Snoqualmie Ridge's signature 14th hole | It has a beautiful view, but it also can be dangerous with Bear's Canyon making it a dicey test for even the world's best golfers.
SNOQUALMIE — To go or not to go?
That is the question players will be asking themselves as they tee off on the par-4 14th hole at TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge.
It is the signature hole and is aptly named Bear’s Canyon. It measures as long as 448 yards going around the canyon, but players have the option of taking about a 140-yard shortcut by going over the canyon.
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Yesterday, it was 285 yards to reach the green via the shortcut.
All weekend, players will have the option of going for the green on their first shot or laying up short and using a wedge on their second shot. Going for the green on the tee shot can lead to an eagle opportunity, but going left (the canyon) or right (a deep bunker) means big trouble.
“It’s a sucker ‘go’ hole,” said Dana Quigley, the leading money winner this year on the Champions Tour. “I am not even going to look at the green. I am going to lay up, and if I get two 4s [par] and a 3 [birdie] this week, I will be very happy.”
Gary Player called the hole beautiful, and it certainly is, with great views of the Snoqualmie Ridge.
Don Pooley certainly found it beautiful yesterday. He was one of the few players in the pro-am to try to reach the green with his drive. He almost did one better than that: The ball missed going in by inches, and settled 3 feet past the hole.
Pooley said it was the closest he has ever come to acing a par 4. He made the putt for an eagle. But yesterday’s success does not mean he will be so bold once the tournament begins tomorrow.
“I tried it because it was the pro-am and I had not played the hole before,” he said. “The thing of it is, you have to hit a perfect shot or you can get into real trouble. I hit a perfect shot today, but that doesn’t mean I will the next time. I may lay up and try to get a birdie that way.”
Quigley said he likes that the hole has options, even if there is only one way he will play it.
“It’s a temptation hole,” Quigley said. “At my age , I have eliminated temptation from my life.”
Quigley said the reason players will likely opt against trying to drive the green is the trouble on both sides.
“If you hit it left [in the canyon], you are dead, and if you hit it right, it’s almost an impossible up and down,” he said. “If it was less penal to the right, I think more players would try for it, because most of the guys can reach the green.”
Hale Irwin, 60, the Tour’s all-time leader in earnings and victories, won’t be tempted either, despite making a bogey laying up yesterday.
“I know where I am going to hit it, and it isn’t there,” Irwin said, pointing to the direction over the canyon.
Scott Hanson: 206-464-2943 or firstname.lastname@example.org