The Seventeenth At Washtenaw Golf Club
The seventeenth at Washtenaw Golf Club in Ypsilanti, Michigan is my favorite hole on my favorite course. It’s also the only one that in years of playing, I have never birdied.
From the tips, the seventeenth stretches to 395 yards. The middle tees, which I play are in at 386. The forward tees are at 355.
The tree-lined hole heads out with a slight turn to the left on a relatively flat plain. At around 180 yards to the green, however, it slopes down into a depression.
From a low point about 100 to the green, the fairway climbs upward again. The fairway slopes slightly right to left.
The relatively large green is two tiered, and set at a 45 degree angle to the fairway. A steep greenside bunker guards much of the front. The angled opening to the green also has traps front right, back right, and back left.
Seventeen’s two tiered green can be savage. If the hole is cut on the upper green, a shot over the front left bunker likely is necessary. The angle of the green means that a shot will need to stop quickly to avoid running off.
The lower tier slopes significantly toward the front of the green. A ball above the hole means a tricky putt. Missing the hole here could likely end up with the ball rolling off the green.
Pro tip: When putting on the first, take a look at the nearby 17th green to see where the hole is located, particularly if it is on the upper tier. The view from the 17th fairway often does not often tell the tale.
A good tee shot on this hole hugs the right side of the fairway. That side offers the best angle into the green, particularly if the hole is on cut on the lower tier. The opening makes it possible to bounce a ball up if the lower tier is in play, or to draw the ball to upward to the second tier.
In any case, avoid the left bunker at all costs. It’s steep.