The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: April 21 – 24, 2016. The 11th at TPC San Antonio, Home of Valero Texas Open.

Tournament: Valero Texas Open – TPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks Course),San Antonio, TX
Hole: 11th – Par 4, 405 Yards
Architect(s): Greg Norman – 2009
Player Consultant: Sergio Garcia – 2009

Architectural Summary:
The par 4 11th hole at the AT&T Oaks Course plays 405 yards and challenges players with its strategic bunkering. From the tee, competitors must determine their strategy as they look to avoid the centerline bunker. The bunker splits the generous fairway and spans 35 yards long (230 to 265 yards from the tee), leaving roughly 15 yards of fairway on both the right and left sides. Most players will look to play towards the left side of the fairway for a better angle into the green. Playing to the left side of the fairway will also allow competitors to avoid carrying the deep greenside bunker, though this strategy will lengthen the hole. A majority of competitors will opt to play 3-wood on the hole as a pair of bunkers protect the finishing point of the fairway at 300 yards from the tee. If successful in carrying the centerline bunker and avoiding the pair of fairway bunkers through the fairway, players will be rewarded with a short approach shot to the green. The deep, yet narrow, green measures 40 yards and is guarded by a deep greenside bunker on the right and difficult chipping areas surrounding the putting surface. The length of the green will emphasize reaching the correct quadrant with approach shots to avoid lengthy putts with a lot of break.

Statistical Analysis:
In 2015, the 11th hole was the tenth most difficult hole of the tournament as it played to a scoring average of 4.20 (52 Birdies, 261 Pars, 101 Bogeys, 17 Doubles, and 1 “Other”). Only 12% of scores were recorded under par.

Fun Facts:

  • The Valero Texas Open, the PGA Tour’s third oldest tournament, has had 17 winners from the Lone Star state including Ben Hogan, Ben Crenshaw, Lee Trevino, Justin Leonard, as well as 2015 champion Jimmy Walker.
  • Since the tournament was moved to the TPC San Antonio, only three tournament champions have played the 11th hole under par – Adam Scott (2010), Brendan Steele (2011), and Steven Bowditch (2014).
  • In true Texan style, the tournament champion not only receives a trophy, but also a pair of black cowboy boots emblazoned with the Valero Texas Open logo.
  • The course yielded the second-lowest green-in-regulation percentage of the PGA Tour season at 51.7%. Additionally, the average proximity to the hole (43’1”) ranked as the longest of any course on tour.