The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: September 14 – 17, 2017. The 5th at Conway Farms, Home of BMW Championship.

Tournament: BMW Championship – Conway Farms Golf Club, Lake Forest, IL
Hole: 5th – Par 4, 469 Yards
Architect: Tom Fazio – 1991

Architectural Summary:
The fifth hole at Conway Farms is a demanding par four that will test the driving accuracy of competitors. From the tee, competitors will look to hit driver or 3-wood in a right-to-left shape over the wetland hazard to the uphill landing zone. The fairway begins at 225 yards, though two bunkers protect the inside of the dogleg, requiring a carry of 260 yards. The landing area begins to “neck down” beyond 300 yards from the tee and that will test longer hitters. A cluster of large trees, to the right, just beyond the landing zone will lead players to favor the left-center portion of the fairway to achieve the optimal, unobstructed angle into the green. Any tee shots missing the fairway will face trouble as the wetlands extend down the right side of the hole and deep rough is located left. The approach will require a precise mid-iron to the circular green measuring 25 yards deep by 23 yards wide. The relatively small green will be key to scoring well as the surface slopes from back-to-front and falls away on all sides. Competitors will look to find the center of the putting surface to set up a reasonable chance at birdie. Two large bunkers guard the green left and short, while a single deep greenside bunker is located at the left-rear.

Statistical Analysis:
During the last BMW Championship played at Conway Farms in 2015, the 5th hole played as the second most difficult hole with a scoring average of 4.13 (32 Birdies, 183 Pars, 54 Bogeys, 6 Doubles, 1 “Other”).

Fun Facts:

  • During the second round of the BMW Championship in 2013, Jim Furyk became the sixth player to shoot a 59 on the PGA Tour. Furyk recorded one bogey in his historic feat after three-putting the 5th hole.
  • Conway Farms has an extensive history and commitment to hosting amateur tournaments. The Chicago course has hosted a number of tournaments over the years including the Men’s NCAA Championship, the USGA Junior Amateur Championship, and the US Mid-Amateur Championship.
  • BMW Championship is the third-longest running professional golf event that dates back to 1899 when it was the Western Open. The Open Championship (1860) and US Open Championship (1885) are the only longer running events.