World-Class Course Design
The prestigious Sage Valley Golf Club is set among beautiful rolling hills and towering Southern yellow pines, only minutes from historic Augusta, Georgia. The course plays 7,437 yards from its championship tees and challenges every club in a golfer’s bag, from precise carries with long irons to deft touch around the green with one’s wedges and putter.
429 yards | Par 4
This is a downhill par-4 where the fairway slopes left to right. Players want to start the ball on the left side, but be sure to avoid the fairway bunker on the left. It is 260 yards out and 280 yards to carry. Play to center of green and avoid going long. The green has four main quadrants so be sure to keep your approach shot on the same section as the pin for an easier putt. Not a difficult start, but big numbers can show up, as 2016 champion Austin Eckroat doubled it in his final round.
194 yards | Par 3
This is Sage Valley Golf Club’s signature hole. It plays 10 yards less than actual yardage due to elevation drop, but be careful of the false front during front pin placements. The wind can play havoc on the tee shot, so the smart play is to aim for the middle of the green and take your chance with a long birdie putt. The center section of green slopes hard from back to front.
433 yards | Par 4
Players are faced with their first big strategic test at hole 3. Big hitters can cut off more of the hole by taking on more water from the tee. Conservative players will aim toward the far side fairway bunker but will have a longer approach shot. As for the approach shot, it’s one of the more difficult at Sage Valley Golf Club. Players must hit from ground that slopes both uphill and right-to-left to a green that sits on top of the hill and slopes even more from right-to-left. If you miss short and left—and many players do—it is a difficult up and down.
525 yards | Par 5
If you’re going to go low at Sage Valley Golf Club, you have to birdie the par 5s. The first par-5 of the day offers players a good chance. Longer hitters will choose to drive up the left hand side of the fairway for the best angle at the green when going for two. Most players, however, will play up the middle or right hand side of the fairway to give them the best angle at the lay-up zone—which is flattest on the far left hand side and slopes hard to the right. Avoid the fairway bunker that sits short and left of the green, and avoid missing the green to the right.
437 yards | Par 4
If you can move the ball from right to left off the tee, you will take advantage of the downhill slope. The fairway bunker on the right can be reached by longer hitters and is a fairly penal spot from which to play. The green is guarded by bunkers short and right. A ridge runs right down the middle of the green, and the better second shots will put the player on the same side of the ridge as the pin.
336 yards | Par 4
A great risk/reward hole, hole 6 is a short dogleg to the right that can be played several ways. The conservative play is to hit a drive 200 to 230 yards up the left center of the fairway that will leave a short iron into the green. But if you have the power and the courage, a drive of over 290 yards that well-placed over the right hand bunker will kick forward and possibly onto the green for a chance at eagle. In 2014, Scottie Scheffler started his 3-birdie run here on Sunday to win the championship.
235 yards | Par 3
Par is a great score on hole 7. The tee shot is all carry over a small creek and a slight uphill approach. If you land short, the ball will most likely roll back down the hill. Once you reach the green, the putting surface is more generous than it looks from the tee box. Get your two-putt par and walk away happy.
594 yards | Par 5
This is a gorgeous medium-length par 5 where Sage Mill Creek influences almost every shot. The tee shot must carry the creek off the tee to a fairway that slopes gently from left to right. The longer hitters can take advantage by aiming down the right hand side of the fairway and cutting off part of the dogleg, but a ball too far right will be blocked out on the second shot or even go in the hazard. If you can drive it past the corner of the trees you can reach the green with a fairway wood or long iron off of a downhill lie to an uphill green. The bunker short and the chipping area right of the green are not bad places to be, but a miss left will almost certainly fall down the hill to the left leading to a bogey or worse.
476 yards | Par 4
One of the toughest holes on the course, hole 9 is a long par-4 with a small green. Your drive needs to favor the left-hand side of the fairway, which slopes gently to the right. A well-placed drive will leave a middle to long iron (or possibly a hybrid). The green is very wide but very shallow with seven yards of false front. It is difficult to hold the green with the longer approach shot. Par is a nice score here.
585 yards | Par 5
The back nine starts with a par 5 that only the longest of hitters can reach. But with proper course management, birdie is a strong possibility. The tee shot looks deceptively narrow as the fairway bends to the left with a large fairway bunker on the right. There is ample landing room past the bend, however, for your drive if you start it down the middle with a slight draw. A layup shot is best played to the left leaving an open chip to a huge green. Don’t fall for the pin right front, as many shots wind up in the right greenside bunker. The green is deceptively fast with a ridge and different slopes to give challenge to any long putt.
