to aim in the middle, but definitely do not go right into the trees. The shot into the green is tough with a huge, deep bunker in front that will swallow anything short. There are bunkers on both sides of the green and water in back, if you’re long. The green is flat, but favor the right side for a good putt.

Hole 4 (Par 4)

The fourth hole is a dogleg left. Your tee shot must be kept out of the trees on the right, but be careful of the large fairway bunker that dominates the left side, as well. The second shot plays into a two-tiered green with bunkers in front and back. Make sure your ball is on the correct level of the putting surface to have the best chance of holing the putt.

Hole 5 (Par 4)

This is one of the most demanding tee shots on the course. You must avoid the trees, pot bunkers and lateral water hazard that runs the entire length of the hole on the left, as well as the trees and water hazard on the right. The second shot must be played into a green that slopes from front to back. Watch out for the pot bunker in front, as it swallows up balls that are short of this green. Short is always better than long on this hole.

Hole 6 (Par 3)

This hole is visually dominated by moguls in front. Left or right tee shots will find deep bunkers right and left, while a long tee shot may end up in the lake behind the hole. The center of this green is always a good shot.

Hole 7 (Par 4)

The tee shot puts a premium on accuracy. A sizable lake runs the entire length of the hole on the right side and out of bounds does the same on the left. The fairway bunker on the left must be avoided to have the best chance to hitting the green in two. The green is guarded with bunkers on both sides. The hole plays into the prevailing wind, so use an extra club.

Hole 8 (Par 3)

One of the favorite par s on the course. With the lake on the right and bunkers left, right and back, this will test your courage off the tee. The green has a large tier on the back right portion of the green. When the pin is back right, par is a great score. Favor the left side of green for a good look at the entire green.

Hole 9 (Par 4)

The tee shot is straight into the wind with a large lake all the way down the right side. Left is safe off the tee, but avoid the fairway bunker. The second shot into a three-tiered green with bunkers front left and back right is one of the most difficult on the course. Accuracy is crucial, particularly in having the ball come to rest on the correct level.

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Lakes Nine

Hole 1 (Par 4)

A demanding tee shot to this dogleg left fairway. With water all the way down the left side of the hole, anything left will meet with a watery grave unless the ball is “saved” by the fairway bunker on the left…no bargain. The second shot plays into the wind to a well-bunkered green. Middle right is good spot to be in on the green.

Hole 2 (Par 4)

Straight-away tee shot with a slight dogleg to the right. Keep out of the deep fairway bunker on the right. The second shot is gently downhill to a two-tiered green with bunkers front right and back. If you fly the green long right, you will be at the bottom a big hill that will challenge the best of golfers. Middle left of the green is a good spot to putt from.

Hole 3 (Par 3)

This is one of the hardest greens to hit on the course. The green slopes from back to front with a big hill right in the middle left portion of the green. A shot out of the back left bunker is particularly difficult, as the green slopes away from you. Short is always a better bet on this hole.

Hole 4 (Par 5)

Off the tee you will want to stay left of the moguls on the right side to give yourself a look down the fairway. Hit your second shot down the middle to avoid the trees on both sides of the fairway. The third shot into this two-tiered green is straight forward, but you will want to be on the right level.

Hole 5 (Par 5)

The tee shot needs to be well-controlled on this short, dogleg right par five. A tee shot to the right will either find the fairway bunker or the second shot will be blocked by trees. Longer shots to the left will run through the fairway and also be blocked by trees. The second shot must stay out of the trees on the right or you may lose a shot punching out. The approach shot plays to a flat green with a swale in the middle left. The two bunkers short of the green are long and very difficult. The best place on the green is middle right.

Hole 6 (Par 4)

This is the one of the toughest holes on the course. The tee shot is straight into the wind and it plays LONG. There is water left and a treacherous fairway bunker right. The second shot can play up to three clubs longer than the yardage, and the green is extremely elevated. A swale runs through the middle of the green, which makes the pin placement and putting difficult if you are on the wrong side of the green. Par is a great score.

Hole 7 (Par 3)

This hole plays straight downwind to a green that is long and somewhat narrow. The pot bunker front left is to be avoided, as is the deep bunker on the right. The green is relatively flat, but elevated. A tee shot to the middle of this green is a safe bet.

