The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: September 22 – 25, 2016. The 18th at East Lake GC, Home of TOUR Championship.

Tournament: TOUR Championship – East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, GA
Hole: 18th – Par 5, 600 Yards
Architect(s): Tom Bendelow – 1904
Donald Ross (Redesign) – 1914
George Cobb (Redesign) – 1959
Rees Jones (Redesign) – 1994 & 2008

Architectural Summary:

The TOUR Championship concludes on the 600 yard par 5 18th hole (9th hole for member play) following a reversal of the front and back nines at East Lake Golf Club for this year’s event. Reachable in two and playing downhill on the tee shot, the new home hole will offer an exciting risk-reward finish. From the tee, competitors must decide whether to take the aggressive line in order to set up an opportunity to reach the green in two. When playing downwind, most of the field will play aggressively and hit a right-to-left shot shape in attempt to find the “speed slot” on the left side of the fairway. If players successfully find the “speed slot,” the hole will be reachable in two, but still leave a long and difficult uphill second shot. The conservative play from the tee is to play driver or 3 wood to the right center of the fairway, taking the trees out of play, and setting up the optimal angle of play into the second landing area. A single fairway bunker guards the left side of the second landing area and will be in play for those laying up. Most players will look to play towards the fairway bunker in hopes to set up the best angle into the green. The front-left to back-right angled green, which measures 35 yards deep and 20 yards wide, is guarded by two deep right greenside bunkers and strongly slopes from back-right to front-left. Additionally, a strong contour ties the two bunkers and green complex together creating difficult hole locations in the middle-right portion of the green.

Statistical Analysis:

The 18th at East Lake has traditionally played as one of the least difficult holes on the course. Since 1998, par 5 has played to a scoring average of 4.677 and yielded 16 eagles and 700 birdies. In 2015, the scoring average was 4.82 with 1 eagle, 36 birdies, 62 pars, 10 bogeys, and 4 doubles.

Fun Facts:

  • During the inaugural FedExCup season in 2007, Tiger Woods won the TOUR Championship by eight shots to become the first FedExCup Champion. Woods played the 18th (formerly 9th) hole in 5-under for the week after a 70-foot eagle putt in the second round.
  • The lone eagle for the 2015 tournament was made by Henrik Stenson after a 24-foot eagle putt to card a 29 on the front nine. Stenson finished tied for second for the tournament and second in the FedExCup.
  • East Lake GC hosted the Ryder Cup in 1963, the U.S. Amateur in 2001, and has been the home of the TOUR Championship since 2004.