Ryder Cup 2016: The holes to watch out for

The Ryder Cup 2016 gets under way at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota on Friday.

As Europe and the USA prepare for the 41st edition of the competition, we take a look at the holes you ought to be watching out for.

If Europe want to retain the title they have held for three competitions in a row, they will need to ace some of these pivotal holes.

Hole 7

Usually a par five according to The Hazeltine’s website, this 402-yard hole is rated by former pro Johnny Miller as one of the toughest he has ever played.

It’s all about avoiding the water hazards. The hole requires a drive over Hazeltine Lake, landing the ball on the fairway short of the creek running down the left-hand side.

The Ryder Cup’s official website says “anything can happen here”.

Hole 13

This 248-yard hole is described as the hardest par three at Hazeltine.

The hole features trees and bunkers on both sides and the high risk of a bogey has proved pivotal in previous tournaments, such as the 2006 U.S Amateur.

Hole 16

Despite being 572 yards, this is the shortest par five on the course. It’s still a tough hole and the ominous pond by the green might cause some problems.

In the past the hole was shorter, leading to many players going for the green in two – the addition of new fairway bunkers and the extra 29 yards makes that a tall order now.

Hole 17

The next hole is only 176 yards. Easy, right? Wrong.

The small green is surrounded by water and bunkers. Even the best might struggle for birdies, with the safer option being a conservative approach and a par – but will that be enough in the head-to-head?

Hole 18

That’s right – three of the toughest holes on the course are the final three, so expect drama.

Hole 18 is 432 yards and has two rows of bunkers either side of the fairway making it one of the tightest drives on the course. Meanwhile, because the hole is uphill players will struggle to see where the green is, let alone land the ball there.

Maybe the players will breeze these holes, or maybe they cause some problems – but be sure to keep an eye out.

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