Hole 8 (Par 4)

This dogleg to the left demands an accurate tee shot to an elevated fairway. The left side of the fairway slopes down to the left, running tee shots into an extensive fairway bunker. Golfers whose tee shots are right of the fairway will find trees blocking their second shot to the green. The two-tiered green slopes from back to front with bunkers front left, right and back. Middle left is a good aiming point for approach shots, although putts to a pin on the top tier from anywhere but the top tier are very difficult.

Hole 9 (Par 4) img

This is the signature hole at Fairbanks Ranch. It is as aesthetically pleasing as it is intimidating. Water surrounds the fairway on all sides, demanding both distance and direction control. There are also fairway bunkers left and right. Tee shots that safely find the fairway must then be hit over water to a green that slopes from back to front. Playing to the middle left of the green is always a safe bet. Par is a great score for this very difficult hole.

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Ocean Nine

Hole 1 (Par 4)

This short par 4 is a good starting hole that plays west into the wind. The fairway is bowl shaped so that the ball will roll toward the middle. The second shot is short but tight with hazards left and right, so accuracy is critical. The green runs hard from back to front and getting the ball all the way back to a back pin can be challenging.

Hole 2 (Par 5)

The only easy shot on this par 5 is the tee shot. The fairway is generous off the tee, but is narrows the rest of the way to the green and is bordered by water on both sides. The approach shot to the green plays into the wind to an elevated green with a cavernous bunker on the left. The green is split by a ridge that runs through the middle of the green, so if you are on the wrong side of the ridge, you will have a very tricky putt.

Hole 3 (Par 4)

This is a straight away par 4 into the wind that plays long. You must avoid the fairway bunker on the right with your tee shot as well as the hazard on the left. The approach shot plays into a green with a significant swale on the left hand side. Middle right is generally a safe play.

Hole 4 (Par 4)

This is a short, classic risk-reward par 4. Long hitters may go for the green over water, but any shot short of the green that doesn’t catch the bunker complex on the left can be counted on to roll back down the hill in front of the green into the hazard. The normal route is a relatively short tee shot down the middle of the fairway, which slopes down to the water on the right, setting up a short iron to an elevated green. The green has a large tier that runs the length of the putting surface. Any putt that has to negotiate that tier will be very demanding, so being on the right level is crucial.

Hole 5 (Par 3)

This is the toughest par 3 on the course. It plays into the wind over water to a two-tiered green with a large bunker on the right. There is room on the left to play safe, but the chip shot will not be easy. The configuration of the tier creates some difficult putts if the ball is not on the same tier as the pin.

Hole 6 (Par 4)

This hole is divided by an environmentally sensitive riparian area that runs across the fairway. Tee shots must be long enough to shorten the approach shot, but short enough to stay short of the hazard. There is a fairway bunker on the right that must be avoided, as it adds significant difficulty in getting across the riparian area. The approach shot is downwind over the hazard and plays into a green with hazards on both sides and a large bunker guarding the left portion of the green. The green has a swale that runs through the middle left portion, making putts from that side difficult. Middle right on the green is a great spot to be.

Hole 7 (Par 5)

This is one of the longest par 5s in San Diego County. The tee shot needs to avoid the hazard on the right, which runs the entire length of the hole, the water short left and the bunkers on the left side of the fairway. The fairway narrows as it gets closer to the green and any shot that is left or right will be flirting with hazards. The approach shot plays into a fairly flat green, although there is a little hump on the front right. Anything on the left side of the green is safe.

Hole 8 (Par 3)

This is the shortest par 3 on the course. There is a false front on this green, so any shot short of the green will stay short in the rough. There are large bunkers on either side of the green as well. The green is sloped from back to front. It is preferable to putt uphill on this green, so it’s best to stay short of the pin.

Hole 9 (Par 4)

This is one of the best finishing holes in the county. The tee shot on this hole is very difficult. There are extensive bunkers on the right and a lake that runs the entire length of the hole on the left. Coming into the three-tiered green, the fairway gets very tight and is guarded by the lake in front, a water feature and bunker on the left and a pot bunker on the right. It’s very beneficial to be on the right level and it’s important to watch your speed on downhill putts.

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