Santa Teresa Golf Club starts with the #1 handicap hole, a tough par 4 dog leg left. It is always good to hit balls before your round to make sure you are ready for the challenging drive off the 1st Tee. Your target off the 1st Tee is the white 150 yard pole. Long hitters can take the ball to the side of or over the left side fairway bunker. Pay attention to the pin placement on this hole as the green is 42 yards deep. Favor the middle and back of green to avoid the two front bunkers, get your two putt and go to the next tee.
The second hole is a relatively easy par 5 dog leg right. The tee shot should be between the two fairway bunkers. A conservative second shot short of the left side fairway bunker will still leave a short distance to a 40 yard deep green. The green is guarded by out of bounds left and a big bunker front right which makes going for this green in two a true risk and reward decision. Distance control on your approach is paramount to leave yourself with a good chance at birdie. The green is slopped back to front. It is wise to leave approach shots to back pin placements below the hole.
This is a short par 4 with a slight dog leg right. Do not get greedy off this tee. A 200 yard tee shot will leave you with 150 yards to the green. Play to the middle of this green when the bunker is right, otherwise, being aggressive with your approach is the play. Pay attention to the tops of the trees on your second shot. You may not feel the wind from the fairway, but when the ball gets above the trees, it can be hit by a wall of wind. Take an extra club when you see the trees moving.
A good tee shot will serve you well on this slight dog leg right par 4. The green is very approachable from any spot in the fairway. This green is 45 yards deep, so a back pin can call for 1 or 2 additional clubs. This is a relatively flat green, so take a good run at your birdie.
This is the shortest par 3 on the course. Similar to hole number 3, the wind can be blowing here without feeling it on the tee, so look at the tree tops. Right side of this green is not very deep, short is better than long when the pin is on that side. Once on the green, you will need to pay attention to the subtle breaks. Short, but par is your friend.
Tighten your shoes for this dog leg left par 4. A good drive to the right of the fairway bunker is critical to having a chance to hit this green in regulation. The second shot is slightly down hill, and usually down wind, so it can play shorter than the distance. A high approach shot is needed to have the ball stay close to where it lands. Now that you are on the green the real fun begins. Take a good look at where the drainage is around this green as this will help you read your putt. Take your par and sprint to the next tee.
This is a demanding par 3. The tee box tricks you into aiming left of the green, so alignment is critical. This hole is slightly uphill and you will want to avoid the big green side bunker front right, so make sure you take enough club. The green will read exactly as you see it, so have confidence in your line and strike an aggressive putt. Stay below front pin placements.
It is all right in front of you when you are standing on this elevated par 4 tee. No need to do too much with the tee ball, keep it in the fairway and you will get good roll. Try to stay left of the hole on your approach when there is a right pin placement. When the pin is left or middle, you have a green light to fire right at it. Somewhere in the foothills of California, there is a retired golf course green designer who is chuckling. Do not over read this one.
The Restaurant is in view, get through this one and you can reward yourself with food and drink. Depending on the wind, this hole can play painfully long or surprisingly short. Regardless, let it rip off the tee. This is a wide fairway with not much trouble on either side. Take into account all the elements when choosing your club for your approach shot. Relatively flat green, so go after your birdie putt. Go have some refreshment.
Stay left of the big oak tree with your tee shot. On the approach shot, stay below the hole, no matter where the pin is on this green. This will leave an uphill putt, give it enough to get there. Par is your friend.
Use your head while you are playing this fun dog leg right par 5. You can hit a number of different clubs off the tee. The object is to hit it at least 175 yards get to the corner so you have a look up the fairway to the green. The farther you hit your tee shot down the fairway, the shorter the distance left on your second shot. If you can not reach the green with this demanding uphill second shot, club yourself so you have a comfortable full shot for your third. You will have an uphill lie, so balance yourself with some practice swings and be confident for the shot to a two tiered green. Being on the same tier as the pin will be critical to executing your two putt.
Do not make too much of this downhill dog leg right par 4. A drive out to the 150 yard pole is all you need to have a good look at this green guarded by 3 bunkers and 2 majestic Valley Oaks. The second shot can play shorter than the distance, so club appropriately. The green slopes back to front.
This is a long straight par 4 with a blind tee shot. The line you choose off the tee is critical: A good line is over the left edge of the mown fairway on the hill. The predominant wind is in your face, so take enough club for the second shot. Keep the ball below the hole on your approach, especially when the pin is in front.
This is the first of two demanding par 3s on the back nine. The wind is normally in your face, and the two front bunkers can make the hole look shorter than it really is, so make sure to use enough club to get there. Shots to the left half of the green will have uphill putts to the hole. What you see is what you get. Par is your friend.
Favor the left side with your tee ball as the fairway slants left to right. The elevated green makes the approach shot difficult to judge. Trust your distance and swing aggressively. Once on the green you will have a relatively straight putt. The only tricky area is when the pin is up front.
Stay focused because you have three very good holes left to finish. The par 3 16th is all about the tee ball. Two bunkers guard the front of the green so take enough club and favor the left side. The slope of the hill allows for shots to miss the green left and still bounce down onto the green. The green is two tiered, so being on the proper tier is a must for a good chance at birdie.
17 is a long straight par 5. Aim your tee ball left of the fairway bunker and let it rip. The second shot is best played with the longest club you can hit straight. Favor the left side of the fairway as this will create the best angle to approach the green. Hit to the middle of the green and you should have a good look at birdie in any direction.
This is a very picturesque long finishing par 4. Let the shaft out on the drive to get as far down the fairway as possible. Pay close attention to the pin placement as a back pin will require using more club. There are 3 tiers on this green and being on the proper tier is critical to making your birdie putt. This green plays flatter than it looks, take dead aim and make a confident stroke.