The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: April 27 – 30, 2017. The 9th at TPC Louisiana, Home of Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Tournament: Zurich Classic of New Orleans – TPC Louisiana, Avondale, LA
Hole: 9th – Par 3, 207 Yards
Architect(s): Pete Dye – 2003
Player Consultants: Steve Elkington and Kelly Gibson – 2003

Architectural Summary:
The ninth hole at TPC Louisiana is a lengthy par 3 measuring 207 yards that will provide a rigorous test to close the front nine. Featuring water spanning the entire left side, the hole will emphasize club selection and accuracy as wind conditions will often dictate strategy. Playing with the wind in the prevailing south breeze, the hole will require competitors to know their mid-iron yardages to avoid finding the lake. From the tee, competitors will look to play a left-to-right shaped shot over the lake to the generous putting surface. From the tee, the hole will seem visually intimidating as the green may appear narrower than its 21-yard width with Pete Dye’s signature railroad tie bulkheading separating the lake from the green as well as a steep fall-off to the right. The putting surface features no bunkers, but the lake, as well as the green’s multiple tiers and dramatic undulations, will provide adequate protection. Players must position their tee shot on the correct quadrant of the 44-yard-deep green to set up a reasonable chance at birdie, as the tiered surface will make long putts challenging.

Statistical Analysis:
In 2016, the 9th hole was the fifth most difficult hole of the tournament playing to a scoring average of 3.13 (36 Birdies, 284 Pars, 57 Bogeys, 9 Doubles, and 3 “Others”). All par threes at TPC Louisiana played over par during the 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Since 2010, the 207 yard 9th hole has had a cumulative scoring average of 3.11.

Fun Facts:

  • Charles Howell III (2012, Round 4) and Tim Clark (2008, Round 2) are the only players to record aces at the par 3 9th hole at TPC Louisiana.
  • Since the course opened then rebuilt following Hurricane Katrina, the closing hole of the front nine has undergone changes that removed a left greenside bunker (replaced by the railroad tie bulkheading) and also removed the back tee.
  • The new 72-hole stroke play format for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans will feature 80 teams competing in foursomes (alternate shot) during the first and third rounds and four-ball (best ball) during the second and fourth rounds.
  • The 2017 tournament will be first official team event on the PGA Tour since the 1981 Walt Disney World National Team Championship.