435 yards | Par 4
Many consider the 11th to be one of the most difficult holes on the course. The dogleg tempts you to try and cut off some of the fairway, but any shot too far left will end up in the bunker, woods or worse. The left hand fairway bunker definitely comes into play as it is difficult to clear with your drive. The large lip seems to reach out and grab shots that try to cut off the corner. Play conservative and aim for the right center of the fairway. The long narrow green has a false front that will bring most “run-up” shots back to the fairway. The best shot is to fly the ball into the middle of the green. Now the fun starts! This multi-tiered green offers a number of challenging pin placements that generate significant breaks.
209 yards | Par 3
This is a downhill par 3 framed between lines of pines and white oaks. From the tee, this hole plays 209 yards, but plays less than the yardage given its downhill slope. This generous green slopes hard from back to front on the front two-thirds of the green surface. If the pin is back left, play the ball to the hole. All other pin placements require you to leave the ball below the hole. A ball played too long will run off the green in the back. The bailout shot is best played short of the green. A ball played on the right side will often leave you short sided with a lot of break.
378 yards | Par 4
Fazio’s “short hole” on the back nine. Don’t be deceived. While this hole measures shorter than most of the par 4s, it plays uphill all the way. Avoid the right side. The fairway bunker comes into play and a ball that is hit farther right will roll deeply into the woods. Play down the left side of the fairway for a short iron approach shot. Take at least a half more club that the yardage indicates. A front or middle right pin can be attacked for a birdie opportunity. Any other pin placement should be left alone and players should aim for the center of the green. Shots hit marginally right or left of the hole may end up on the wrong level and leave a difficult two putt.
447 yards | Par 4
From the tee, this long par 4 is wide open and allows the players to be aggressive with their tee shot. The fairway bunker only comes into play for the longest hitters and serves as an aiming point. The green has a false front on the right that will funnel shots off the green leaving the players short-sided. The green tends to be one of the “sneakier” ones on the course. The subtle breaks often confuse players, as this green is considered one of the most difficult to read correctly. The green is extremely long with the front portion relatively level. The difference in a front pin placement and a back pin placement can reach almost 40 yards, so knowing the correct distance here is critical.
549 yards | Par 5
This par five has surrendered the most eagles at Sage Valley. The tee shot is possibly the biggest risk/reward opportunity on the golf course. A conservative drive up the left-hand side of the fairway will give players the best chance at a clear layup. Longer players will challenge the woods on the right side to cut off added length and possibly get home in two. After this downhill tee shot, players are left with the option to lay up over cross bunkers to leave a short wedge shot or to hit a hard left-to-right shot up near the green. The favorite bailout is long and left for most players. A shot short left opens up the green for a great look at the pin and an option of a bump and run or flying the ball to the hole. Carson Young eagled this hole in the first round in 2013, while Cameron Champ eagled this hole on Sunday after birdieing 14 to push Scott Scheffler in 2014.
224 yards | Par 3
As you enter the final three holes, there is no letup in this par 3. From the Tournament Tees, this hole plays over 235 yards and requires a precise line. Shots that miss right will trundle down the hill into the woods, leaving a tough up and down. The safe shot is to the center of the green for (hopefully) a nice two-putt par. The green slopes left to right and a ball left on the right fringe leaves a fast pitch shot that is hard to get close. Aggressive shots that run through the green leave the player with a downhill shot with a lot of break. The higher you can play your tee shot, the better so that your ball will land softly somewhere in the middle of the green.
499 yards | Par 4
Redesigned after the 2011 tournament, hole 17 went from the #12 handicap hole to #1 overnight. The tee shot requires a draw down the right side of the fairway. Do everything you can to avoid the fairway bunker. With a splendid drive, you are left with a daunting downhill second shot to a narrow green with a bunker on the left and water on the right. The best miss is short and left. This hole will test you mentally and physically and will humble even the strongest of golfers.
452 yards | Par 4
Pay attention to the bunker on the left. The tee box aligns the player to the bunkers on the right, but history has proven that the left fairway bunker acts like a magnet—especially during the final round. Both Marcus Kinhult and Zachary Olsen pulled their drives into this bunker during their final rounds. An extra club is needed to an uphill approach shot to a deep green that offers a false front and an opportunity for fireworks. Scott Scheffler hit a 4-iron to 20-feet to win in 2014, Marcus Kinhult got up-and-down from the left side of the green for the win in 2015 Austin Eckroat drained an 18-foot birdie putt to win by one stroke in 2016.
Sage Valley Golf Club
Sage Valley Golf Club is a private national membership golf club located just outside Augusta, Georgia. The course and clubhouse are surrounded by several thousand acres of preserved southern pine forest providing a setting of serenity and tranquility found in visions of life in the south.